Modern agile warehouses demands change management for success

In many of my articles focus have been on technology such as automation and robotics or WMS. Actually, that is symptomatic for the whole warehouse business right now. Many logistics organizations is in transitions right now or will be soon. However, one thing is sure humans will be an important part or rather, the most important part of warehouse operations for a long time to come. This is something that is often forgotten in discussions about transitions regarding automating warehouse logistics. There is a lot of research (just google) about the importance of communication, transparency, trust  and involvement in order to make the transition a success.

My third article I ever wrote was about how important the HR department is for the modern warehouse. Modern and efficient warehouse operations demands agile staff that is multi-skilled and can move around between the different tasks. To do that you need a leadership with strong communicative skills and staff that is susceptible to rapid directives from management. You also need a HR that is coaching both management and staff and help the management to communicate the warehouse values and handle change management in warehouse

Now when almost every warehouse is looking on automation solutions and tries to adapt to e-commerce and omni-channel, change management is more important than ever in warehouse operations. Companies need to understand how important asset HR and leadership is to modern warehousing. There is no static operations anymore. Everybody is talking about “Amazonification” but almost everyone forgets that Amazon has been working at such rate of change since they started, change is a part of their DNA. Everybody that signs a contract on Amazon knows what that means. Suddenly implementing such a pace of change in an organization that has worked in the same static way for many years years creates a huge worry and uncertainty. If you want to make a mature organization agile and open minded to change you need to use a leadership and HR that can handle change management.

I will not go into details regarding change management, instead I link below to a great site about change management that very well describes success factors for change management and presents the four most popular theories in the subject

Finally, do not underestimate the power of great leadership and communication in change. There is a lot of research that proves how important change management is in organizations that are undergoing major transformations.

Roberth Karlsson


  1. Hi Robert,

    I am looking for a training for my project managers that are responsible for continuous ilprovement and onboarding of new clients. They are faced to operators that are not waiting for change. However if they are convinced of the change, it will be much more likely a succes than when they are not on board. I want my PM’s to use change management techniques to get them on board before actually starting the change. Therefore I’m looking for a company/trainer to train these skills.
    Thanks a lot for your feedback and your inspiring posts on linkedin!
    Kind regards,
    Hans Vansweevelt
    COO Radial Europe

    1. Hi Hans
      Thank you for the feedback.
      I recommend the “ADKAR” model regarding change management (see link below). But more important I recommend everybody working in projects and teams to read the book “radical collaboration” (see link below). I have read lots of books regarding leadership and management and this is by far the best book I have read. It describes very well what healthy organizations is dependant of also when it comes to willingness of change. I use this book and methods in my management and give the book to leaders in the organizations. Time and communication is essential in change management, two way communication – dialogue with all parts that is affected by the change. Dialogue is the most important “pressure valve” for destructive fear and frustration for an organization in change. This does not mean that you back away from the original plan, but you must be patient and listen to the concerns.

      Kind regards Roberth

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