Inside Supply Chain Restructuring

Having been intimately involved in four supply chain turnaround and restructuring efforts at four different organizations, Gary McMann can say from first-hand experience that the change is the most challenging part of change management, frankly, also the most intrinsically rewarding when witnessed first-hand.  He offered some key elements of a solid restructuring effort that may sometimes be overlooked in the latest digital issue of JHC.

Engage the people

There is no better way to get a ground floor view of supply chain operational effectiveness than to meet face to face with your customers and then compare your findings with those staff members delivering the service.  Surveys typically don’t cut it because you will get a different and potentially less accurate result.  The personal interactions and resultant observations form the basis for further investigation and subsequent development of action plans.  The interactions also serve to build support throughout the organization for programmatic change and staff buy-in.  The hope is to have staff members view operational changes as healthy modification – not mutation.

Recognize cultural realities

Every organization has its own unique signature relative to cultural considerations for change. Miss this step in change management and you could possibly miss the boat. Organizational culture is influenced gradually over time due to a myriad of factors and considerations. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that diving into cultural uncharted waters could result in swimming upstream, and that puts you at risk for implementation delays, as well as potential misadventures that could complicate well-intentioned structural redevelopment. In reviewing and understanding cultural considerations within individual organizations, you can potentially help to avoid obstacles to progress and actually benefit by using cultural considerations to your advantage. They can be critical selling points, the compelling reason for change. 

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