We all know that most human beings are hardwired to resist change. We also know that an effective manager will help his business move with the times and implement operational efficiencies wherever he can. A case in point is moving even a small warehouse operation from pen and paper to state of the art software for inventory management.
You Have Made a Decision to Install Warehouse Management Software
You have been working with our IntelliTrack specialist to figure out what is the best inventory tracking software for your business. You have settled on IntelliTrack Stratus ISRP, a perfect solution for receiving and storing product prior to packing and shipping. You can customize the data collected on barcodes, decide what reports you need and even integrate the program with QuickBooks purchasing and invoices. All this information means you will be able to track each item from its purchase order to receiving, moving it around the warehouse and shipping it off with an invoice.
The software will be supported with the best hardware available, including barcode printers and mobile computers. There is secure centralized data storage in the cloud with easy authorized access from anywhere there is connectivity.
Understanding Employee Resistance
You might ask, “What’s not to like about the new system?” Whether you have five employees or 150, there are sure to be some who will tell you exactly what they do not like about your fancy technology. And remember that even a few can infect the others with their negativity.
Employees often express what appear to be good reasons for resisting change:
- They cannot see the benefit of doing things differently; after all, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”
- They are intimidated by the technology and afraid they will not be able to learn the new tasks
- They are afraid there will be the downsizing that often accompanies technological advances
Yes, all these reasons reflect a personal perspective which might be difficult to shift. All the same, you have to recognize these are valid responses to your announcement about installing new software. You will want to do what you can to prevent or reduce such resistance.
Working through the Transition
The sooner your employees are involved in the change process, the better. Do not start with an announcement about changes in operations but invite your employees to take part in the initial decision making. They can participate in the process directly if there are only a few workers or through their supervisors if there are many. You can ask them their opinions on current inefficiencies and frustrations and have them discuss the optional solutions before a decision is made. That way, they will have a better understanding of the rationale behind the change.
Even if you did not have the time or foresight to let your employees participate in the initial discussions and it is time to announce the change, you can alleviate some of the resistance if you:
- Explain the benefits of the new system to the company and to them individually; e.g. increased productivity, reduced frustration in searching for parts, elimination of customer complaints about order errors, or anything else that would make sense to them
- Assure them there will be training and ongoing support; our IntelliTrack team can facilitate the initial training on both software and hardware and is able to provide 24/7 tech support
- Explain how increased efficiencies translate into increased profitability and possible expansion, not downsizing
- Schedule a formal review of the effectiveness of IntelliTrack software that includes feedback from all employees
Demystify the change process by involving your employees from the beginning. After all, they are the ones with intimate knowledge of the day to day operation. Not only will they be pleased to be consulted, they have plenty of useful information to consider.
Work with our IntelliTrack professional to review your entire operation, speak with all the stakeholders and make a decision about installing up to date inventory technology. An honest, open process will benefit everyone.
Contact us now to start the conversation.