Industry: Manufacturing

Lowe’s Integration Success: How Digibee Transformed Shipping

Interview with Duncan McFadden, enterprise platform support for ServiceNow at Lowe’s, discussing how Digibee’s iPaaS transformed their shipping logistics.

In this episode of “Integration. Redesigned.,” our host, Digibee’s Chief Marketing Officer Cait Porte, interviewed Duncan McFadden, enterprise platform support for ServiceNow at Lowe’s (sometimes incorrectly referred to as Lowes), to discuss how Digibee’s iPaaS transformed their shipping logistics. By partnering with Digibee and implementing a modern shipping integration solution, Lowe’s saw improvements in error monitoring, logging, and email notifications, resulting overall in better performance and reduced manual efforts. Duncan also expressed his intention to utilize Digibee for future projects, particularly in inventory and asset management, which are crucial aspects of Lowe’s operations.

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Full transcript


Hello and welcome back to integration. Redesigned. I’m your host, Cait Porte, and in this episode,I am joined by Duncan from Lowe’s. Duncan, welcome.


Thank you, guys.


Duncan, we’ve worked together now with Lowe’s for a little while. Why don’t you tell everybody what your role there is over at Lowe’s?


So. My name is Duncan McFadden. I handle enterprise platform support for ServiceNow. I’ve been doing it for roughly four to five years now. Whether it’s been from just handling enhancements and defects to now more handling the actual platform itself from like, license structure, platform upgrades, and all that kind of support.


So Duncan, thank you for joining us. Tell me what prompted Lowe’s, when you think about how Lowe’s is working with ServiceNow and integration, but what prompted you to look for an integration solution?


So at the time, we were just about to start working a defect related to all of our shipping integrations, where a lot of stuff was just getting like, random errors. At the time, we weren’t really logging anything just because we had nothing really set up from IT, at least from that background. Honestly, we weren’t really looking for an integration solution. It just happened to be due to the friendship of other individuals that they started working for Digibee. And we were able to look at that solution holistically and start to work something together. 


So tell me a little bit more about this shipping situation. We know that Lowe’s provides amazing customer service. I’m a Lowe’s customer. There’s one around the corner that I hate to admit that I frequent so often. We’re always doing home projects, but when you think about this from a consumer standpoint, obviously we care about shipping notifications, but was there an impact to consumer behavior here or was this primarily internal logistics? What was going on? 


So this would be just internal logistics. Related to movement of IT equipment. So when you think about, let’s say, like, the phones, like, your signature captures that obviously you’re doing your payment methods through, any of those kind of items where we’re moving stuff. It’s a different FedEx account than what you’d see from like a consumer level. So, we’re just not sure if there was like a disconnect there. But we were using kind of like. An old version of their integrations, which was like soap based. Granted, again, it was built in 2017, but obviously Digibee was able to help us move to a more modern solution of the shipping integration.


It’s interesting to hear 2017 referenced as, like, a long time ago, but you think about technology changing every day and new things coming out. We want to have our companies on the latest and greatest of technologies without the legacy holding us back. When you think about before and after and what the outcome was in using Digibee to power these integrations, what are you seeing now as a result of that implementation?


So, I think in the past we could say there was at least a 5% to 10% plus disconnect when it comes to sometimes showing like delivered statuses. Sometimes, I mean, the status would not even show anything. It would just show that the tracking was just sitting there, doing nothing. One, we’re seeing those, from like a logging perspective a lot better, because obviously you can see logs tremendously better when it comes to Digibee’s platform. As well as making sure we know that those alerts are happening. So obviously all that stuff is being sent back to our platform and we’re able to see some of that stuff through email notifications. It does seem that we’re getting a better, or at least a lower rate, of issues. I would still say there’s probably like a 2% when it comes to –  but I want to say this is more like a FedEx-related question. But yeah, it’s definitely working a lot better. Again, obviously to speed to market of not having to do some of these extra logging tables and doing some of that extra work just to be done from our side was nice. And yeah, I mean, the tool is really easy to show someone what’s going on.


I love there were two things that you referenced there. One of the things that we talk about is the ability to drive down your backlog. So Duncan, has there been anything that you’ve been able to see as an output now that you’re no longer worried about this shipping situation where, “hey, yeah, those notifications are going out, we’re not seeing as many errors. I don’t have to react to feedback or questions or monitoring or issues.” 

Is there anything now that you’re able to get to as a result? Has that been something that’s come as a result?


