Chet Hilton - S1E9

Choosing the Software to Run Your Business

Chet Hilton is the Global VP, Customer Engagement Technology leader for McKesson Corporation. He manages all activities related to sales, marketing, contact center, telephony, back office & supplier technology at McKesson. His team services roughly 10,000 users across McKesson business units and provides technology solutions and support for those users. His team is focuses on providing the customer with a seamless experience in working with McKesson and does that through multiple tools including, SFA and TTEC. Chet completed his undergrad at the University of Washington in Seattle and his MBA work at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management, where he was peer elected class ambassador

In this episode, Dave talks with Chet Hilton about how to choose software to run your business. The most startling thing that Chet reveals in this episode is that the software isn't nearly as expensive as the people who use the software to get the job done. You don't just change software when you're a McKesson. He does his research and he makes the right choice the first time because failure to do so would be catastrophic and very expensive. Many times when companies go to buy software, they look for software that works exactly how their company works today. This can be a fatal mistake as Chet points out.

Chet joins Dave to talk about:

  • The total cost of software ownership
  • How to choose the right software and vendor for your business needs
  • Questions to ask potential vendor partners
  • ...and much more!
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At McKesson and many other businesses, having a global footrprint that can handle customer needs and user needs is important. Having the right partner is important. A key element to think about when selecting software is the total cost of ownership. Chet points out that there are many intangibles that are expensive and it’s not just the license cost you need to consider when selecting new software. Chet shares some thought-provoking questions to consider when selecting new software: Is the software simple and easy to use? Is it going to meet the needs of our business? Are we going to be able to develop a quick and efficient way to drive business value? How easy is it to train new users? ...and much more!

"We're willing to change the business process before we change the platform."
- Chet Hilton
"It's way cheaper to make a slight change to your company process than it is to retrain 11,000 employees or even 10 employees."
- Dave Webb
"If you don't have a really solid employee and customer software, it's going to make your business more expensive."
- Chet Hilton

Links Associated with this Episode:

Show Notes:

Dave Webb:              00:04                     "I'm Dave Webb and you're listening to RecruiterCast."

Chet Hilton:            00:10                     "When you think about total cost of ownership, people immediately go to price and think about what's your price per license? And that's part of it for sure, but there's also other intangibles that are expensive. So our total spend is smaller than what we spend in human capital. And so we need to make sure that the platform that we do is going to be simple and easy to be able to meet our business needs and be able to develop in a quick and efficient way to drive business value. And so,  it's part of some of the things that we think about when we're picking global solution for a lot of our products or how quick can we get to market? We need to replace and hire new talent, how easy is that? How contemporary is the system as it relates to being able to train up new people."

Dave Webb:              00:56                    "That's Chet Hilton of McKesson. If you've never heard of McKesson, well, Chet States, they're probably the largest company that you've never heard of and they're okay with that. If you saw their bottom line, and you can cause they're a publicly traded company, you would be okay with it too. Now, Chet is responsible for choosing the CRM or customer relationship management software. That's what sales orgs used to keep it all together. He chooses a CRM software for 11,000 sales associates at McKesson. He's got a pretty big job in front of him, right. The most startling thing that Chet reveals in this episode is that the software isn't nearly as expensive as the people who use the software to get the job done. You don't just change software when you're a McKesson. He does his research and he makes the right choice the first time because failure to do so would be catastrophic and very expensive. Many times when companies go to buy software, they look for software that works exactly how their company works. Today. This can be a fatal mistake as Chet points out."

Chet Hilton:             01:55                      "Every software is not going to be perfect for everybody, and we certainly fall into that category. I can tell you though that there's a philosophy that we try to stand by, which is we're willing to change the business process before we change the platform. And so, we really try to push in our business to not ideate and think about what is the art of the possible, but really start with what the platform does and work their way backward."

Dave Webb:                02:21                     "It's way cheaper to make a slight change to your company process than it is to retrain 11,000 employees or even 10 employees. Take a good, hard look at how you're doing things. Take a look at how the software works. You might even find some process efficiencies built into the software that's been designed by tens to hundreds of thousands of people doing the same thing you're doing. Take advantage of their knowledge. In today's episode, we're going to take a look at why choosing software for your business is vitally important. How does choosing software at a large company like McKesson translate to a small business or a startup? How can you use already blazed trails of  information instead of trying to figure it out all by yourself? What are some pitfalls you can avoid? What are some lessons learned from an experienced software manager like Chet? Chet will also show us how to look out for red flags and signs that things are going well."

Applause:                  03:12

Dave Webb:                  03:18                 "This will help you strengthen your good relationships and also get out of your bad relationships."

Chet Hilton:                03:24                "But you run into a lot of software companies that will tell you they can do anything, and that's true, but as a customer, selfishly, we want to take advantage of the best partners for all capabilities that are in need for us and not just try to stick with one and keep our fingers crossed that they'll mature their platform to the places that we need it to be."

Dave Webb:                  03:44               "So come along with us as we discuss all these things and more in this episode of RecruiterCast. I'm Dave Webb, CEO and co-founder of BrightMove. For over 25 years, my job has been to learn all of the ins and outs of the recruiting industry and then write the software that makes it all happen. I know who to talk to and what to ask them. We have the information that you cannot get anywhere else, so get ready to learn the secrets that will give you an advantage as a recruiter, job seeker or business owner. It's time for RecruiterCast."

