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DAP Professional Spotlight: Amanda Orlowski

DAP Professional Spotlight: Amanda Orlowski

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By Jordan Lang

Ulta Beauty is the largest beauty retailer in the United States with over 25,000 products and 44,000 employees. In order to handle their ever-growing supply line, Ulta invested in an elaborate inventory management platform that is meant to automate demand forecasting and reorders. The original system training offered to employees involved lengthy in-person sessions and a 180-page user manual that was inefficient and ineffective.

It was clear to them that something needed to be done about the outdated training process when their support tickets began to rise at an overwhelming rate. Cue Senior Training Development Specialist, Amanda Orlowski. She joined Ulta, prepared to take on the challenge of employee enablement, and was met with a toolkit she never knew existed.

Amanda led the digital adoption charge with WalkMe in hand, helping Ulta achieve a monumental drop in support tickets, a significant boost to employee satisfaction and confidence, and a projected 114% ROI! You can find out more about Ulta’s journey here.

We had the opportunity to interview Amanda regarding her experience and the unexpected (but exciting!) transition into a DAP Professional. Read on to learn about her path to helping the largest beauty retailer solve one of their largest business problems.

1. How did you become a DAP professional? And what problems were in the company that led to the creation of the DAP professional role?

Amanda: Reflecting on this, even though I didn’t have access to a DAP tool until a couple years ago, I realize I’ve been focusing on digital adoption for much longer. In a prior role, I maintained a learning management system, focusing on providing users with a highly interactive and user-friendly experience. When I joined the training team that supports the Merchandising and Inventory teams at Ulta Beauty two years ago, I hadn’t heard of the term digital adoption. Within my first few months, we had the opportunity to add WalkMe to our inventory replenishment system. Since I was responsible for inventory-related initiatives, have been in the learner role as an inventory analyst, and with my LMS system experience, it made sense for me to become a WalkMe builder.

Digital Adoption is only a portion of our team’s total training responsibilities, and we’ve been able to leverage WalkMe in conjunction with more traditional training measures. I’ve had the unique opportunity to participate in the development of in-person training sessions and leverage WalkMe to reinforce the training concepts, plus offer resources available well after the training sessions are over. I love that my role has developed into a hybrid one as both a training professional and DAP professional. My ability to think like a learner has translated well into easy-to-consume content for our users. While WalkMe was only a small portion of my role in the beginning, as we added additional systems, I have become the exclusive developer for all of our web-based WalkMe content, and it has become a larger part of my role.

2. How is DAP used at your company?

Amanda: We use DAP in so many ways! We use it to communicate with users, provide resources directly in the system, reduce the number of steps to complete tasks, and reinforce in-person training and onboarding sessions. We also leverage WalkMe to help correct issues and provide instant answers to frequent questions. What a time-saver when the only option in the past was to send an email with a question and wait for a response!

3. What have been the greatest successes in implementation and DAP usage at your company?

Amanda: Our users are in these systems every day, and we’ve been able to implement many solutions to offer an improved experience! Some of our most successful examples include:

  • Providing all resources in-system vs. the user having to leave the system to look for them
  • Onboarding tasks within the menu which reinforce in-person training sessions
  • Automating the selection of default values
  • Creating launchers that quickly take users, with one click, to screens which previously required many clicks
  • Providing guidance which the systems are incapable of giving
  • Leveraging ShoutOuts to prevent users from accessing the system while maintenance is being performed

4. What are your biggest challenges as a DAP professional?

Amanda: Some of the challenges involve getting our users to engage with and use the content we’ve created, as well as finding ways to stay creative with what we build. Personally, since I don’t have an extensive background in web design, I sometimes find it challenging that I can’t always do things as quickly as I’d like because we’re building on complex systems that may require advanced jQuery. We also have limited resources, which combined with expanding DAP quickly, require us to go wider vs. deeper. It can be tough to balance everything that needs attention while attempting to go deeper into DAP.

5. What excites you the most about being a DAP professional? 

Amanda: It’s so rewarding to build solutions I know will make life easier for our users and admins of the systems. There’s always an opportunity to learn new things, and I enjoy the puzzle of finding the right solution, designing it, and ensuring it works properly. Plus, I love data…and having access to so much through insights can help us to make better decisions and understand how users are interacting with the content.

6. How would you describe being a DAP Professional in 3 words?

Amanda: Innovator. Developer. Solutionist.

Become a DAP expert

Interested in learning more about DAP and how you can use it to help your organization? Check out the Digital Adoption Institute:

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Jordan Lang
Jordan's field experience in SaaS sales gave him the opportunity to connect first-hand with leaders of companies from a variety of ecosystems. His understanding of the challenges organizations encounter guide his ability to communicate and relate to a wide range of professional audiences.