Managing change in express transport logistics

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‘Clarity’ - ‘It's important to define the problem.’

‘Change to do more or do better.’

Rosie Bailey delivered an academic keynote to UWL Express Manager Degree candidates.

University of West London has built a reputation for top names in operational keynote delivery as it delivers the Express Manager Degree apprenticeship. May was no exception, as IOC Dr Tracey Worth attended to see Rosie Bailey deliver an expert class on Business Change in Express Logistics.

Dr Tracey Worth did the introductions. Rosie Bailey, fellow of the Institute of Couriers, former CitySprint director was with Dr Tracey Worth & University of West London, Express Manager degree students to deliver a keynote for the level six candidates on Managing Change in transport logistics. ‘A practical toolkit for business side success.’ ‘A look at change projects.’

A life in the sector of express working on the customer side of the business. Responsible at CitySprint from on boarding to account management all the way to customer service. When Pandemic hit, ties were interesting, two and a half years ago the business was sold to DPD, a process of change.

‘Fortunate to have had a journey in logistics. I have been in the sector for a long time, UK Parcel, Target Express, City Link, then from next day to same day with CitySprint.

‘A keynote on Dealing with change. Change projects, from the lens of express managers. Executive summary is really important, short with data to back up the business case. Detailing the steps that documented the road to the change project.’ Keep it one page in summary. Rosie moved to large and small variations for change projects. Smaller operations need to be focused, here are levels of change. A small change in continuous improvement may stretch, a safe soft landing to change. As a functional lead you may be testing, do you have the stretch capability? Exposure of the project will give you the opportunity to shine. Sponsorship of the project is the next level, while you ay not be delivering the change, its abut how you get team around you to work on that change.

Lets think about an idea that makes the first step in change, a problem or opportunity to do more or do better. Its important to define the problem. If the definition of your change problem is not clear you can be in trouble of course and land at the wrong end point. You need to think about the financials around a change project, from cost per mile,, operational data, is it a performance problem. Do you need external data. Insight, particularly external, do you have insight into how others have solved the same problem.

When you set the objective of a change project, you need everyone agreed. There may be a series of micro objectives that get you to the final change. Be clear about the outcome, use smart language, document what good looks like.

Think about capacity to deliver change projects, think people, do the team have knowledge, skill, time and ability to deliver the project, how does the team work together? Are there external companies involved?’ Rosie spoke case study on the implementation of a Salesforce programme; moving from an existing CRM to a new platform. We worked with an implementation partner, technical excellence, but they expected rigid and structured delivery while our team in logistics was flexible to change. There was a step to a more boutique partner to engage with the flexibility of implementation.

Key issues are administration and reporting the project, as project leader it comes down to you to sell the project of change you are about to deliver, be comfortable to showcase you have not bitten off more than you can chew.

You need everyone to get alongside. Culture, business can be very internally focused, sometimes teams don’t fit as well as you may hope. Are there conflicts in the culture? Measure existing success in the team, judge how team members are ready to step out of the box.

Shape and structure of the team, great people in their role are not always the people vest chosen for a change project.

Capacity, in our sector of express we don’t have people sat around, think about those who can take on a little extra to join the change team, think experience and specialist knowledge that come into the team.

Workstreams, is this a simple project or do you need different workstreams? will each workstream complement or trip over each other? and as the workstreams build don’t forget the administration to control the alignment.

The secrets of success – stick to the plan, do not let enthusiasm take you outside the goals. Be sure to get a finish. Keep senior people engaged, keep senior team aware of the project steps and the success points.

If things go off track, be ready to plan change; you may need to extend the time line to get a great outcome, focus on materiality, don’t spend time worrying about a stream that will not be part of the key change, if resources get tight, think what gets you further along in the project. Do not be afraid to talk about what you need. Clarity is everything in a project.