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5 Vital Change Management Tips for Manufacturers

As soon as you consider making changes or implementing new processes, it’s time to plan how to introduce them to your team. Keeping your fingers crossed and hoping for the best can lead to wasted time and money. Assuming that employees will be open to changes, even if you point out the benefits, is still an assumption, and those are dangerous.

A change management plan prepares employees for what is to come, such as introducing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and helps them better embrace those changes. Therefore, having a strong plan is imperative. Use these five change management tips to get your team on board.

5 Tried and True Change Management Tips​

Below are our top five change management tips from the experts at Godlan.

1. Conduct a Business Readiness Assessment​

Business readiness refers to how prepared your employees and stakeholders are for organizational change. Due to how large and consuming your ERP implementation is, it’s important to know if your enterprise is ready to handle it. The types of questions to reflect on include determining the scope of change, how individual employee roles will change, and if the work culture accepting of change.

You might determine that the timing isn’t right for moving forward with an ERP implementation. It’s important to know this before you even begin so as to not waste time or money. Be realistic about the transition and don’t force it before your workforce is truly ready.

2. Plan Ahead

Before you select a vendor, you need to have your organizational change management (OCM) ready to go. The sooner you anticipate potential issues (like employees who resist the change and offer ultimatums), the sooner you can resolve those issues. Work preemptively to avoid doing damage control.

3. Use Empathy to Resolve Resistance​

You know the saying about best laid plans. Even with the greatest OCM strategy, there will be resistance. Change makes people nervous, anxious, confused, and worried because many people are concerned that automation leads to the replacement of humans. You employees may fear their role will become obsolete, or they may lack an understanding of new technology and fear that they will no longer have the knowledge to do their job. If they are used to the old interface, learning all new systems and processes may seem overwhelming.

Prior to making any changes, generate a list of the most common concerns your team may have. Then establish communication channels that will lay those worries to rest and stop any possibility of miscommunication.

Unfortunately, early positive communication won’t squelch all negative responses. Therefore, part of an OCM plan should outline how team members should proceed when they encounter resistance. This should include steps like finding the source of resistance and its validity, then having open and honest discussions with employees.

4. Clear and Consistent Communication

Your goal should be to keep every part of your organization on the same page. It’s been found that insufficient or inconsistent communication is a top reason for ERP failures.

Not every department needs the same information because your investors and your entry-level employees don’t need to be privy to all the same details. However, every member of your team is essential to your implementation, and therefore, they need to be kept in the loop.

Work proper communication into your OCM plan so that when it is time to launch, everyone understands their role and is prepared to work together. The general information in your communications will be the same, but you’ll want to customize it so that each party learns how the change affects their role and what you’ll be doing to help them prepare for these changes.

5. Get Early Buy-In from Leadership

It’s true that enthusiasm trickles down. From your executives and C-suites to your department heads, you need people who are in positions of influence to speak out about why the transformation will make the current situation better. These people can help to further spread information as well as become an outlet for employees to go to with worries or concerns. This will again diminish resistance.

Change Management in the Real World

Every business is different, but in general, clear communication and a solid plan will help to bring about a positive ERP implementation. However, if you still aren’t sure what the right first steps are, or if you’re interested in how an ERP system can change your enterprise for the better, our expert consultants at Godlan can help you through each step of this transition. Visit us today at www.Godlan.com or call us at 586.464.4400.

Discover what is possible for your enterprise.

Reach out to our team today to begin a conversation to discuss your specific needs, infrastructure, and growth opportunities.

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