The Supply Chain Management Blog covers the latest in SCM strategy, technology, and innovation.

  • April 10, 2019

Changing the “Change Management” Approach

Guest Author


By Vikram Singla, Director, Strategy and Business Development 


Supply chains have become significantly important to deliver business strategy today as they are responsible to ensure that the personalized customer experience, promised during the sales stage, is delivered meaningfully, profitably and sustainably. Only a meaningful and profitable customer experience will ensure revenue growth while protecting margins.  It’s not a surprise then that the key performance indicators, for the supply chain leaders, now include more than cost reduction, but have now focused on the 4Cs – customer experience, compliance, carbon footprint and cost of course. With some change, companies have been able to attain an 8% increase in on-time delivery — improving customer satisfaction. Regulatory compliance has been growing in terms of complexity and risk given the evolving geo-political factors and the buck really stops with the supply chain teams. Finally, carbon footprint is a serious issue for most companies directly impacting revenue (and not just costs) and again only supply chain teams can do something about it.

At a recent webinar, I (Vikram Singla) and Alan Todd (CorpU’s CEO) explored how business processes, technology, and change management approaches have been evolving to deliver on the asks, as outlined above, from the modern supply chain leaders. The major change in the ask today is around ownership around delivering the customer experience. The impact of not delivering the brand promise today is – immediate and high; on not just costs but directly on revenue too. The more you think of shifting towards a service-centric business model, the more strategic the supply chains become.


A digital supply chain provides benefits that clearly align to modern day business strategy


Business Process and Technology Evolution


To achieve the end-to-end supply chain transformation vision, we first looked at how the business process architecture needs to evolve from a disconnected, siloed structure and think through business processes holistically enabled by both IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology ). This transformation needs to be fuelled by an evolution in the technology we use. Modern cloud systems have been built grounds-up to cater to the needs of the businesses today, by allowing a truly connected and empowered business.  


Oracle has built unified technology architecture to support end to end, business processes considering the supply chain of the 21st century.


Simple Cloud = Less is More

There was a discussion on various cloud adoption approaches. The cloud has become the key today that ensures your business processes are supported with a technology that is always up-to-date. A cloud based system also provides ease of access across the globe. In the case of cloud adoption, there are two factors that businesses need to consider — the ability to change (internal clock) and the pressure to change (external clock). As your ability to change and pressure to change become higher and more urgent, the more strategic the change becomes. To create a complete cloud transformation, businesses need a high combination of both to reap a higher reward.


Different businesses/ teams will change/ transform in different ways, based on their ability to change and the pressure to change


Building an End-to-End Mindset


The majority of the webinar was focused on discussing how change management approaches have been evolving. A company’s ability to change is the biggest factor in achieving a digital transformation and without it, that said transformation might end-up being IT project and not delivering transformative results. The discussion here was about how most organizations struggle with strategy execution.


Businesses are struggling to execute strategy


We talked about how the modern approaches can affect change communication programmes –

1.             Can be executed in weeks rather than months with massive global scale

2.             And more importantly, rely on effective employee buy-in



Building a Learning Organisation


The webinar then explored various ways the learning programmes are run and how the modern approach, featuring new concepts like Guided Learning Journeys, are building organizational capabilities. In supply chain, that means developing end-to-end mindsets, building integrated supply networks, and creating a supply chain strategy that puts a company on a trajectory of industry leadership. All of these depend on creating a virtuous cycle of organization learning where supply chain teams continually learn and adjust their working relationship.


Different outcomes require different learning journeys


Structured dialogue, a discipline for collective learning and inquiry, becomes a principle tool of successful change. It helps groups develop shared understanding and shared meaning so that they develop collective ways of thinking and acting.



Finally, we looked at analyzing and leveraging data from structured dialogues to gain insight into how people truly feel. We found that it dramatically improves engagement effectiveness by creating a safe and open space for discussion. The analysis guides senior leaders to make real-time course corrections that improve change initiative success rates.



We delve deeper into these new strategies that companies are using to improve their change management approach in our recorded webinar. Don’t hesitate to reach-out to me or Alan for any additional questions.


To view the full webinar, click here.


About the authors:

Vikram is strategy director for the commercial sector in the UK. He helps business leaders leverage technology to deliver better outcomes for their organizations. He has over 20 years’ experience in the technology sector, including deploying digital transformation programmes for Fortune 500 firms. He is a big advocate of design thinking as a structured approach to manage cultural change and align the organization around the customer.

He is currently responsible for defining and executing the go-to-market strategy for Oracle ERP/EPM/SCM Cloud including emerging technologies. Vikram has an MBA from Warwick Business School and graduated from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Delhi, India.


Alan Todd, Founder and CEO of CorpU, is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on strategy and leadership.  A former Inc. Magazine/Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Todd’s writing and commentary have appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, and Wired, and his insights are routinely solicited from Fortune 1000 companies like Walmart, Coca-Cola, Boeing, and Johnson & Johnson. His technical innovations in Strategy Activation are powering global growth for companies with combined annual revenues of over $1 trillion.


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