Advisory Services

June 16, 2021

Be an Agent of Organizational Change

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SYSPRO is a feature-rich ERP software that is highly adaptable to your business needs and is designed for on premise, cloud, and mobile utilization. It offers important product integrations for your manufacturing processes and material requirements planning, like MRP and MOM, and Harmony, a separate social ERP software. There are also simpler, but just as important, features of SYSPRO like customized views, screens, and fields that provide users with a more user-friendly software experience. All of this is great to know, but none of it is useful if you fail to effectively wield the tools SYSPRO offers to achieve your business objectives. In this post, we’ll explain how becoming an agent of organizational change can help your staff better utilize SYSPRO’s features and tools, thereby driving business growth and outcomes.

Identifying Barriers to Change

The first question to ask yourself is, “What are the possible barriers hampering your staff from using the SYSPRO ERP software efficiently?” Then, a root cause analysis should be conducted to figure out why these barriers exist in the first place. Is it a training issue? Are my employees disengaged? Is it poor communication between teams? All of these issues can be symptoms of weak change management, but don’t feel too bad if this is the case at your company. Recent studies confirm only 25-30% of all business changes achieve full benefit realization. Unfortunately, the more common cause lies in the human side of things as opposed to the actual software. On the positive side – that means you can change it!

Barriers can be identified through observation, questionnaires, and small talk but more importantly, listening to key individuals in your organization. This will help you determine where you need to put your focus. Candidly ask yourself, “How can I involve staff in the change process?” Inclusion will bring more open-mindedness and interest in learning all SYSPRO’s latest features and tools. This in turn will spark curiosity and action to utilize the software to its fullest potential to improve business processes and cutting inefficiencies.

Overcoming Organizational Inertia

Inertia is the status quo. It’s a company failing to make necessary changes to existing business processes because “we’ve always done it that way”, and it’s an employer’s worst nightmare. Fighting organizational inertia is like running a marathon: it takes time and commitment. In layman’s terms, explain the current situation to your staff and explain why we’re testing a new process or using a SYSPRO feature or tool differently. Show them proof – like profits and sale volumes, the amount of time saved on certain tasks, or how the new process will help all of their sanity. If you can visually present the data so they can see the positive impact it makes on their coworkers and the organization that can help. While organizational statistics are important, remember to link back to the people and their day-to-day experience. Once they see the impact, staff may be more inclined to get on board with the change.

As you enact change from the top-down, notice who’s starting to sway on your side, and then appoint them as your key influencers or change agents. These employees are your most important people when trying to change a standard process. They provide creditability and support of the change to other staff who may still be feeling anxious or pessimistic.

You might have to look hard for some wins but trust us, they’re there. When you find them, celebrate with the people involved no matter how insignificant. Staff recognition for a job well done is often overlooked, partly because we’re so busy and partly because we think staff instinctively know they’ve done a good job. That’s not always the case, so it’s important to highlight the wins so you build confidence in staff to continue doing what they’re doing and that you’re noticing and appreciating their work.

Breaking Down the Silo

In an organization, especially a larger organization, it’s natural for teams to be siloed as everyone works with different processes, different tasks, different people, and physically in different locations. The negative side effect of this, however, is teams store their expertise amongst themselves in isolation, often not sharing it with the rest of the company. This is The Silo Mentality, and it can insidiously stifle creativity and innovation. The Silo Mentality, defined by the Business Dictionary, is a mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company consequently reducing efficiency. In North America, collaboration and communication silos cost 7 hrs/week totaling over 350 hours annually. That equates to a lot of unnecessary dollars spent.

To break down the silo mentality is to understand that it starts from the top downwards. This is also how you slowly dismantle it. Find a common goal or purpose amongst your staff and share it at every level. Then monitor and measure the deliverables of this common goal and present the results attractively and educationally. This builds cooperation and cohesion between your teams and the different levels of your organization. Be sure not to leave anyone out as this can have a devastating consequence and give you the opposite result.

Implement cross-functional training within the company. Not only does this give employees valuable information on what other departments do, but provides an opportunity for employees to expand their skills in the SYSPRO ERP software and increase their knowledge of an organization. It offers a way for the different teams to show off what they’re working on, and how they’re effectively using the software to meet their unit’s goals. It can also help create innovative ideas from the people who are looking at it with a fresh set of eyes. Cross-functional training increases communication and collaboration, which is key to breaking down silos.

Agent of Organizational Change

Becoming an organizational agent of change is a necessary step with any new product implementation. Your SYSPRO ERP provides you with the tool to meet your goals and increase profitability, but it doesn’t negate the fact that you still need to enact change management in your organization to use the ERP effectively and all the benefits it has to offer.

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