Hadco Safety Solutions increases user adoption through easy-to-use software.
Hadco Safety Solutions was established in 2016 as an extension of Hadaway, LLC created to focus on the safety product industry. They have over 8 years of experience with more than 260 photoluminescent installations throughout the United States.
Hadco were using a large, well-known project management solution for construction industry professionals. After spending several years on that platform, they realized it was no longer a good fit, and they needed something more directly suited to their needs. Particularly the needs of their field workers who needed to use the software.
“It was simply just too expensive and too robust for what we needed,” said Charlie Hadaway, President of Hadco Safety Solutions.
“We had to change because we were paying way too much money for a bunch of stuff that we don’t need. Our guys were even experiencing it on their apps asking, ‘what are these things for, and what is all this stuff?’ [That provider] put a lot of extra stuff in their apps that just confuse people.”
“We were starting to get lost in this giant maze of software that we don’t need or don’t use.”Charles Hadaway, President of Hadco Safety Solutions
The problem was [that software] was designed for large general contractors and didn’t quite fit the needs of Hadaway’s team. “It’s fine for huge construction companies. But when you’re mowing small lawns, you don’t need a big lawn tractor,” Hadaway relates.
Over the past five years, Hadaway found that the new additions and enhancements to [their previous software] continued to cater to the large general contractor. “We were starting to get lost in this giant maze of software that we don’t need or don’t use.”
But change wouldn’t be easy. Hadaway knew their replacement software would need to meet a very specific, important set of criteria before he’d be comfortable going in a new direction for their project management needs.
“I wanted something that’s intuitive so I can bring in some new staff members and we don’t have to spend six months teaching them how to use it…”Charles Hadaway, President of Hadco Safety Solutions
Hadco’s criteria were two-fold. Their replacement software had to be intuitive and simple to learn both for newcomers, and – even more importantly – for users of their previous solution. They had to quickly see the value, and improved usability, in order to adapt to the change.
Ease of use was critical!
“I wanted something that’s intuitive so I can bring in some new staff members and we don’t have to spend six months teaching them how to use it, but I also needed eSUB to do everything that we needed it to do [compared to] what we were previously using,” Hadaway said. “The big thing for me was to make sure that when these guys are using this app, that it’s intuitive for them, and they’re able to do the things they need to do as easily as possible.”
“Let’s be honest,” Hadaway says. “My superintendents and field guys are not super tech savvy. So, they have to be able to understand it right away and find it easy to use [or they don’t want it].”
Their replacement software also needed to meet the needs of the business and do everything their previous software had been helping them address, particularly when it came to field use.
Hadaway needed it to check all those boxes, too.
“We use a lot of the field notes,” Hadaway explains. “They’re taking pictures, and they’re filling out daily reports with it. They needed to be able to clock in clock out, take breaks, so the time app works really well. That was important for me back here in the back office, trying to make sure they had what they needed, and that I got what I needed – all those things associated with the cost of the job.”
One of the challenges was getting his team to accept the value in making a change and asking people to learn new software. It’s hard enough to get teams to buy-in to using software when it’s brand new to a company. But it can be even more difficult when asking them to change from one software they’ve already learned and use another.
According to Hadaway, this was another situation where ease of use was so important.
“I spent a lot of time teaching them [our previous software] so the natural question was ‘why are you changing this?’ We had to show it would be easier. But when we went over the mobile app, they actually found it easier to use than [the old software]. So that was a win.”
Hadaway, like a lot of construction executives, understands the challenges people in his role face when it comes to getting crews to adopt technology.
“Everybody knows in the construction industry that the people in the field think that all of us back here in the office just sit around in their ivory tower and bark out orders, reading blueprints made by an architect who also sits in another office and doesn’t understand real world issues,” Hadaway jokes.
There’s an ingrained sense of skepticism with field workers when it comes to why The Office requires software and apps to track job site work and progress.
“It’s always been that way and always will be. So, when we come in and offer technology, really all they’re thinking is ‘Oh, so this is making your job in the office even easier, and we have to take pictures and do all other this stuff.”
“…we’re paying way too much money for a bunch of stuff that we don’t need.”Charles Hadaway, President of Hadco Safety Solutions
The key, he says, is demonstrating that making a change is for their benefit as much as anyone else’s.
“I know I had you on [another system] before and here are the reasons that we changed. We had to change because we’re paying way too much money for a bunch of stuff that we don’t need,” Hadaway says. “And they even experienced it the app, too. They’d ask ‘what are these things for? What is all this stuff?’ so they recognized that on some level.”
Rather than having extra features in the interface that confused his users, Hadaway appreciated that the eSUB app was so focused on functions his related to the things his crew needed to do.
“They get the ease of use, and they see the benefit of using [eSUB] as a way of helping them be more productive while worrying less about annoying things that come up on job sites,” Hadaway says.
“This is for us.”Charles Hadaway, President of Hadco Safety Solutions
“When they’re doing daily reports they understand now that if you take a picture of the issues you’re seeing in real time, it makes it really easy for us to deal with project managers on site,” Hadaway explains. “Like if you have scaffolding in the stairwells and you can’t put your stuff down, take a picture of the scaffolding, and I can get that taken care of for you and you don’t even have to worry about it. You just keep on working.”
“When they started to understand that it would actually benefit them, they were on board. Alright, we can do this. This is for us.”
According to Hadaway, the choice to move to eSUB had a lot to do with understanding the needs of folks in the construction business.
“A lot of companies out there build software but are not construction people,” Hadaway said. “They’re good software builders. But they don’t understand the construction concept. [eSUB] understands what we’re trying to do here.”
“This would be the only other software that I would ever consider. I’ve looked at AutoCAD, I looked at Autodesk Build… all of these other things, but they’re too complicated. They lack usable, basic features, like construction people need now,” Hadaway said. “If everybody has a construction science degree, along with a software degree, you know, and they’re just sitting in an office then it’s fine, but the user experience needs to be easy for construction workers in the field.”
And that’s why Hadaway appreciates eSUB.