Eefke Somers

How to overcome resistance during an EWM transition

Imagine... You are an SAP consultant tasked with implementing EWM in a warehouse and you encounter resistance from the client. Key users, for example, may not see the value of a new system and therefore, are not cooperative or are reluctant to cooperate. Or perhaps the system goes live and employees do not know how to use the new system due to a lack of training. Sound familiar? Change management can provide a great solution in these situations. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the benefits that change management specifically focused on EWM can bring.

Resistance from employees? Be happy!

First and foremost, it is important to shed light on employee resistance. Resistance within your organization is not always a bad thing. It shows that these individuals have a high level of engagement with the change. Identifying the reason for employee resistance is essential for a successful organizational change. The employee may be standing up for their own interests or the interests of the team. The reasons for their resistance vary from person to person and therefore require different approaches. For example, a team leader may have been working in the warehouse for years and is accustomed to doing their tasks in a certain way. By addressing the concerns of these employees and providing tailored training, employee satisfaction can be increased.

Applying the ADKAR model in practice

To analyze resistance, the ADKAR model can be helpful. The five elements of the model are essential for a successful organizational change. These elements go beyond resistance alone. The model looks at Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. Learn more about the ADKAR model.

To identify why changes are difficult to implement and do not always work well, the ADKAR model provides a solution. This model primarily focuses on individual changes within an organizational change.

The model not only helps determine the necessary steps to achieve the desired goal in advance but also identifies why changes do not work well afterwards. This evaluation moment is particularly valuable for making the change successful.

Overcoming resistance during a project

Referring back to the example mentioned in the introduction of this blog, we can see that the employee is not well-informed about the new EWM system. The employee sees a new software training scheduled in their agenda but does not have any background information about the change in the company. As a result, employees resist the transition.

Specifically within EWM, you may also encounter different nationalities and languages within a team, for instance. In this case, look into knowledge transfer. Is the training not well-received because not everyone speaks the same language? Adjust the training by making it more visual, for example.

No more resistance in your company?!

You may wonder, is it possible to have no more resistance? As mentioned earlier, resistance can indicate a high level of employee engagement. Therefore, see it as an opportunity. When you involve employees throughout the entire process (using the ADKAR model), you can expect a successful implementation.

And remember: People do not resist during a project for no reason; there is often something else behind it. Identifying and understanding this problem offers tremendous opportunities. Resistance is a starting point where you can spot opportunities and make changes possible. So, having no more resistance is unrealistic, but use it as an opportunity to make an EWM transition successful.

Want to learn more about Change Management in SAP projects? Click here to read more about how Change Management can make a difference in SAP transitions.