Yes! So, while we were working this with you guys, I was actually doing some other enhancements when it came to some parts of shipping and receiving. And I guess an example would be at the time someone had to manually receive stuff, right. Because we’re concerned with obviously that delivered status being correct at the time with the old integration. So, someone was manually receiving product to actually show the movement of assets to the stores. So, obviously this is more like a holistic asset management approach. But, with that, right, now that we know that the delivered

status is a little bit more refined and able to be known that it’s correct, we moved everything to be back to automatic receiving. So, obviously you’re taking – I think we took about three users off of manually receiving stuff. When you look at the hours of time spent per year, something like they were wasting probably like $15K-$18K on it per year. I mean, granted, this is just hour based, but that alone, right? I mean, that speaks volumes. How quick – while you guys were doing the integration, I’m obviously doing other work and we’re able to just push out more stuff together that way.


Yeah, I’ve talked about this a lot on the podcast is my background is in product and product management, and so I have a soft spot for the ability to get more work done, particularly for development, because you can then say, “hey, we’re going to focus on these really crucial, more innovative things, so that’s because we have this ability unlocked,” right? So it’s not to say you no longer need those three individuals or that your time is no longer needed related to this integration, you just can now focus those resources on other more crucial things. It sounds like. 

You also mentioned that the platform allows for more visibility. Can you tell me about what you’re showing and who you’re showing it to? You referenced that earlier.


Yeah. So currently it’s really more like a reference point to only me and one other individual, but it’s more just being able to see those logs. With a lot of your more traditional, say, like, platforms as a service, you’re not going to have that much built when it comes to logging, out of the box. Without having to really stand up a good enterprise logging solution at that point. And then obviously, you run into a lot of factors of how big those tables become? How do we make sure security around some

of that stuff? So, actually just having it within Digibee and being able to see it easily and quickly for whatever request I want to look at does make things a lot easier. Right? Because obviously we know where the errors are. They’re going to be bucketed to wherever they are, and then we can just work to fix those issues really quickly.


Duncan, you’re referencing a number of things that we’ve talked about. 

Has the ability or the usage of Digibee now highlighted, “hey, I can use this in other areas?” Are there things where you’re saying, “hey, there’s this opportunity that exists at Lowe’s, or I see this challenge, or this problem, or this service is falling down where I can now insert Digibee?” 

And maybe you can talk a little bit about what you’ve seen as a result of the ease of use that we’ve talked about so far.


Oh, definitely! From our side, right, we’re just kind of on a hold when it comes to some integrations. But, I definitely will be using Digibee for the future. I could definitely say we’re going to be working on a pretty big project here soon related to some other kind of forms of inventory and asset management. But, when you think about inventory and asset management, that spans very large. When it comes to Lowe’s, and I mean all companies, right, they’re going to care about their inventory and asset management a lot.


Inventory and asset management not only matters for the consumer, matters for the business. What do we have? How much room do we have? How do we think about what’s coming in and what’s going out? Especially when you’re talking about big physical products used for home improvement. So, all that space really matters when it comes to laying out your store, thinking about your trucking, and anything that’s getting from point A to point B being available for the consumer. So, I could imagine that there’s a ton on your plate, potentially, for how can I use this technology to improve some of that or to optimize what we’re doing today?


Absolutely. Yeah. There’s such small things that most people don’t think about asset management that it adds up really quickly. When you start looking at like, dollar amounts, it’s very crucial to keep it in check, I’ve learned.


Are you looking at a lot of the dollar amounts related to the work that you’re doing or having an impact on? Is that a part of your role?


It is now, yes. We are looking to kind of watch what’s the difference between efficiency gains or if we can kind of move some of our – because we track, obviously, the amount of hours for certain work – so we’re going to track against efficiency gain, whatever, like CPECs and OPECs for a lot of stuff. So, it is a very big thing to my new team. I will say that at least the ServiceNow space has moved around to different departments and now it is kind of like a bigger focus.


Did you look at any other iPaaS solutions as you were evaluating and trying to solve this problem?


I personally did not. I, again, was very trusting of the individuals that I did work with with Digibee, and did take everything from what they said. And I mean, it worked exactly as we wanted, so there’s really no real reason to look for a different solution at the time.


Well, we love to hear that, right? We’re very happy that Digibee is having an impact on what you’re doing at the business. Duncan, thank you so much for spending time with me today. 

For everyone joining us, thank you so much for joining. It’s been a pleasure. Again, my name is Cait. This is integration. Redesigned. Brought to you by Digibee. And thanks for joining me.

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