Ten tips to Ensure Your Supply Chain Programme is Implemented Successfully

Managing a change programme can be complex. The recent postponement of the Co-Op Arena’s launch serves as a poignant example that even well-planned launches can encounter significant problems due to all of the various moving parts.

The probability of a business eventually requiring a significant overhaul in its supply chain is considerable. This could involve responding to growth or market changes, which may necessitate a review of the supply chain network, expansion of existing premises, construction of a new warehouse, investment in automation, or expansion into overseas markets.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to have changed often.” – Winston Churchill


For help with your programme delivery get in touch.

It might be opportune for your business to leverage supply chain technology advancements and transition from an in-house supply chain to a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider. Alternatively, you may be considering switching your existing 3PL or freight provider.

Given our inherent fascination with the grim over the pleasant, a problematic supply chain move can swiftly garner media attention and remain etched in public memory for a long time.

Over the last 15 years we’ve learned lots of things working with clients on their change programmes. Here are the key factors we’ve found help things go well:

  1. Clear Vision and Objectives: Establish a clear and concise vision for the change programme, along with measurable objectives to track progress. This helps align all stakeholders and provides a roadmap for the change
  2. Detailed plan: Establish the project team, identify the key workstreams and create one detailed plan of all the tasks required to deliver the programme. This is crucial because it provides a roadmap for achieving goals and helps in anticipating challenges. A well-structured plan ensures that resources are allocated efficiently and that the project stays on track
  3. Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with all stakeholders, including employees, management, and external partners, to gain their support and address any concerns they may have. Effective communication is essential to keep everyone informed and involved
  4. Leadership and Governance: Strong leadership is vital to drive the change and maintain momentum. The programme should have a Steering Group with the bulk of the project being executed by the workstreams. Establish a governance structure to underpin the programme and manage risks, issues, actions and decisions
  5. Accountability: Identify the key workstreams in the project and assign accountability using tools such as a RACI. Nominate a Sponsor for the project who is typically a senior executive in the organisation who is responsible for ensuring that a project is aligned with the company’s strategic goals and objectives
  6. Risk Management: Identify potential risks and develop mitigation strategies to address them. Regularly review and update the risk management plan as the programme progresses. It may feel arduous at first but effectively managing risks will significantly reduce unforeseen issues on the programme 
  7. Change Management Strategy: Develop a comprehensive change management strategy that includes plans for communication, training, and support. This should be tailored to the needs of the organisation and its people
  8. Monitoring and Evaluation: Regularly monitor the progress of the change programme against the set objectives and adjust as necessary. Evaluate the outcomes to learn from the experience and improve future change initiatives
  9. Cultural Alignment: Align the change with the organisation’s culture and values. Change should be integrated into the way the organisation operates, rather than being seen as a one-off project
  10. Embed the change: Plan for the long-term sustainability of the change. This includes embedding new processes into everyday operations and ensuring they deliver ongoing value. The programme is not complete until all aspects of the change are fully implemented and performing as expected.

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision and change.” – Richard Branson

By focusing on these factors, organisations can increase the likelihood of delivering a programme of change successfully. Remember, change is a journey, not a destination, and it requires continuous effort, communication, and review.

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