Part 5 of the five-part series “Designing Resilient Distribution Networks“
Once you have carefully designed and tested your new processes and modelled them in the system, your next focus should be change management. Indeed, knowing how things should be done is one thing, but what to do when they don’t?
Communications directed to your users should address not only how to transfer your equipment, the systems steps, the clicks and approvals, but also what the system expects to receive in terms of data. Provide a high-level understanding of what the system will do with data and who to turn to when this data is wrong, incomplete, or simply absent. In other words, rather than only focusing on how the system will work, you need to get your end users focused on what they can do when the process does not seem to work.
Hence, when entering the preparatory phase of your deployment of each new process, address the following key questions with your users:
- What can go wrong?
- How can it go wrong?
- When can it go wrong?
- Who can fix it?
- How will they fix it?
These questions should result in a two-way communication where the system, along with its possibilities and its limitations, are presented in a transparent way so that end users have a chance to identify the roadblocks. Such communication must happen early in the design process to avoid spending unnecessary time on features that will end up being useless (such as reports focusing on transactions going through and not providing hints of root causes on transactions being blocked) or detrimental to operations (such as preventing users from doing specific types of transactions in order to limit the company exposure).
Transparency is the key to ensure collaboration from end users in making the process work while maintaining as many checks and balances that can be allowed to automate compliance.
There are various options available for organizations looking to move from a legacy supply chain to a best-practice-oriented, resilient supply chain. The key to success for this transformation is to ensure that the supply chain strategy is well-defined and best practices are incorporated into the strategy before being translated into a systems environment. One of the most common reasons ERP projects fail is the lack of a well-thought-out change management program running in parallel to the transformation program itself. Therefore, it’s key that change management does not come in as an afterthought, but is included within the core program itself.
This five-part series, “Designing Resilient Distribution Networks,” focuses on five key aspects that new age distribution networks should essentially incorporate. Bookmark the series page and catch up on any blogs you may have missed.