New technology emerged, and they presented a new opportunity for doing things better, faster and efficient. With the recent introduction of the e-commerce platform retailers and other shops have to either introduce and get on board, or they risk getting out of business.
I work in a shoe retailing company. Recently, the company management announced that they would be introducing the e-commerce. Therefore, we all were going to undergo a little training and change the way we function. As a result, most of the manual activities that we were doing, would be done using the e-commerce platform. That said it meant that we would all have to change the way we’re doing things. The management outlined that the e-commerce platform provided the company with an opportunity to reach more people, communicate efficiently, manage sales and share data easily. The platform would also allow most of the people to access the products of the company.
First of all, we were selling products through advertisement and phone calls. However, with the introduction of the e-commerce platform, the office now has software’s that would manage all the orders. All we had to do was to look at the order police and package it ready for distribution.
The introduction of the e-commerce platform as a sales alternative means that very many thing s were going to change. The change that was undergoing at the place of work was abrupt and intense. The platform had replaced a
Apply force field analysis to identify the factors for and against the change
Under the guideline, using the Force Field Analysis, the belief is that situations are maintained using a force that drives the change and the forces that are against the change. According to Lewin, for a change to happen, the driving forces must be strengthened, and the resisting forces must be weakened (Shirey, 2013). The company here has to change the introduction of the e-commerce platform for the sale of products. The following analysis will highlight the forces for change and the forces that will resist the change
Forces for change
A long-term strategy for the company
The company strategic team has rolled out the long-term strategic plans, and one of the plans is for the company to ensure that it exploits the opportunity provided by the internet. Therefore, the long-term company strategy is to ensure that they have a stronger online presence starting with e-commerce and social media. The strategic team research revealed that for the company to survive the future it as to keep up with the recent technological developments. (Nicholas, 2012). That is the only way that the company will be able to maintain the market share, increase the revenue and ensure survival. Therefore, the change has been suggested by the strategic team, and it has been approved by the company management. With that, there will be no otherwise but to ensure that the change is implemented successfully.
Change of consumer preferences taste
The consumers are dynamic, and they are changing accordingly due to the different forces, for example, the technology advancements. According to recent research, most consumers are now looking for convenience by going to online stores (Nicholas, 2012). Instead of going to the shops and window shopping, most customers will now use online advertisement and social media to see what they can buy. Additionally, they can also decide to purchase products that are readily available. After a keen analysis of the data from consumer behaviour, the company determine that it is losing a lot of customers without having an online presence. Therefore, the company needs to change, get online and secure a market share of the shoe industry or it will be overtaken.
Competitors are doing so well
The company’s main competition Zappos adopted the use of E-commerce and are doing better than the company. Additionally, other companies that have emerged recently have established e-commerce platforms that have then allowed them to gain market share. The company observed how they had done it. The difference between our company and the company the e-commerce factor. They have an established e-commerce platform that allows their customers to order from their online store and have it delivered to them. That is the only competitive advantage they have as we all sell similar products.
Forces against the change
The cost of changing
The creation and development of the e-commerce platform are very expensive. It means that the company has to create a whole new department that will be in charge of the e-commerce platform. They will have to be paid for the development services. Like other employees, they will also be paid a salary at the end of every month. The cost factor in this change is a huge factor that is against the change. The company will also need to buy computers, install the internet and ensure that everyone has all the accessories needed for the company to use the e-commerce platform.
Retraining of employees and resistance
Most employees are not computer literate. They will have to be retrained. Most workers might be over the age of 50 and are not willing to learn anything new. They would rather get fired to go and work in some other place (Hillebrand et al., 2012). Lack of enough technical skills in ICT and use of computers and the software’s introduces a hard element in the adoption of the necessary change.
Describe what actions you would take to address the forces
According to Lewin’s to effect any change, forces for change must be strengthened, and the forces against change must be weakened (Shirey, 2013). Therefore, in this situation, that will be the guideline to address the forces
Strengthening the forces for change
The main reasons for advocating for change are; it’s the long-term strategic plan, competitors are doing well, and the customer is changing. Therefore, to effectively enhance the changes, I will, therefore, need to enhance the need for change through communicating the long-term company strategies to all the stakeholders. Through effective communication strategies, I will be able to communicate the company strategies to the employees, outline to them why we need to change and provide them with the necessary information about the change. Additionally, I will also be able to outline that it is the only strategic move to keep up with the competition. I will strengthen the need for change by showing the employees how the customers have moved to online to order stuff and how it is in our best interest to move with customer preferences. I will also outline how our e-commerce will allow us to enhance our customer care services and will increase the customer centeredness in customer service provision.
Weakening the forces against change
The three main forces against change are costs of change, the resistance of change, lack of training or skills in handling the equipment. To weaken the forces against the change will require strategic planning, prediction and forecasting. First, six months before implementation the workers will be exposed to information’s and subjected to rigorous, extensive and compresence training on how to use the ICT gadgets. Therefore, by the time we need to implement, they will not be scared of the unknown but rather welcome the change with both arms open. The company anticipated that it would need to execute the change for the e-commerce and was well aware of the costs. Therefore, the company will look for financing approaches as early as possible and set money aside for the project. The cost will be a problem only if there is no adequate planning. However, with adequate planning, the company can outsource development loans, or look for other alternative approaches to get the money for the development (Hillebrand et al., 2012). Additionally, I will also ensure that the company outsources a company to carryout the e-commerce development. It will turn out to be cheaper.
how resistance to change would be managed
The resistance to change is inevitable and must happen. Most people will be resisting the change due to their reasons. However, general reasons will be that they are used to a certain way of doing things, or they are in a certain comfort zone. Therefore, anything that threatens their stability will be met with resistance. Therefore, to manage resistance, I will anticipate it and ensure that I am proactive in handling the issue. First, to ensure that I managed the resistance effectively, I will use the Lewins change resistance model. It is a simple model that effectively allows for resistance management (Shirey, 2013).
The best approach, from the beginning, I will ensure that I employ effective resistance management strategies. One of the approaches will be to get effective change resistance managers. They are managers that have experience with handling the people. The managers will help out with preparing people for change, managing the change and reinforcing change.
However, generally, to manage the resistance the best way will be to engage all the employees that will be affected. In doing so, I will ensure that I have maintained effective communication strategies. The communication strategies will also ensure that I have created feedback channels and response teams. It will show the employees that their needs and welfare is protected adequately when changing. The communication will help in outlining the stakeholders the need for change (Shirey, 2013). Once the affected parties have the right information on why the change is needed, they will help and participate ensuring that the change implementation is successful. Additionally, I will create change implementation teams that will be headed by people who are affected by the change. That will ensure that every affected person can get the required information about the change.
Hillebrand, H., Langenheder, S., Lebret, K., Lindström, E., Östman, Ö. and Striebel, M., 2018. Decomposing multiple dimensions of stability in global change experiments. Ecology Letters, 21(1), pp.21-30.
Nicholas, J.M., 2012. Successful project management: a force-field analysis. Journal of Systems Management, 40(1), p.24.
Shirey, M.R., 2013. Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), pp.69-72.