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Dave Webb:                    04:32              "Chet, thanks for coming to our studios today."

Chet Hilton:                   04:35             "Great. Thanks Dave for having me."

Dave Webb:                     04:36           "I appreciate you coming in. Good to see you again. Today we're going to be talking about choosing the right software for a company, whether that's a small company or a large company. If one's wondering what that has to do with recruiting. I'll just set the stage a little bit in that a lot of contractors end up starting their own businesses to be contractors and work for large companies like McKesson. And a lot of recruiters end up starting their own recruiting firms at some point or doing some side business so, there're a lot of entrepreneurial aspects to being in the recruiting industry. Doing that successfully would require some software to be chosen really at the outset to do a good job of effectively running the business. And we'd like to talk to you today about how McKesson and you personally evaluate software to run your business and how someone starting up, that's a one-man shop or maybe a five-man shop, could use those same kinds of philosophies in doing so. So, if you don't mind just kind of give us a little bit about yourself and how you've managed to work your way into the position that you have today."

Chet Hilton:                    05:44        "First of all, let me give a quick background of who McKesson is. We always say we're the largest company you've never heard of, but Mckesson has been around for over 180 years and we are in the pharmaceutical distribution space amongst other things. We have about 70,000 employees. I support about 11,000 employees and we do about 220 billion with a B in revenue annually. So, when you think about large companies, we're a fortune six and certainly fit that mold of large organizations. So how I started? Like a lot of people, I started selling things. And so out of college, I started selling for McKesson, worked my way into a marketing role, had the opportunity to lead 14 fantastic sales reps out in Seattle as an area sales manager and then came back on the inside and really kind of  got engaged in technology and ran technology in the sales technology stack for a small of subsidiary of McKesson, one of their divisions. And then just recently I  had the opportunity to take a global role where now I run that same tech stack for McKesson across United States, Canada and Europe."

Dave Webb:                      06:46     "You have a sales background and I guess your focus has been on customer relationship management software, is that correct?"

Chet Hilton:                    06:51     "That's correct. Yep, and then I also have under my area a contact center technology and then what we call our kind of our back office automation and services. So anything that anybody touches that customer needs help with or things like credit, AR, et cetera, that's all underneath my responsibility as well."

Dave Webb:                      07:10     "How many customers would you say your group's services from the point of sale to delivery to customer service with those orders?"

Chet Hilton:                     07:19     "Yeah, that's a good question. So, we have about, I would say 400,000 customers in one of our divisions at services, kind of the medical surgical space, so think of doctor's offices, long-term care facilities, hospitals, surgery centers, and then we serve about 70,000 pharmacies. So some of our larger customers are some of the larger retail chains you would think about like Walmart, The Veterans Affairs and  CVS et cetera. So, kind of around the gambit as it relates to healthcare, but mainly physicians and pharmacies are there are our  two main customers."

Dave Webb:                      07:53     "I know once I learned about McKesson, I noticed every time I went into a doctor's office, I see the name on everything on the counter. So maybe our listeners will notice that as well and kind of now they know the guy who's running the the department that's making all that happen. You guys really do have a global impact on healthcare and I know firsthand from knowing you and some other guys there that you guys do a really good job.  When you choose a CRM platform for a global billion dollar company such as McKesson, what are some of the things that you look for and why is that important? Why are they on your checklist?"

Chet Hilton:                    08:29     "Yeah, so obviously making sure that we can have a global footprint that can handle customer needs and our user needs across all parts of the world is important. And so, we're really focus on making sure that we have the right partner that does that from a global perspective. I would say the second thing is total cost of ownership. And so, when you think about total cost of ownership, people immediately go to price and think about what's your price per license? And that's part of it for sure, but there's also other intangibles that are expensive.  So, our total spend is smaller than what we spend in human capital. And so we need to make sure that the platform that we do is going to be simple and easy to be able to meet our business needs and be able to develop in a quick and efficient way to drive business value. And so, it's part of some of the things that we think about when we're picking, global solution for a lot of our products or how quick can we get to market? If we need to replace and hire new talent, how easy is that? How contemporary is a system as it relates to being able to train up new people. So, one of the things that we do that we've really found valuable because of the solution we picked is the solution that we have has got a pretty robust training module. And so being able to hire people, interns out of college and be able to train them up and give them a career path to start from an admin level, a developer all the way up into a full stack developer on our platform is important to us, and that's not offered with every program, so never will there every platform. And that doesn't always need to be a   strict  training curriculum, but we need to know and have confidence that whatever we pick, we're going to be able to find talent, procure talent, train talent and have them deliver work quickly. And so those are a couple of things that kind of go into it. I mean, obviously, being able to do the things that we need to do then making the right investments into their platform is important. Clearly, we want to make sure that the platform is going to continue to do things out of the box as natively as possible without having to customize every component that we need for every business need. And so, if we can find partners that do that, we're pretty excited. And I would say that the last thing that we look for in a partner is what is it that they do well?  So with an unlimited amount of funds and an unlimited amount of unlimited price, to me, any technology can do anything, right. And so, if I was going to give someone $1 trillion to do anything on any platform, somebody would say yes, but the reality is, what is this system designed to do? What is its core capabilities and what are other customers continuing to do to give them feedback to improve that? And I think that those are the biggest things because we ultimately want to be partnered with the best software in their group, but you run into a lot of software companies that will tell you they can do anything. And that's true, but as a customer, selfishly, we want to take advantage of the best partners for all capabilities that are in need for us and not just try to stick with one and keep our fingers crossed that they'll mature their platform."

