The importance of change management in the food industry

Change management is the biggest challenge for businesses in the food industry. When an organization is taking a number of projects and initiatives that improve performance and raise new opportunities, they often require changes. Changes to processes, roles, organizational structure, and technology. Adapting your food business to achieve future success is a process that many companies go through, and just as many fail in their concept and application of change of management.

What is change management?

Change management is a guide on how to prepare, equip and support individuals to adopt change in order to increase organizational success. It’s how you take care of your employees in a time of change. Change management is a process, a set of steps followed by team members to implement a particular organizational change. The three main phases of this methodology include:

  • Preparing for change (formulating the organizational change strategy)
  • Managing change (integrating the plan into a project)
  • Reinforcing change (compliance audits to evaluate change)

Organizational redesign

After a clear assessment of the current organizational status, the information is then used to design a future of business planning. This organizational change includes the processes, structures, and systems that, when put in place, will help the business achieve that next step. And making any kind of business change requires a well put together communications plan. Keeping employees informed helps with a fully functioning transition to achieve the best support and implication from all stakeholders.

Embracing change management

There are many ways a food company can embrace change management. Think food start-ups. While engagement with various start-ups can be, at times, a less than fruitful move, many food companies see great results from taking a few start-ups under their umbrella. Another way food companies can experience this change is via refreshing their software vendor. A new software platform can significantly streamline several processes and change the way business is done on a day to day basis. The implementation of a new ERP system can lead change management, as it improves the core of how major processes are run. For example, a meat business that’s got a very short lean time, short shelf-life, must work with a forecast, the challenge there is to minimize waste and maximize efficiency. Meanwhile, a confectionary company deals with long lean times, long shelf life and their challenges could come from wrapping up the processes that are vital to the business. Therefore, there are as many types of adaptabilities in democratizing innovation and offering access to the latest technological advancements that could fit in the organizational change of both models.

Redesigning and rethinking processes

Organizational change management is also key to an ERP implementation and it’s more than swapping an old system with a new one. This is an opportunity to create lasting business change within an organization. And due to the rapid developments in the food industry, plus the introduction of new ways of completing projects, the modern food business is in a perpetual state of change. And an organizational shift in redesigning and rethinking old processes is a process that most of today’s successful companies are undergoing.

Most transformation programs come out of necessity. Organizational change happens one individual at a time. Ultimately, it’s up to the employees to embrace change and the transition and deliver on the forecasted results.