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The Wellness Experience

By Pete Kovac January 17, 2018 by Pete Kovak
Supply Chain Wellness

We all dread going to the doctor for that first wellness checkup of the year. Typically it comes at the start of a new year; after all the holiday goodies we’ve consumed, lack of exercise and sleep, not to mention year-end stress. Some of us put off that check-up for months or even years. The same can be said for our SAP environments, business processes, and master data. We put off checking the system because we’re so consumed by the day to day stresses and lack of sleep, we just don’t want to deal with it – in hopes that it will go away on its own. We add in 3rd party add-ons like a dieting program that only covers up the root causes. We tell ourselves we know what needs to be done, but we keep putting it off. Most of the time we ignore it because we realize just how much change is needed to get back on track.

Recently, on a Wellness Assessment during the first step of the oVo® transformation process, I wanted to make more observations on the personal effects of the group from the beginning to when we completed the Wellness Assessment. Each morning we held a feedback session with the group on the findings in their SAP system from the day prior. It’s really a great way to guide and engage people as we go through this exercise with them. Most participants think that when a consulting company comes in to “poke around” it’s all about finger pointing and a blame game. The classic “Office Space” movie is what I always chuckle at when with new clients that are going through the Reveal process, breaks the ice quick.

What we do is Lead, Guide, and Educate

Yes, the master data isn’t right; yes, the configuration does not support the current business process, but at this point what does it really matter who did what and when…? It really doesn’t – what matters is that we understand where we are in order to know how to start improving basic concepts in SAP throughout their supply chain.

The first feedback session was the most critical. This is where we looked at open orders, material master settings, production orders/config, and gave our feedback. The immediate sense I felt in the room was the people were on guard and in defense mode. People were scared because they knew how bad the system was performing, but when someone else tells you what it is impacting both upstream and downstream you start to sink into your seat. You could have cut the tension with a knife! As we started to get deeper into the data and showed what steps needed to be taken to fix, realign the issue, and configure, people started to sit back and take in the findings. They started to realize that there is a path to get back on track. That no matter how bad it is, there’s a way to fix it and move forward and to stop thinking and speaking in the past.

Over the next few mornings, as more findings were presented, the engagement rate increased significantly. People started asking questions and challenging internal processes – together – as a team. Now they know the “why” and are starting to ask about the “how”. People felt free and open to voice their issues and struggles that they were seeing every day. Having that communication between teams brought up issues and potential solutions. It’s all about working together as opposed to working in your own confined silo. Thinking that the change you made in the system won’t affect anyone else when in reality it does.

7 Phrases That Indicate You Need A Wellness Assessment

  1. “Its always been like that”
  2. “I can calculate that in Excel”
  3. “We have a special process for that”
  4. “SAP isn’t flexible enough for us”
  5. “Don’t worry, we change master data all the time”
  6. “Let’s have IT create a custom _______”
  7. “We’ve purchased another 3rd party tool that will help us with ______”

By the end of the week, the organization knew exactly where they stood, exactly what their diagnosis was, and exactly what steps were needed to accomplish their goals as an organization. They understood that once their SAP system starts doing the heavy lifting for them, they can focus on their duties instead of firefighting and putting excel spreadsheets together. As this Wellness Assessment ends another one will start, and we’ll go through the same process again educating one supply chain at a time, transforming what matters.

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