Dave Webb:                      11:35       "That makes perfect sense to me because I have a little bit of experience in also choosing platforms. A couple of things that you said that really stuck out to me that I like for you to elaborate on -the cost of human capital. It sounds like you're saying that if you choose the right software, you can more than make up for the cost by not having to hire a linear amount of people as you scale your business. Could you talk a little bit about that?"

Chet Hilton:                     11:58        "Yeah, absolutely. So, depending on the software and depending on its capabilities, you're starting to see a lot of softwares that interact well with each other. It's if you think about kind of the Azure market or the AWS market or market, you have pieces of software that are developed by others and for a small fee can be added to your environment and run quickly. Azure has a fantastic natural language processing. You know what I mean components that are available in the market, there's great data visualization things on the market. And so, if we don't have to custom build that every time because that software has got a mature enough marketplace to enable configuration and kind of no code solutions, that's valuable to us. Now, as a solutions provider, I'm not a software provider, I'm a solutions provider, I can get solutions to my business faster and drive higher value to them. I don't have to be the person who custom builds everything, and I think that's kind of a shift in mentality from maybe what we saw 10 or 15 years ago, especially around the ERP where the ERP was supposed to solve every I.T problem for every company. But then you started to have these smaller companies that would pop up that would integrate into the ERP that provide a better service for their little niche and to be able to be on software platforms that offer those things, we're confident that wherever the market goes and wherever the technology goes, people are going to have innovation happening there first. And so whether it's in my contact center, whether it's in my CRM space, that reduces the amount of people I need to have that reduces the complexity because I basically pay for the efficiencies that somebody else has already done and being able to market that on the marketplace."

Dave Webb:                       13:42        "And I also heard you say that choosing a vendor with an open development platform, one that's popular that already has a talent pool of developers is also huge. It sounds like there's not always a solution that fits every need that you might have. And there will be some customization, and customizations and integrations and the ability to bring that development in house are really important. Privacy issues, there's security issues depending on which field you're in , and then there's the cost of really paying a vendor to develop is usually quite a bit more than doing it yourself, if you can bring someone in and offer them a benefits package. So how much would you say you guys customize the solutions that you choose? How much do you customize and how important is it to run the business?"

Chet Hilton:                       14:28       "Yeah, we certainly do customize. So every software is not going to be perfect for everybody, and we certainly fall into that category. I can tell you though that there's a philosophy that we try to stand by, which is we're willing to change the business process before we change the platform. And so, we really try to push in our business to not ideate and think about what is the art of the possible, but really start with what the platform does and work their way backward. And we've been relatively successful and kind of having that conversation, setting that expectation. We've all, you mentioned the cost Dave around what is the cost of hiring third parties? I would argue what is the cost of getting out of some of that custom development?  The third parties and the custom development is expensive and we do everything we can to kind of keep that in house because when you have internal resources, they seem to be more engaged. They want to be able to make sure that product is flexible and expandable and it has the ability to kind of take on future requirements as this product evolves, and when externally, you don't see that. With external, you see a lot of getting the project done as quick as they can with as much user popularity as you have, but doesn't really kind of feed into any of the back end technical needs. So you'll see a lot of technical debt."

Sound:                              15:53

Chet Hilton:                        15:54        "One example, we spend over a million dollars in external consulting services to build a product that took up almost almost 70% of our custom code capabilities and we're redoing that right now. And so that's over a million dollars that we're flushing down the toilet to have to redo, and just because those priorities aren't aligned. They're not looking out for our architecture. They're not looking out for kind of the long-term. One could argue that those third parties are looking to make something so complicated that the only people that can maintain it forever is them. There's an incentive there. There's a financial incentive there and so, not only do we believe in hiring, training, develop our own people, we think it's great for the culture of the company. We think we get a better output. We certainly have the ability to kind of have a career path for these folks, which is fantastic. But we also think it's long-term, less expensive than hiring some externals. But overall, I mean, I think you have to be flexible to be able to customize whatever you want. And I think that where the technology is going now with platforms like snowflake and with container technology, you have the ability to kind of customize, but not have it be pervasive all over the environment. You can put things in a very tight box essentially and to make sure that customization is kind of reflected only for that component, and not have to create a humongous spaghetti noodle thing that's in your environment they have to deal with forever."

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Dave Webb:                       17:40       "You can save a lot of money by not being stubborn and being a little bit open-minded. "

Chet Hilton:                        17:45     "The audience for this specifically the new business owners. My argument is they've never been through an upgrade before. And so, we're in a market right now where technology is going to change and it's going to change rapidly and it's going to come out with new capabilities and features that your business is going to need. What you did last year, two years ago that might be perfect is going to be looked at and evaluated, and if you don't have your strategy aligned with what the vendor is going to do to innovate, it's going to become costly because again, you're now going to have a business that's dependent on that customization. And when you don't have the finances to kind of jump on the train, if you will, of the innovation that someone else is investing in, it's going to be a lot of regret and re-platforming and essentially development efforts that are going to go into non-business value because there's no value in re-platforming, there's no value in rewriting this natively within an environment that you should have done the first time.Those are some costs that are hard to fork out for a for a young company."

