Change Can Be A Good Thing

11-2-2015 7-30-03 PM

To me it’s rare that change comes without pain but I have experienced it. For one of my accounts, I noticed that we kept on delivering late to every ship to location. I decided to do a deep dive to understand the root cause and figure out a solution. I started with the “5 Why” and went from there. I worked with our transportation team to get their point of view on the carriers we were using and also with our data management team to make sure the locations were set up correctly. After investigation, the routes for each ship to location were set up incorrectly. This made the system trigger the orders later than needed. Instead of giving our warehouse up to 6 days to ship, we were giving them 3-4 days. I worked with our data management team on the recommended routes and adjusted the system. Now we increased our On Time for delivery from 68% to 97%. This was a huge win because this was a seamless change and didn’t impact the use of carriers or the customers.

Most people who ignore signals calling for change are afraid of change. Change can be scary and difficult to the point where most people just avoid it. They’re afraid the decisions they’re making are wrong and will end up failing. Failure can be a good thing though. You can always learn what didn’t work and move on to the next challenge. Nobody wants to fail, but it’s a part of growth that helps you get to the place where you want to be. I’m sure people think it’s harder to do something different that is more difficult than it is to do something new and less steps.

I was trained to run a report that will inform the sales department of the case fill rate for each account for each month and week. The person who created the report showed me how she ran it and I was to follow her steps. This report was monstrous and complicated but it gave the information needed. In the beginning, it would take me about an hour to run then I had to explain it in an email to the sales force so maybe about hour and half. As time went by, I got better and took me less time to run and send it to the team but still took me about 45 minutes to do it. My co-worker said he had a better way of running the report but I was hesitant because I just nailed down running this report. But I sucked it up and we created a faster easier report and now I love it.

Change can be scary but without it you will never know if something is better.

9 thoughts on “Change Can Be A Good Thing

  1. Hi Jessica,

    I love this post because of your personal story on change. I find that it often creates positive outcomes as well, regardless of whether the outcome was efficient or not, you tend to always have a take away from the experience. I find change very humbling to myself and others. Our office is always changing, constant process improvement. It’s exhausting sometimes, but there are so many things that could be improved or entirely revamped that come up that we just have to go with the flow. It’s in realizing that there is not one right way to do it, and that nothing is permanent that I find peace with change.

  2. “Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” – Albert Einstein

    I love your comments on change. Change can be scary. Intimidating. Daunting.
    Due to the uncertainties, many turn away from change. This is why we need leaders who are not afraid to break the status quo.

    Change in the modern era continues to disrupt businesses around the world. Many continue to try and avoid change, but i think we can both agree that…CHANGE is here! And more is on the way.

    The road to change is difficult. But the baby steps to find a problem, propose a solution, and work towards the goal is the key.

    Good stuff.
    Stay Fresh,

  3. I am afraid of change, but is also aspire to change. Change makes me uncomfortable, such as little issue when plans with friend change, or working issues that a new system or process or policy is being executed. In fact, the only one thing won’t change is changing. Whether you like it or not, if you are alive, you will be always in a changing environment, either get adjusted in an active way or a passive way. It’s just your choice. But most time in work or projects going on, you have to follow the change. Otherwise you will be discarded by work or colleges. Our department introduced a new HR information system to our company. It was a lot of work in the beginning. We needed to export and do a summary of all employee information, and then input it into the new system. The process included recruiting, doing monthly salary calculation, are changed. We worked over time for one month. And we couldn’t stop complaining. But after the new system, everything ran much smoother, every one enjoyed the efficiency of the new system. So, change is normal in a work environment, we should embrace change in a positive way. It makes our work and life easier.

  4. Jessica you made some good and use a real world example to get your point across. I concur change can seem difficult but sometimes it is a necessity. I know from experience how reluctant people are to change. I have 26 direct reports who every time I implement a new process or standard procedure they give me a little kickback. I get the same response every time,”well we did it like this for ever or why do we have to change?” It’s not until they began to work with the new change before they see the benefits. It’s part of our jobs in management to get people to buy in to change.

  5. So on point Jessica. I just ran into this issue today. So I work in financial reporting and today I was covering for a coworker. It should have been a calm day, until I discovered that an asset had been booked with the wrong principal payments…for months. We only just discovered the issue, which of course was a ton of work to correct and infinite phone calls trying to chase down why the original change happened. The recurring reason? Every person I talked to recognized that something was off on the amount, but no one wanted to question it because they were afraid uncovering more would result in restating months of reports. So they ignored it and since no one complained, it kept happening. Until today, that was possible, but now the errors would effect over 100 investors who hold that asset. I understand why people are risk averse, in protection of their reputation, their jobs, their pride. A little humility and a willingness to learn are not just good traits, but they can go a long way in upholding good business practices. You are 100% right — failure is a part of growth. We could all do well to fail more often.

  6. Hi Jessica great blog post, I can relate to your story because when I worked in a Bank, a few years ago in my home country, the procedures and ways of doing tasks were structured very rigidly and years prior my arrival, it was difficult trying to change some aspects of the workflow but they were clearly giving up the positive “risk” of change, that can bring positive results as yours. You are completely right about the fear of failure, I also agree that it is a critical part in the path of success. Thanks for sharing great examples about your work experience

  7. Jessica:

    Change can certainly be overwhelming. I personally find change very exciting most of the time, because it is what enables process improvement. Think of all the processes in your business that are frustrating to employees. While the idea of the effort to enact change can be daunting, it is important to consider the gains that can be made when an idea is successfully managed into reality by a dedicated champion or project manager who has an appropriate level of backing by a sponsor.

  8. Jessica,

    Like most people have already stated, change is scary and overwhelming. At my work there are many people who refuse to change and prefer to do things “the way it’s always been done”. Well after a while I began to realize that it isn’t the change that they are afraid of, it is the fear of the unknown. We are so caught with being able to control every aspect of our lives that the unknown scares us. Imagine waking up every morning without checking our phone for weather updates and taking the gamble to embrace whatever mother nature has prepared for us. Instead most of us are so routined in knowing and controlling every aspect of our lives. We fear not knowing what will happen more so than the change.

  9. Jessica, this is a great blog post. I don’t think there is a person that is always looking for a change in everything (if there is a person like that, I don’t want to meet them). I think change could be classified into two ways. One way we can define change is as a process improvement. We are eager to improve something that we know that there is an easier way around it, just like in your example. Another way we can define change is, something that we are completely sick of and needs to be changed. If you are running the same report over and over again, one day you will be sick of running that report, therefore, people need to add just a little bit of flavor to the daily lives (different than someone that is constantly looking for change).

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