Supply Chain Trends

Creating an effective change management plan in 6 easy steps

Written by
Jonathan Porter
Dec 6, 2021
4:45 am
minute read

Do you have a change management plan to effectively ensure your WMS is dynamic?

The world has gone through some pretty big changes over the past few years. It’s safe to say, supply chain processes everywhere have had to adapt and change as events unfolded. 

Is your company looking to implement a WMS change as a result? You wouldn’t be alone. Having an effective change management plan is the only way to make lasting and purposeful alterations to your WMS

What is a Change Management Plan?

A change management plan refers to the process of transitioning a current or lacking WMS system into something more efficient. A change management plan ensures a smooth and well-thought-out alteration to your company is achieved. 

Often, there are many moving pieces at play that need careful consideration when making a change. For anything to slip through the cracks would hinder the progression of your business and customer satisfaction. A change management plan considers all these moving pieces and lays out the best way to move forward. It offers directives to all personnel involved, tracks data on what works and what doesn’t, and functions as a record, keeping everyone accountable. 

Benefits to Utilizing a Change Management Plan

There is a multitude of benefits to implementing a change management plan when transitioning to a new WMS. Whether your change is organizational or structural, having a directive can help.

  • Utilizing a change management plan considers all voices and opinions that will be affected by the change. The use of this planning system is for all, not only leadership. This process is beneficial not only in employee rapport and relations but also in communication with stakeholders and financial contractors within your business—a win-win all around for communication and understanding. 
  • A change management plan sets out clear and concise directives for actionable tasks, incentives, deadlines, etc. Things stay on track and productive.
  • Having a change management plan also mitigates possible risks that may arise during the time of transition. Businesses can take more of a macro view of the issue at hand and see all possible solutions. 
  • Keeping this system in place ensures you know your existing assets and expenditures—no guessing or being surprised.
  • Data is tracked throughout the process, so you have a comprehensive way of assessing situations that arise in the future. 

6 Steps to an Effective Change Management Plan

There are a few things you can do to ensure incorporating an effective change management plan in your WMS transition goes smoothly. 

1. Analyze possible effects

The first step to initiating a change management plan is to take a bird’s eye view of the outcomes of the alteration. 

Changing an organizational or structural aspect of your WMS is a big deal for those who interact with it daily or rely on data to inform their job decisions—taking a look at who will be affected and how is the first step to creating an effective plan. 

2. Identify specific processes you wish to change

Through your analysis, you will come upon one or more specific processes you wish to change. Detail them with depth and thoroughness. What wasn’t working? What is involved within this process?

3. Build your case

Step 3 requires you to compile all data taken thus far in one place for a proposal. This data may be anecdotal or quantitative. Your proposal should clearly state the issue, solution, those involved, and possible outcomes.

4. Present changes

This presentation should involve all players within your change management plan, including stakeholders, employees, technicians, and management. This ensures everyone hears the same information from the source.

5. Initiate data tracking for changes

Once the change management plan is signed off and underway, one of the biggest steps is to track how this plan gets implemented and the outcomes. 

If it is successful, your change management plan may be used for alternate projects or as a template for the future. If the alterations are not working, there is a direct way to figure out the cause and pivot based on need. 

6. Ensure communication and celebration in your change management plan

Changes are difficult, especially for those implementing them. Ensure you have balanced data with communication. Check-ins and anecdotal collection may take time, but it is worth it in the long run.

Also, employing a change management plan within your business should be celebrated! Utilize incentives and celebrations to motivate those initiating and acting on the changes.


A Well Planned Change

Following these steps can ensure your change management plan doesn’t fall short. Whether your WMS system needs upgrading or altering, employing a strategy to assist will help keep employees and stakeholders alike feeling reassured and heard. 

Might you have areas you're looking to alter in your WMS? Do you require tips on how to ensure your changes are effective and thorough? PorterLogic assists in optimizing your supply chain systems, so you don’t have to stress.

Want the latest supply chain insights? When you subscribe to PorterLogic’s newsletter, you’ll get a bimonthly analysis and rundown of the supply chain’s latest trends and challenges in your inbox. 

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