Dave Webb:                         18:53     "It Sounds like a common theme so far is doing your homework up front before you pull the trigger on something. And I think everyone who I've talked to, mentored and seen start businesses, when they make that decision to be in business for themselves, they're just ready to go like you can't hold them back. They don't sleep, they're just thinking about it. They want to be successful. They want to do all that administrative stuff as fast as possible so they can get down to what they know and what they love and kind of what we're talking about are those administrative tasks and setting up the infrastructure for the company. When evaluating a new piece of software, we'll just throw a budget out the window because everybody cares about how much it costs, and we've already kind of talked about total cost of ownership. How many vendors would you recommend someone evaluating? It's probably not feasible to look at a hundred but there's probably some number in there that if you ask some friends who were in the same space, kind of springboard off of the successes and failures of other people. Maybe there's some online communities where you can get started with that. How do you know when you've done enough research to make a decision?"

Chet Hilton:                          20:01   "Yeah, it's a great question. I would say the answer to that is when you feel like you've been educated enough on what the differences in their capabilities. And so as, we're evaluating different vendors, you can see how a product was built, knowing that competitor was in mind. And so when you can kind of start to defend that decision internally for that ROI conversation or that budget conversation, that's really what I think you've done enough. And some markets will only bear three, some will bear five, some are more than that, but overall, I look at a vendor selection as an opportunity for me to educate myself on the market and those capabilities. I mean just today we were talking to a CICD, kind of dev-ops company and as we're talking to them, because we have their competitor in our environment, you can see how they have built their product to be able to edge for some of the things that our current vendor doesn't do. And so we're now empowered, it's not only being excited about those new features and services, but they're in a position to be able to price us according to the value that they're driving up over what their competition's doing. And so, I think when you can fully understand kind of the space that technology fits in and be able to weigh the pros and cons of the different features that they offer and make sure that those features for your pick is going to be best suited for where your business is now, I would say that you got a pretty good number of vendors that you've evaluated."

Dave Webb:                          21:34   "As your company becomes larger and you start adding layers of management, getting buy in for a change is going to be harder and harder. Like in your company, you have to have probably top down support as well as bottom-up support for anything to be successful. If you're a one-person shop, that's really easy. You just have to convince yourself. I guess from a scalability standpoint, it's really important to get the decision as right as you can the first time but to your point, there will be innovators and market disruptors. I think it's important that people know that whatever decision they make today, they should be prepared to change that decision when the technology changes because we've both seen it. Vendors, they make it, they get their market share, their product becomes kind of a cash cow and they don't really have incentive to change anything. Why spend that money in R&D when you can just put it toward the bottom line, right?"

Chet Hilton:                        22:28        "Yeah."

Dave Webb:                          22:28         "How often do you guys see changes like that trying to happen? I guess with a CICD vendor is one example of that. "

Chet Hilton:                        22:36        "It's hard to see that you're going to need these and a poor pickup front, especially in those small companies where they get to make the decision because sometimes something is better than nothing rig but I would say, especially in the CRM space which I live in, it's important to understand that all the decisions that you're making is ultimately impacting your customer's experience. How easy is it for them to get a hold of you? Do you offer a multi-channel approach, whether it's phone calls, live chat,  Instagram, Twitter, et cetera. And so just recognize that those are areas that are going to impact your customer's experience that once you start to get embedded and you migrate again, that's where your sunk costs, lost costs comes in to migrating from system, made a system. B2B will enable some of those features. And so it's worth looking into for sure. I would say to the second part of your question, how do you deal with kind of an evolving kind of customer base and an evolving vendor situation. They're going to constantly evolve and in quite frankly, if you do the things that we talked about earlier the right way, you want them to involve to evolve. Investments that they make benefit you. So, just in the last couple of months, our CRM vendor has purchased a giant software, a data analytics company, and they've also purchased a pretty great mapping software, right. We now get the instant benefit of having investments made into connecting those two that would have been our investments. Let's say we had both of these systems and we wanted them to integrate into our CRM. Well guess what? That would have been investment in data integration that we would have had to have made that  they're making now. And so, being connected to the groups that are investing their money into their platform, whether it's through acquisition or building their current platform is critical. And you can tell that. One of the early questions that we ask is where are you making your investments? And if you don't see a track record of meaningful releases that are worth, you can tell. So if someone's adding fields, someone's adding data, that's one thing. If people are buying companies and they're adding, you know, gigantic modules, it takes a lot of investment. So, we like to be with the folks that are doing it. I think in pre-sales, you can start to tease out who's making investments into their platform, who's getting capital from third parties to continue to grow, and those that are not,  and there are a lot of big name companies out there that are trying to ride out kind of an initial acquisition that they made that they never really invested in. Those are companies you need to be wary of for sure. "

Dave Webb:                         25:14           "You reminded me of some of my favorite questions during pre-sales, release notes. Let everybody know what release notes are and what they can tell you about a company. "

Chet Hilton:                        25:24           "Yeah. So, ironically, release notes are usually developed by the product owner of the actual company. So, any major company will have people that are responsible for different parts of the software technology and every release, they'll release their release notes. You always know a good product if you have extremely detailed and accurate release notes that have a lot of features that are coming out of them. The favorite vendors are asking for their last two or three releases and you ask for the release notes and they don't have any, mainly because that means that there were some bug fixes that they put in maybe and that was about it. So, yeah, so release notes is a big thing. We actually go over release notes quite extensively on our new platform and existing because there're features that there could be big problems within our business that we know we need to solve, that the vendor that we're working with doesn't know that they're problems, and through our release notes, we're able to identify those and take advantage of that. And in some cases, that leads to higher investment if we're big enough customer into their platform knowing that's starting  to gain some knowledge and some traction for them."

