Chad-WrightSometimes, a customer leads a company into new territory.  In this case, a dozen Rootstock customers did just that.  Welcome our guest blogger Chad Wright, CIO at Boston Dynamics, Rootstock Manufacturing ERP user and Chair of the Root Group User Group.    

Last year, I was invited to attend the inauguralRooted-In in Austin, Texas – a customer success conference hosted by Rootstock.  As the CIO at Boston Dynamics, our company has been Rootstock users for more than two years now and I personally have been a part of the Rootstock Success Community since 2020.  I was looking forward to attending an event where other devotees of Rootstock would also be in attendance.   

It was during that conference that Rootstock users got together during a breakout session to talk about starting our own User Group – one that would be created, led and managed only by Rootstock users.  We talked about ways to come together as a community and began to discuss the challenges we’ve all faced. Rootstock of course agreed to become a strategic partner in solving some of these challenges too. We began to brainstorm ideas that included having ongoing meetings, peer-to-peer networking events, and continued learning opportunities.  Since I was the most vocal in getting this User Group started, I was asked by Rootstock’s CEO, David Stephens, to serve as Chair of the Advisory Board; and, before we knew it, the Root Group User Group was formed. 

I’ve always been a member of or started different user groups in my past that goes way back to my early days when I first got started in ERP.  It was a great forum to meet people, to better understand what their challenges were, and share best practices while building networks. I always thought that was a really great experience as a hands-on practitioner. As my career progressed, I started other user groups as I saw it as a truly valuable experience. So much so, that I thought it was a great thing to carry on with Rootstock.  

Since that Rooted In conference last year, The Root Group Advisory Board was formed of Rootstock users, we created a mission and a charter.  We’ve been meeting monthly since last June to make sure that the User Group is successful for everyone. It’s an amazing group of people really devoted to creating a user experience for other Rootstockers that’s rich and valuable. This group is strictly about customers – it’s people who know the tool, who have an understanding of the tool.  

During our meetings, we collaborated on goals for the user group. Some included: 

  • How would we behave and perform on behalf of Rootstock users everywhere?   
  • How do we use it as an opportunity to work directly with Product Marketing and other executive teams at Rootstock to provide meaningful feedback from their users?  
  • How do we increase our membership in the User Group and how will they contribute to the next Rooted In customer conference?  

The forum we have created with The Root Group User Group accomplishes all of these things. It’s really an exciting place to be. 

Why should you join The Root Group? 

If your role is to oversee inventory, supply chain, engineering or production with Rootstock as part of your core solution, this User Group is the key to leveraging your Manufacturing Cloud ERP on the Salesforce platform.  The Root Group User Group has members, who wear many different hats, sharing what works for them in using Rootstock.  It is really a neat way to become more proficient in Rootstock Manufacturing ERP.  

We will begin to meet virtually every quarter as a group. You won’t have to wait for a once-a-year meeting in person to collaborate and share ideas and solutions. There’s a lot that we can do virtually. Maybe, at the end of the day, it deflects a call to Rootstock if we can help one another – it ultimately is a win-win for everyone. We are using the crowd to help solve problems and become our own group of experts.   

For me, it’s also about expanding my network and getting to know some other folks that are facing the same sorts of challenges that we have here at Boston Dynamics. I’ve called people up that I’ve met and pick their brains about problems that we’re having or questions that I have about using the technology. That’s where the real value is – it’s about the relationships with people.  Sometimes, we get very, very focused on what we do every day, and we don’t get a chance to really see around the edges on what other people are doing with the same tool. The Root Group Users Group is a good way to see and participate in that. 

So, what’s next?  

Our first Root Group User Group meeting is coming up in March. As the year progresses, our advisory board will have a call for abstracts and have customers submit ideas to be presented and discussed at the next Rooted In customer conference later this year. As a customer, we believe it’s very, very valuable to have customer lead content and we’re really excited to be able to provide what the group believes is most important to Rootstock users. 

Another new initiative we implemented recently includes a “request a meeting” feature to our User Group which means that a prospective Rootstock customer can request a meeting with an existing Rootstock user.  We thought that would be an original and especially helpful feature of our User Group as we all had to go through the evaluation process at one point. And who better to talk to about Rootstock than a power user who is engaged and working with other users to get the most out of their company’s investment.  

Now is the perfect time to join the group!  Come join the discussion – I’m quite certain you’ll learn something.  And many can learn from you as well.  We’d love to get to know you and have you join us in collaborating solutions, solving problems and gather ideas for important topics to be presented at the next Rooted In.   

See you in The Root Group.