How to lead a successful EDI change management process

by | Dec 2, 2019 | Automation, Suppliers, Vendor Management

To keep pace in a constantly evolving retail business world, organizations often need to implement enterprisewide changes affecting their processes, products, and people. Process change is a fact of life in businesses today. It can be difficult, and people often resist it –– especially if it involves a technology change, such as EDI.

In order to develop a more agile workplace culture, organizations should follow a systematic approach to managing major change. At SPS Commerce, we see this every day when companies are looking to make their first foray into the world of EDI or to change their EDI provider.

How decision-makers within these companies handle this change with their employees ultimately determines the success (or failure) of the project.

Changing results means changing your thinking

Let’s be honest, change is scary for most people. One of the biggest challenges businesses have these days is how to manage change within their organization.

Routine feels good for a reason, it’s known, comfortable. However, businesses need to continuously change and redevelop or else they won’t grow and will be left behind as their competitors take over.

As businesses change, the people who work for them must also change. It is the responsibility of the management and executives for that business to facilitate and enable the change.

Here’s how you can help facilitate and enable change in your company

1.) Start talking early about coming change early and often

  • Give the employees time to process the changes and the impacts each change will have–before asking for their buy-in.
  • Your employees need to have time to ask questions and make suggestions, so they feel like they have an ownership stake in how well this change is implemented.

2.) Focus on the benefits to employees –– as well as the company

  • Employees may hear “Good for the company” but often that can translate as “Not good for me.”
  • Discuss how these changes will affect their jobs positively and reassure them about what they will be doing once the change is in place.

3.) Change must involve people and not be imposed

  • If change is being imposed on employees without their involvement, their tendency will be to push back.
  • Participation, involvement, and clear, open communications are all important pieces in gaining the employees’ buy-in.

Don’t just adapt to change, lead it

By involving the employees by increasing their understanding of the changes, management will be taking away one of the biggest obstacles to a successful project and will likely turn “obstacle” employees into “champion” employees.

Remember, if you start talking to your employees early about the upcoming changes, focus your information on how the changes will benefit them, and involve them in the changeover process, your company’s transition will become far easier and will be more pleasant for everyone involved.

SPS is the retail industry’s trusted EDI provider. Over the years, SPS Commerce has successfully helped thousands of businesses successfully navigate vendor process change through successful EDI onboarding, and we can help you too.

Whether you need basic compliance or are ready to go beyond EDI with sales analytics, sourcing, and item management, we have the solutions to help your business grow.

Learn more about what SPS Commerce can do to help your business grow here or contact us for a no-hassle, no-pressure demo, and conversation to more tips from the experts.


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SPS Commerce Blog Team