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Dave Webb:                         26:39           "On that same trajectory, maybe educate our listeners on what  a software roadmap is and what that can also tell you."

Chet Hilton:                       26:45           "Yeah, so software roadmap is pretty critical in particular as you're in pre-sales and you're starting to understand, where they want to take the product. For us as a distributor, we always asked the question, what does your roadmap look like? Because that really informs how much customization we will need to consider or if we wait. And in more cases than not, we'll typically wait for them to create that than us to engage and trying to build that. A concrete example is our CPQ vendor right now, we've been highly engaged in and Con CPQ stands for configure price quote. It's kind of how people generate quotes to customers. They have some things on their roadmap that we've literally been waiting for for a year. And so we're active on their customer advisory board. We're active in making sure that those features get prioritized, and those are things we chose to work around the software and not actually build ourselves knowing that it's going to be much more benefit and thoughts that go into , what is the design? What's the color scheme? How do users interact with it? That UI,UX, we don't do that. We sell prescription pills to pharmacies. That's our business. We're not into software development. We do administer software and we develop software, but we're not going to invest near enough money as they will in that kind of thing. So, yeah, product roadmaps are critical. Everybody has them. And again, kind of go into the release notes, a conversation you're going to be able to really understand how they're investing in their platform by seeing kind of the aggressive nature of their product roadmap, and that can give you some confidence as to what this company is doing with their product as you're evaluating them."

Dave Webb:                         28:27         "Well, I guess we already talked about customization. I'll just note that in my experience there's some companies that don't even offer customization. It doesn't matter if you're McKesson or if you're Bill's Pool Service. Some of them just tell you, sorry, this is what we have, take it or leave it. So if you think you're going to need customization, it's important to find a platform that will not only listen to you, but enable you to pay for it if you need it."

Chet Hilton:                      28:50           "That's so funny you mentioned that because when I first left the sales arena and got into into I.T and started doing custom development, I was at dream force event and one of their CIO's of one of their clouds. He and I were talking in between and he goes. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen and this is a very humble technology, just a great human being. You could just tell by his countenance. He was, obviously as a CIO is talking to me, would give you some level of humility being able to kind of slum with me, but as we were talking, he goes, 'I've never really understood why we as a company open up our platform for custom development and then charge consulting fees to help people get out of that cuts and development.'  He's like, "it just doesn't make any sense to me.' And there was this very intelligent, very academic, technologist that just couldn't make sense of those two things. Not recognizing how much money was involved probably in both of those. But I think you're absolutely right. There are companies who believe so strongly in that, that they don't even allow it. And a great example of that is Workday. Workday's an HR platform that does a fantastic job of managing kind of the HR workflows for all size companies. And they don't allow custom development on their platform, and if they have it, great. If they don't, they don't. And so what that had us do is really start to think, okay, well if we have business needs that need to happen, what's our strategy? And we're putting  together  a strategy right now  if it doesn't natively go into Workday, it goes into another platform. And then if it truly needs to be customization, well then we put it into one of our cloud partners.  So, I think having those vendors is a great thing because your TCO long-term is your total cost of ownership long-term is extremely inexpensive because you're not allowing yourself to have a business partner or some powerful person in the organization say although I've never done software development, I am not a UiO expert.  I think this has to be this way and then everybody goes and does it and not knowing kind of what the cost is five years down the road when that platform evolves and you have to rewrite or rebuild that."

Dave Webb:                       31:07           "Let's talk about transparency with availability and up-time.  Because this is kind of  like a religious topic. Some executives would be like why would we tell anybody our system was down? And other ones were like why wouldn't we? We want them to trust us. I think you may agree with me  that it's a red flag if you ask anybody what their up- time is and they tell you it's 100% without taking a breath because you and I both know how expensive it is to just to get three or four nines much less two nine. So how important is  the transparency of the platform when it's not running as expected and knowing what they're doing to mitigate those issues?"

 Chet Hilton:                    31:44            "We like others would probably run away from  anybody who claims they have a 100% up-time. And so I would say the conversation really isn't around up-time. It's what are you going to do when it's not up? And in those where our conversations really come and we'll ask people whether it's a proactive or reactive and measure them off of that. So, if my users know before you do, that's a problem. There're plenty of software out there that will tell you when integration connections fail, when you have poor ports, when you have issues where you can't get connectivity to whatever services that you have. And if I have to report it and you say, "Oh, well, you know, we didn't know we had an outage," that's a bad sign. And I think overall, no one can predict and prevent an outage, but you can make sure that that same outage never happens again. And in a case for McKesson, RDCs are critical for our survival. So we ship just over 3 million packages a day. And to your point earlier, Dave, we serve the healthcare community and we aren't shipping our packages aren't getting to customers or patients that need them. We have a saying in our DC's, it says it's not a package, it's a patient. So we take our up time for our DC's extremely seriously to the point where we have triple redundancies on just our internet service provider. And so it's not uncommon for any McKesson DC to have 2  AT&T and Comcast redundancies, but then have a completely wireless option in case someone goes and cuts every cord in the city, that's great. We're still going to the wireless option. So, I think that kind of holds true to everybody. RDC's till go down for other reasons but the reality is we would feel comfortable showing a customer, look at our DC, look at all the redundancies. We've had so many that happened and we've learned from them. And I think for any software vendor, we want to see the same thing. Recognize that there's going to be outages, recognize that you need to cover those as quick as you can. Communicate to us proactively and you'll be surprised how patient customers are. We are incredibly understanding because we would have the same issues, we run on the same technologies in a lot of cases. But overall, having a good partner rather than a good number is way more important to us."

