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Change management's value changes (increases) as one evolves for­ward with supply chain work. In a siloed organization, the meaning of change management is quite different than in a supply-chain-focused business or, to put it another way, in a business that is using the supply chain as a business lever.

Objectives of this presentation are

(1) to give one an understanding of what "is" change management (definition)

(2) why it is becoming important to some folk to leverage the supply

(3) what is a "coach," or what is the concept of coach

(4) the use of this concept of "coach" in or on a supply chain environ­

(5) close with some business examples of how the management of change, using the concept of "coach," delivers business benefits to the supply chain members.

We will look at this process of change management two ways: one, from the perspective of product-process-linkages/integration or of a new product or process being introduced in a company; secondly, from the viewpoint of within "a business" and moving toward looking across a supply chain.


     change (Webster's New Collegiate)—to make different in some
particular; to make radically different; to give different course, po­
sition, or direction; to replace with another.

     management (also Webster !s)—to handle or direct with a degree of
skill; to alter by manipulation; to succeed in accomplishing; too direct or carry on business or affairs; to achieve one's purpose. Combining the two we have change management, the directing/handling of the act of making something different to accomplish one's purpose. Applying this to business, we would interpret the "purpose" as "making money." The more efficient and effective we are at manag­ing change, the better we will do financially in the marketplace. If we can maintain product differentiation, we are unique in the marketplace. Now if we can create demand for this different product, we have a winner. If we develop new processes to make this product, we have another leg up on competition. And finally, if we can create a unique supply chain (more logistically efficient) to get the product from dirt to the ultimate consumer—what a combination!!!

•   coach (Webster)—one who instructs or trains players in the funda­
mentals of a competitive sport (change management) and directs
team strategy.


Let's start at the beginning before leaping to the supply chain. Fig­ure Shows the supply chain council's representation of a supply chain model they call the Supply Chain Organizational Reference Model (SCOR).

Foundational to this model is the individual company itself, and let's start there. Prior to supply chain thinking, "change management" was necessary and an integral part of the MRP II crusade of the 1970s. This idea of managing change and focusing the organization to make it happen almost flawlessly was a foundational element of Oliver Wight's ABCD Checklist and became an in-process measure of a company's performance in attaining organizational excellence in executing the three outputs of the company's S&OP process: the production plan, sales plan, and inventory plan. Like IRA, BOM, and data integrity, change management was foundational if a company wanted to optimize its performance, especially if speed to market was a key strategy.

This process of change management within a company was impor­tant both for a product change, to introduce new product or change some characteristics of the product to enhance its value to the cus­tomer/consumer, and also for a process change. An example of this would be a manufacturing process change within the factory to in­crease value (lower cost) or enhance appeal to the consumer.

Everything we have talked about, to this point, is internal to the company. Maybe there was some help from key suppliers, but in the end the results happened within the company. In the company there would be some type of project manager/facilitator/expediter to ensure every facet of the change was executed on time with efficiency and within budget cost. This change agent was tasked with integration of this work across multiple functions within a company to ensure suc­cess, helping to link these functional silos within the organization to­ward a common goal—managing the change. Many of you who have been in a role like this know the task is huge. Many a good person is still lying alongside the road to success trying to get a single company focused against this type of a goal. Going back to the SCOR model, the company is just one link in the supply chain. Let's multiply this by the number of companies in a normal supply chain and add the complexi­ties of cultural differences and the added complexity of linking the individual links together. Before we discuss this, let's take a few min­utes and review the basic components of a supply chain and how it works.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 11

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