Taking your people with you: Manage change to accelerate ROI on supply chain and logistics automation

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The logic of a major project is often clear, the business case, project plan and milestones all stack up, but often there’s one big factor that can be neglected – the impact on people.  

In all the excitement and practicalities of a new project, it’s easy to underestimate how engagement influences project results and future operational performance.  Supporting teams to deal with the inevitable disruption and feel confident to take on new challenges requires thoughtfulness and patience, but it’s worth it when you see the results. 

Readiness, reliability and results – Our 3 step approach 


1. Readiness – minimise disruption 

During the planning phase of any project, it’s possible to identify and measure the complexity of the change and start to prepare.  Leaders can speak to teams face to face and show how issues of the past are being addressed, how opportunities are being created and  be honest about the impacts, the knowns and unknowns.   

Starting early in the process creates a chance to build transparency and trust and get across a watertight argument for change that everyone can understand and relate to. This minimises the risk of rumour and noise that can become a distraction and so minimises disruption to your current operations 

Being proactive early encourages teams to get involved, they offer suggestions and take ownership of their future. Taking a temperature check of understanding can help target efforts to get all stakeholders up to speed. 

Building Resilience in Supply Chains


2. Reliability – avoid performance dip 

When implementation and go-live is imminent, what drives the momentum towards desired results?  Teams need capability and confidence to think and work in new ways.   

It’s perhaps human nature that having invested years in improving previous operations, people might be resistant to something new – it’s understandable but brings a hidden cost – a delay to getting the best out of a new solution.   

On projects we often see colleagues standing back to observe what works before committing, or they default back to the old ways of problem solving. It’s possible though to anticipate this and avoid a performance dip through pro-active and planned activities such as reference site visits to gather learnings from similar implementations and real-time coaching for problem solving. 

Warehouse automation


3. Results – accelerate ROI 

Once the new solution is live, it’s only just the beginning.  Results come from a combination of capable colleagues, engaged leaders, a culture of continuous improvement and a well-designed and installed solution.    

Hatmill is known for hands-on delivery of large-scale and complex transformational solutions.  We help leaders at all levels create a positive environment to support colleagues facing new challenges, to make decisions in different ways and to recognise when to encourage them to take greater ownership of the way forward.  


Prioritising engagement optimises performance and ROI 

Change techniques may start by being wrapped around a project, but their benefits will be felt across the organisation and bring value for years to come. 

Bringing focus to the people aspects of a large investment project creates an opportunity to shift work culture in a positive direction.  When we support colleagues to enjoy the work they do and feel a sense of purpose through involvement they are likely to be more loyal, productive and positive, as opposed to those who are disengaged, often rigid in their ways of working and likely to resist change for longer. 



Prioritising engagement is a valuable investment – despite it sometimes not being front of mindThere are frameworks that can be adapted, measures that can be tracked and support on hand for those leaders keen to maximise ROI and set the operation up for continuous performance improvement long into the future. 

Don't plan automation in Silo

Read more about Managing Change here

How we can help 

Hatmill is a consulting firm that supports businesses to improve their supply chain and logistics operations. We help our clients make lasting improvements to their performance. We deliver outstanding expertise, experience and value to our clients’ projects.  

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