Dave Webb:                      34:05          "I agree, and a new business owner is going to quickly find out that they're the middleman between their customer and their vendor and they're getting pulled in both directions. And your customer will be patient if you can tell them what's wrong and what you're doing about it. In your case, sorry it hasn't shipped yet, it'll shut by five and you'll still get it tomorrow. We're upgrading the shipping or something to that effect. But you can't know that unless you're getting good information from your vendor about when their platform's going to be back available, because if it's not available by five, you can't ship by five. Knowing that the vendor is honest and transparent, acknowledges that we're dealing with computers, programmed by humans, lots of variables, lots of fallible entities there. It's going to happen. That's some great information, Chet. I really appreciate that."

Sound      :                    34:50

Dave Webb:                       34:51      "I'd like to kind of shift gears a little bit toward the startup, again. Everything we've talked about has kind of an enterprise level as an enterprise example, but those things really are important when you're starting your business and one of the things that dawned on me is that 20 years ago, if you wanted to start a business, you didn't have to know anything about technology in order to do that. You could just get around to it when you wanted to, but now if you're going to connect with your customers, your customers are all on technology platforms, mobile and desktop. I have a list here of of some of the common areas that a new business might want to look at for software services for their company before even opening doors.  We have communications, hiring, payroll, accounting, project management, customer relationship, marketing and email marketing, file sharing, backup recovery and social media management. Those are just the 10 that I thought of in my preparation for this interview. Are there any other critical ones that you can think of and if you were to order those, maybe like top three. What three would you need to do? Because sometimes the first one you pick makes the second and third one easier and those second, third ones make the rest of them easier."

Chet Hilton:                      36:10        "Yeah, so depends on the kind of the company that you have. I think that, I don't know if you had operations on there, any kind of operational software, but if you're anybody who delivers something on Amazon, that's critical,. A lot of small companies are starting up and using Amazon in the marketplace and the hard thing, and so I would put operation at number one. Because whether you're delivering a software to somebody, you need to be able to package and ship that quote and quote, whether you're starting a small business on Amazon, whatever it is, there's operational efficiencies that people want to know. We're in a B2B space where we sell to other businesses, but the market expects a B2C experience and that is the hardest and most expensive experience to replicate.  And so if you think about the tolerance of a consumer now to wait for your package and not know exactly when it's going to be there, there's no tolerance for that anymore. So you can go around and plug that use ship 95% next day or two day, it doesn't matter. If someone can't physically see that UPS has picked it up, that it made it to their sort facility in wherever, that it's on its way to your city, that it's out for delivery, that's not going to be something that people will stand for. And so I would say that that's probably number one, just because the market has kind of adopted that, and whether you're selling B2B or B2C, customers expect that period. I would say from there, I've seen a lot of companies that have done a really good job managing their customer base by nothing but having an integrated approach to CRM and marketing  and there are even in our employee experience. So to be able to have a great company, you have to have great employees, and so HR software is critical. People need to know what are the benefits, be able to communicate and collaborate across that environment and then when those people are happy, then they create an experience for your customers that are also great. I also think going back to kind of, if you don't have a really solid employee and customer software, it's going to make your business more expensive. And the reason why I think one of the stats that we saw when Instagram was bought by Facebook, I think they had a total of seven employees. They were geniuses at how they set up their platform. So they didn't need a lot of overhead because they were able to leverage really well thought out marketing really well thought out HR platforms to be able to address however many millions of users that they had with a simple flexible platform. In absence of that, you as businesses need to, as growing businesses, you need to be able to quickly solve problems, and a lot of ways you do that is with head count. And so, really well thought out organized plan of kind of how you want your employee experience and how you want your customer experience to be, to me, are the two that follow up after after the operations."

Dave Webb:                        39:02      "Just to clarify operations, maybe another name for that as point of sale, cashflow."

Chet Hilton:                      39:08       "Yeah, exactly."

Dave Webb:                        39:09       "No cash, no."

Chet Hilton:                      39:10      "Nobody wins."

Dave Webb:                        39:11     "Yeah. You're not going to have anything left to pick any of the other systems."

Chet Hilton:                       39:15     "And you see that a lot, nowadays where any service that you tap, I mean you just look at the simplicity of Uber or Lyme or one of those new contemporary companies. I mean all I needed to do for Lyme to sign up was a phone number and a credit card. They don't even care who I am, you know what I mean? And that's rare because there's usually like, what's your address? Like why does Uber need to know my address for? You know what I mean? So those I think are kind of showing kind of what that experience should be based on some of those new companies that popped up."

Dave Webb:                        39:45     "And you kind of said in the beginning, it depends on the business. If you're a staffing firm or a recruiter, you want to get an applicant tracking system first. If you are an accountant, you probably need to get your software to interface with the IRS and your credentials and your platform to share QuickBooks files and zero files with your customers. And I would add for the small business, if you're picking these platforms and you're working with a professional organization like a CPA, ask them what they recommend. You'd be surprised how much time they can spend you and that saves you money. And then if you're paying them by the hour, when April rolls around, you're going to save even more. You've been doing this a long time. What's your best vendor experience? Like your number one vendor you ever worked with?"

