Purchasing items like safety equipment and paper supplies shouldn’t be that difficult for most companies. But it can be without the right shopping tools in place. For the past year, I’ve been working on a Change Management project to help a global corporation evolve its requisitioning tool (an old, outdated dinosaur), to a new software tool for those who purchase items for the company.
Why hire a Change Management contractor for a simple software update? Because change is hard, and it’s not as simple as one might think. For this project, we knew going in that there might be some resistance to change (there was), and that a comprehensive way to communicate this change would be in order. My approach was to not only communicate to the different stakeholders and users, but to include and engage them in the process. We had key user focus groups who gave input into how to design the product for their unique needs. We had open house events. We even had delays. (surprise!) And we had a few fun contests along the way.
My favorite part of communicating change was a series of videos with recurring characters, “Mark and Marcie,” who needed to learn this tool and adapt to change. Their adventures in one-minute stories helped break the tension with humor and fun. When it came time for training, a new character, “Helpdesk Hank,” assisted Mark and Marcie with the finer nuances. Hank’s smarts and deadpan delivery was a nice contrast to Mark’s cynicism and Marcie’s nerdiness. I created the characters and their stories with GoAnimate, which is an easy cloud platform.
The final launch happened in late spring, and I wrote this article for the company’s intranet home page:
K-C MarketPlace Wows North America’s Requisitioners
|When Kimberly-Clark launched its new requisitioning tool called K-C MarketPlace in North America this summer, users got to experience a faster, easier and better way to buy:
“K-C Marketplace will save us precious time, enabling enhanced focus on our value adding Continuous Improvement initiatives,” echoes ________.
K-C MarketPlace is launched in North America
To say K-C MarketPlace is an improvement over the existing requisitioning tool is an understatement.
“In an eye-opening survey, half of K-C’s requisitioners across the globe told us they are dissatisfied with the speed and ease of use of our previous P2P system called SRM. They told us it is hard to learn, difficult to search and compare items, and wastes time,” says _________.
A K-C MarketPlace team of developers consisting of Procurement, IT, Internal Controls and others worked hard to design a tool to improve the way Kimberly-Clark requisitions and approves indirect purchases. The goal was to implement a shopping tool that would be intuitive and easy, much like the way we shop from home using retail online sites.
To prepare users for the transition, the team engaged a communication campaign designed to engage them in the tool development process.
“Our team engaged key individuals from user groups to provide valuable input on everything from purchase order change capabilities to the different categories and navigation links,” says ____. “K-C MarketPlace was truly designed with the needs of the users in mind.”
To build pre-launch anticipation and excitement, the team created a vibrant K-C MarketPlace SharePoint site with how-to tutorials, contests, and humorous videos featuring recurring characters, Mark and Marcie, who learned about the shopping tool along with the audience:
New approval process
At the same time K-C MarketPlace launched, the organization had begun streamlining the way requisitions are approved by supervisors with the goal of implementing one global standardized process for approvals of indirect spend requisitions. Kimberly-Clark initiated the new approval process flow in North America in May, and the K-C MarketPlace tool supports and enables managers to adapt to the new process.
Currently North American manager-level supervisors are responsible for approving purchases made by their direct reports, based on a set approval threshold established in their Workday hierarchy.
Additionally managers can easily approve shopping requests from their smartphones or desktop computers with the new tool.