Spark Your Technology! – Bob Armbrister

“If you feel like you are behind in technology adoption, just think about why your customers choose you and get started there.” Bob Armbrister

Organizations are constantly faced with the pressure of not only delivering to their customers, but doing so in an efficient and effective manner.  As technological innovation increases, businesses get to decide the tools that can help them perform optimally and achieve their goals. Bob Armbrister has been helping businesses make viable decisions around technology, and says that when adopting new technology, stakeholder involvement is key to success.

Bob Armbrister serves as the President and CEO of SPARK Business Works, a business-first team that designs and builds custom software solutions in manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and professional services. He leans on his 15 years of executive experience to implement “The SPARK Way” – an approach of practical innovation that helps business leaders build tech that gets adopted and delivers ROI quickly. SPARK specializes in custom software, strategic design, business dashboards, and data integration. 

Bob was recently selected as a 40 Under 40 leader by the Grand Rapids Business Journal and SPARK was named to the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies and Michigan 50 Companies to Watch lists. SPARK is recognized nationally for helping firms build and adopt technology solutions that result in “practical innovation”.

In today’s episode, Bob talks about his company and how they help their clients get the best out of technology. He also discusses on the importance of considering stakeholder input when introducing changes in the organization.

Social Media Handles

  • At Spark, we helping clients, mostly in the small middle market, make good decisions around technology.
  • We also have just acquired a digital marketing agency so we can help our clients with the marketing side of their technology strategy.
  • We want to build something that’s flexible that will enable the people in my team spend as much time with their loved ones.
  • Where we really thrive with our clients is on the custom side where we build technology tools for clients to help amplify their competitive advantage.
  • We do websites, marketing automation, ecommerce among others and all of it is business focused.
  • Most technology failures occur when there’s a closed-door room when constructing software tools, and so we have adopted user centered design thinking approach when providing solutions.
  • We ask clients to tell us where they are going and why, and that’s important because they need to communicate that to their stakeholders when we’re trying to help with the roadmap.
  • We start with rolling out the minimal viable product that’s going to impact the business positively, and then iterate from that.
  • If you can bring everyone to the table early on and make them part of the process, they’re going to be promoting the project when it gets rolled out.
  • Commercial break.
  • When engaging clients who have multiple business units, it’s really about understanding the needs of all stakeholders and how to manage those needs.
  • Focusing on the end result of standardization at all costs may result in loss on the culture side.
  • You can still have all the great standardization and the benefits of one solution, but with an interface that’s specialized for the end user.
  • If you feel like you are behind in technology adoption, just think about why your customers choose you and get started there.


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