Chet Hilton:                       40:26    "Like a lot of experiences based on who you work with, right? So your  neighbor experience has less to do with where you live and who you live next to it, and those people are really the key that to have it. I would say the best vendor experience I had was where we were buying our CPQ,  a cost price quote, contract price quote. And the reason why that was so good is because we sat down initially and did a discovery and everything that we shared with these individual was red and reflected back almost perfectly. And so I can't tell you how much time we spend trying to help others, educate them on our business and for us to really have a true person who paid attention to what we were saying and asked the right qualifying questions then came back and kind of was able to articulate the solution to kind of our needs was, was pretty powerful. And so that process went extremely well.  Obviously the sales starts with myself and then as I got our CIO involved and others involved to kind of vet that out, there was an aura of confidence around knowing that they understood our business and had confidence that the pieces of their solution that they were offering truly were solving our problems. And so, that was a great experience. Those to me are not selling cycles. Those are solutioning where we're truly matching kind of how our business runs with the capabilities that exist on the platform, and that's just finding a good match. You started to get into kind of more of the traditional selling when you have people that are trying to either don't understand your business or trying to fit kind of the proverbial, square peg in a round hole.  And so when those things all go well, when there's a clear understanding of what our needs are, a clear understanding of their technology, being very crisp on where those things kind of come together, makes a really easy process, not only for the vendor but also myself and really gives everybody confidence that we did pick the right solution because ultimately nobody wants to feel next day that they made a poor decision.  And so, that particular situation was one that I remember as being a real positive experience."

Dave Webb:                        42:38      "It sounds like a vendor that listens to you is a really good positive sign. We've talked about some red flags being they promise you everything you asked for. They promise it in a timeline that you know is not humanly possible. You just get that feeling that you're getting sold something instead of a partnership is being formed. So without throwing anybody under the bus, tell me your worst vendor experience and maybe looking back now where you should have exited before you did and maybe save somebody some headaches?"

Chet Hilton:                      43:09       "I'll give you one specific example, but overall, when people don't do their research and they don't target you for a specific reason, that's probably my most frustrating overall. I have a vendor that's reaches out to me on LinkedIn almost once a month telling me that I can buy fantastic packages to the masters in the Superbowl and not knowing that it's illegal for me to offer any of my customers, physicians, anything like that under the sunshine act. We just can't do that. And so that's somebody who had, I would love for someone to look and say, hey, this person works in McKesson, they're in the healthcare space, there's no way they could offer this. This is not a good target.  So I would say overall people that do their research and say, hey, listen, like I understand McKesson, I understand your business, this is why I think this is important to you. I'm interested, I respect that and I want to make sure I give them the same amount of time that they've spent on researching me and kind of my role in McKesson. So that's kind number one. My worst vendor story by far is Amazon as great as they are, as growing to be one of our faster growing competitors. And so they've made some big acquisitions. They've declared kind of their entry into the healthcare space. They're clearly a distribution company and so we've had our eye on them both as a potential partner and a competitor but a couple of years ago when they were more in the competitor space than they maybe are today, there was a vendor that came in who had built their services on AWS, and obviously that's a big a challenge for us from a privacy perspective and just, like there're a lot of partners out there. It's probably not one that we want to be focused on for all the reasons that I had mentioned but as I had prepped this customer, and this is one of our key vendors  and this vendor came in, they brought in kind of their big closer, if you will. And he was at an onsite meeting in another one of our locations, and he's goes on probably about a, not exaggerating, probably 20 minute monologue on all the benefits and features of AWS in this solution that they were selling us. And I was there on my phone texting my key account rep saying like, literally, you someone do something to this person like now because getting a meeting with senior executives, especially our CIO is a lot of work for me too. So I just don't call someone and say, hey, you should join up to this. You basically have zero hours available in your day, but I need one of them just because, just trust me, I mean there's a lot of internal selling and a lot of strategy, organization, budgeting. I mean, as you had mentioned before, big companies have a lot of top down and bottom up. So for us to kind of get to the apex of a decision and then have this individual go blasting off on how great our competitor was and how much we should be excited to give them more money to fight against us. I mean, it was a pretty awkward situation. And after that meeting was over, I'm just like he's like, I don't know what the big deal is. I'm like, go google something. You know what I mean? Like google what markets they're entering and see if any light bulb goes off.  So yeah, we've had our gambit, but a lot of it comes around just an understanding who we are and if you're not willing to put forth that effort, and we do a lot of vetting and, but a lot of companies will, and this is the other thing that I think is important, the way that software selling model works now is they will employ somebody who kind of shoots a cast net to try to get anybody to respond to them. And those people usually will take time to understand and listen to you and they're about your key point of contact, but once a meeting happens or then they bring in the big ringer. The experience software enterprise guy who comes in and literally almost blows it every time and it's too bad because we've probably lost more opportunities to work with smaller companies because of that model where they want to bring in the ringer. The ringer usually got a pretty strong confidence about themselves and, comes in and just kind of gives their typical pitch and misses the Mark 9 times out of 10."

