Table of Contents
1. Work Environment of the XY GmbH
2. SWOT-Analysis of the Department of Order Management
3. Description of the Five Most Important Changes
4. Stakeholder Analysis
5. Force Field Analysis
5.1 Definition and Methodology
5.2 Driving and Inhibiting Forces
5.3 Dealing with Resistance in the Course of the Change Process
5.4 Role of Communication in the Course of the Change Process
6. Description of an Implementation Approach
7. Reflection and Reasoning Behind the Chosen Approach
The present ter m paper aims to present an expertise in change concepts following the rules of change management and using the example of the author’s work environment, the department of order management within the XY GmbH.
After an introduction to the topic of change in an organization, chapter 1 focuses on the work area of order management and its requirements.
In chapter 2, a SWOT-analysis for the area of work is performed and, based on this analysis, five significant changes for the area of work are introduced in chapter 3. Subsequently, a stakeholder-analysis is presented in chapter 4 and a force field analysis in chapter 5. After a brief discussion of the relevance of resistance and communication during a change process, a concrete course of action pertaining to the implementation of change measures for the XY GmbH is recommended and described.
To conclude, the work takes a critical position with regard to the feasibility of the proposed procedure.
“In the same moment that the caterpillar thought the world would perish, it turned into a butterfly.” (Laotse)
The caterpillar stands symbolically for the necessity of transformation and change, as “only who is capable of transforming oneself and who masters the targeted change management, is going to have prospects for the future.” (Böning & Fritschle, 1997). This applies to businesses and organizations. The challenges consist in globalization with altered economic interdependencies, societal and economic structural change, accelerated development and introduction phases for new products, and their shortened life cycles. Businesses of today have to face these challenges in order to retain the competitive edge and to be able to survive in a competitive environment. These adjustments to changed environmental conditions can be substantial and painful for those involved and it requires to actively implement targeted changes, meaning to execute deliberate learning and modification processes that are planned and initiated by the organization (see Kostka&Mönch 2006, p. 10f). Consequently, the organization’s performance and productivity can be impacted. From an economic standpoint, there are two critical questions to ask (see Oltmanns/Nemeyer 2010, p.32f.): “How does the change affect the performance of the actor, and how long can these changes be felt in a positive or negative way? The economic goal of change management is the reduction of the time period between recognizing a need to change and accepting the new requirements.” (Grosse Peclum, Krebber, & Lips, 2012)
According to a change management study by the osb international from the year 2012, which included 600 executives and 1,500 employees in German and Austrian companies, approximately 70% of the interviewees back the need for change processes. However, the study also shows that overall skepticism and resistance towards change increase and engagement, motivation, and employee performance decrease.
According to the survey, the reasons for this lie, among other things, in an elevated level of stress, an increased workload, and less obvious opportunities for employees due to changes. This set of aspects makes clear that every change process aiming at success and progress for the enterprise requires professional planning, leadership, and implementation.
The risk of failure in connection with financial losses and the disappointment of employee expectations with subsequently decreasing employee retention to inner resignation is very high in case of non-professional implementation.
The following schematic lists the ten most important reasons for the failure of far-reaching change processes in large German companies:
Schematic 1: Reasons for failure in the change process. Source: (Houbel, Frigge , Trinczek , & Pongratz , 2007)
Upon evaluation of these reasons, it is clear that inclusion, support, and supervision of employees, as well as communication, transparency, and development opportunities are key factors for the success of a change process.
The focus of this work is to introduce a change process within the department of order processing of the XY GmbH and to show which concept is best suited to successfully implement this change.
1. Work Environment of the XY GmbH
The XY GmbH is an internationally operating company with approximately 150 employees. As a system house, XY develops and markets high-quality glazing systems for aluminum windows and doors, facades, and winter gardens. Our sales staff is selling the technologically cutting-edge products to our customers – small carpenter’s workshops and metalworking businesses, but also large international construction companies and contractors – on the basis of B2B marketing. In addition, our employees in object distribution market our products to architects and planners during pre-construction stages. XY is represented with its own sales offices in France, Switzerland, and Russia, while clients in the rest of the world are supported by export specialists at our company headquarters in southern Germany. The company is owner-operated with both owners acting as managing partners.
The following organization charts describe the basic organizational structure and the organization of the entire sales branch that the department of order processing is assigned to.
Schematic 2: Organization chart XY GmbH, status 12/2013 (own representation)
Schematic 3: Organization chart total internal sales division of the XY GmbH, status 12/2013 (own representation)
As the head of the department of order management, I supervise five clerks who are responsible for the entry of customer orders into the ERP-system and the processing of those orders within the process chain of purchase, warehouse, logistics, and quality assurance. Our portfolio of products comprises several thousand articles, a large proportion being standard goods in stock with a respective minimum or reorder inventory, as well as articles only being made to customer specifications during the order, but also special articles that, according to particular technical requirements, are going to be developed by us for a customer and then enter serial production.
My responsibilities as department head include, among other things, the preparation of monthly balances and the proactive development of statistics (for example delivery ratio, timeliness, complaint rate, etc.) for the management and the improvement of customer satisfaction.
