Supply chain executives out of step on change readiness

A third of supply chain executives believe their organisations are ready for change but only 13% of the wider workforce share their view.

A survey by Gartner found “differing perceptions” between supply chain professionals and employees when it came to their organisation’s “capability in adapting to change”.

Gartner said that “when a change is implemented, it doesn’t mean it is adopted” and supply chain leaders needed to be aware that communication was vital.

Ken Chadwick, research director at Gartner, said: “To adapt and respond on the fly to the challenges their organisation faces, supply chain leaders must develop the organisation’s change capabilities.

“Being change agile, having the ability to design and adopt new ideas and changes quickly and completely, should be the goal of supply chain leaders in the digital era.”

Gartner said supply chain executives needed to understand how employees engage to lead change. The survey found employees wanted to be more closely connected with the overall purpose of change and how it affected them in their role.

“For the most effective change management strategy, communication is of paramount importance,” said Chadwick. “Supply chain leaders need to create a communications plan that articulates the importance of working together toward a well-defined vision, and tailors messages and engagement methods to different audiences in order to successfully embrace new ways of working.”

He added: “Supply chain leaders need to engage a team in a post day-one follow-up on system issues and training in order to keep employees moving to new business practices.”

The survey involved 437 respondents in North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific.

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