Dave Webb:                       47:17      "My favorite answer to get when I'm evaluating vendors is, I don't know because that tells me they're humble enough to admit that they have a little bit more work to do and they're willing to go figure it out because we might not be a match. And the sooner both parties identify that, the more time you can save, right.  Because if it's not a match and you get to the point where you're doing business, it's going to eventually bubble up. Nobody wins really."

Chet Hilton                     47:40     "Right, and in the markets that we're in, I mean these are long-term relationships you're going after, and so find those that you know that your software is going to solve problems for and target those. And maybe your pipeline is only 10 people strong but do you know that those 10 people, if they become customers, if they listen to what you have to say, you know those 10 people are going to be interested and you know that they're going to be customers and better yet to one of your earlier points, they're going to be customers that reach out to their friends in similar markets, in similar roles and tell you how great that platform is. And so, that's a far better way to start to grow a business with a passionate group of customers than trying to manage the fires of some happy, some aren't because you recognize even when you went into it that they're not a match, and you're trying to again, make that square peg fit in a round hole."

Dave Webb:                      48:33      "Okay, so what have we learned today? Choosing software is vitally important for your business, whether you're starting up or you work at a large established enterprise like McKesson and Chet is an expert at that and more importantly, the choosing software is have the right people in place to begin with to use that software. Be aware of them and their skills and how changing software impacts them because you could lose them as employees. We could lose a lot of money retraining someone instead of just finding the right software in the first place or making a slight adjustment to your business process. At the same time, the software functionality is just as important as the software vendor. Find you a good vendor, find a vendor with good references with a great track record, and I'm not saying choose a company that's been around a long time. Some of the worst vendors I've ever worked with big household names that you see on the NASDAQ and that you hear about on the evening news. Find a company with good leadership. Find a company with a good product and chances are that company will be successful and they'll help you be successful by using their software."

Music:                         49:39

Dave Webb:                     49:40             " Alright Chet, what was your most awkward interview ever and why?"

Chet Hilton:                  49:44        "I would say my most awkward interview was when I, this is I'm going, I'm dating myself. I interviewed to be a a nursing assistant way back in the day when I was in high school to work at a nursing home, and I went into filled an application and when I did it, the person says, hey, we're actually doing an interview with you right now. I'm like, what? And so it was awkward because I was in high school, I was in a t-shirt after football practice and flip flops and was interviewing for a job with an executive director of a nursing home. And so that was by far the most, I would just red the entire time because I was so embarrassed to be interviewing in front of this guy. I wind up getting the job mainly because I think my size and I was able to lift really large residents but overall that was by far one that I'll never forget."

Dave Webb:                    50:40         "If you could just give three pieces of advice to someone starting a business and choosing that technology platform, what would those three things be?"

Chet Hilton:                  50:47         "Find a technology on where you want your business to be in three years and not for the problem you're trying to solve today-that's number one. If you expect your base to go from zero to 10,000 in three years, then pick a software that's going to be able to manage 10,000 users easily and efficiently as it's going to do one.  Number two, don't throw people at a problem that technology can solve. So people are always going to be more expensive than technology and there's likely something out there that someone has already built to be able to take advantage of rather than to you hire people to do manual processes. And number three I would say make sure you're partnering with those companies who have maturity in their software and also maturity in their marketplace. Again, your biggest efficiency is going to be borrowing and stealing from those who have already built and gone through the ups and downs of product refinement and product development. Take advantage of that. Pay the small price to be able to be a user of that rather than paying the larger price and be an innovator of that. And so, those are the three things I would definitely encourage small businesses to do is really don't solve the problem now, think forward."

Dave Webb:                   51:54           "Since McKesson is the biggest company we've never heard of, if someone is interested in learning more about McKesson, jobs at McKesson, what McKesson does for the community and for healthcare providers, how can they find out about McKesson?"

Chet Hilton:                  52:08          "McKesson is where all of our jobs and all the things, investments that we're making, including McKesson foundation for combating a lot of different issues that we have in the United States today is available. We're also pretty big in the cancer footprint. We have a lot of different programs to locally to kind of help cancer patients. We put together a lot of kits and provide a lot of services to cancer patients. And so there's a lot of stuff that we're doing to the community to help out with that. For me personally, I'm on LinkedIn and then I would, and part of my final words, I would also say that people should engage with those who reach out to them on LinkedIn. Whether they're new at selling, whether they want you as a customer, whether they're, whatever it is. I think there's a subtle arrogance if you will, when someone reaches out to you that you can just tell them no. I always take any requests that comes to me on LinkedIn. I'm interested in your software. I mentioned that in the technology, I mentioned learning about kind of how you think the market's changing to be able to make money because that's going to impact me. And so I always look at people that reach out as an opportunity for me to learn and I would encourage everybody else to do the same."

Dave Webb:                   53:19          "That does it for this episode of RecruiterCast. I'd like to thank Chet Hilton for joining us today and sharing his knowledge. Software is key, but so is the human side. You have to understand both for success. Remember to hit us up on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook @RecruiterCast. The almighty website is also there for you., submit questions, requests guests, order some food, okay, don't do that, it will never get there, but you get my point. You can always call us as well."

Female speaker:              53:49      "(904) 525-8134."

Dave Webb:                   53:53     "As always, thank you for listening and I'm your host, Dave Webb. Happy recruiting. RecruiterCast is an original production produced and recorded in St. Augustine beach, Florida, and is hosted by me, Dave Webb.  Our executive producers are Andrew Seward and Heidi green. Original music by Dave Webb and Andrew Seward."


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