In addition to technical and commercial consulting of customers, the main responsibility of clerks is the on-schedule delivery of orders in the desired quantity and quality.
Thereby, order management does not operate in a vacuum, but presents the first link in the process chain. With the entry of the order into the ERP-system, article availability and replenishment time are automatically checked and reservations are filed.
This in turn impacts the work of the purchasing department, which is responsible for keeping sufficient quantities of our articles in stock. Orders containing articles that are all readily available are directly relayed to logistics and warehouse. Taking into account shipping and delivery dates, these two departments are now responsible for the timely completion of the order. If articles are not yet available at the time of order entry, if theyhave to be produced, or payment by the customer was not settled (prepayment), these orders have to be individually managed and monitored by the OM clerk.
Over the course of one customer order, order management, as the ‘customer’s advocate’, is therefore the driving force in delivering the customer order rapidly, reliably and in a timely fashion in collaboration with the interface departments.
2. SWOT-Analysis of the Department of Order Management
Definition and Goal of the SWOT-Analysis
A SWOT-analysis is an instrument for the situation analysis and strategy development of a company. Internal strengths and weaknesses of the organization and its external chances and risks are analyzed. SWOT is the acronym for the terms strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Voigt, 2011, S. 28).
“A SWOT-analysis is a structured tool to evaluating the strategic position of a company by identifying its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats… In assessing current situations, SWOT-analysis attempts to identify one or more strategic relationships or match-ups between strategic business units’ current strengths or weaknesses and its present or future opportunities and threats” (Opresnik & Hollensen, 2010).
With the analysis of internal conditions and environmental influences, action and reaction strategies can be developed now. According to Opresnik, these can be ‘conversion strategies’, turning weaknesses into strengths and risks into opportunities, or ‘matching strategies’, connecting strengths with opportunities.
Schematic 4: Matrix of a SWOT-analysis. Source:
Basically, however, a SWOT-analysis is just a tool to assess the current situation of a company without prioritization of listed items.
The goal of a SWOT-analysis is therefore “to identify potential strategic windows and isolate what will be important to the future of the organization“. (Opresnik & Hollensen, 2010).
The SWOT-analysis of order management yielded the following result.
Out of the five employees of OM four were trained by XY and hired upon completion of their training. Consequently, this results in:
Excellent product expertise and a high degree of company-internal knowledge Insight about wishes and peculiarities of long-standing customers Very high levels of loyalty, identification with company, strong sense of obligation and responsibility towards the company Very pronounced team spirit Exceptional service and customer orientation Four employees were actively involved with the implementation of the ERP-system and possess very good knowledge of the process cycles controlled by the ERP-system.
This leads to an extremely low error rate for the entry of article numbers into the system and consequently a low complaint rate.
Immediately after her apprenticeship, a very young employee was hired externally. All employees are locals living in relatively close proximity to company headquarters. Consequently, the result is:
Employees only know XY, no impulses from externally hired employees Culture of communication is shaped by company-internal manifestations Strong group coherence complicates penetrance of new ways of thinking Weak foreign language competency, weak intercultural competency Weak internal and external standing of employees Due to the fact that four out of five employees were involved with implementing the ERP-system, and that since its introduction there have been few optimization processes, work practices have crept in that do not exhaust all opportunities of the ERP-system. Employees in order management have very little confidence that their colleagues in interface departments of the process chain operate according to system requirements.
For historical reasons, employees in order management do not honor shipping and delivery dates. ‘Working on call’ is still too prevalent. Currently, statements about the order status issued directly from the ERP-system are not possible in a reliable fashion. Each order has to be assessed on an individual basis. Hence, forecasts about reaching the monthly balance are difficult for every new month and require much effort.
Giving employees a tutorial about requirements using ‘hard facts’ from the ERP-system is currently not possible Inquiries by customers concerning a stated delivery date can only be satisfied after consultation.
Employees are committed, motivated, and willing to learn. Due to a change in work procedure and attitude towards work, as well as training, the task of the order clerk is enriched with more competencies, and the internal and external standing of employees can increase.
Customer satisfaction can increase when deliveries arrive as promised and when the number of additional deliveries due to availability issues goes down.
In the course of its differentiation strategy, XY aims to achieve a competitive advantage with qualitatively and quantitatively exceptional service. This is part of the company’s vision 2020. The plan for additional growth focuses on the expansion of the product portfolio and a higher export share. To this end, a qualitatively well-educated workforce is necessary.
Colleagues in all interface departments generally get along well and enjoy working together. Relationships on a personal level are good and employees are capable of dealing with conflict.
The workload in the department is basically not calculable. From a historical perspective, there have always been seasonally driven phases of highs and lows. The order situation is dependent on the economic trend in the construction business Die Auftragslage ist abhängig von der Baukonjunkturlage und zwar unterschiedlich zwischen nationaler und internationaler Lage.
- Quote paper
- Erna Fischer (Author), 2014, The Concept of Change Processes according to the Rules of Change Management, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/340844