Touchless planning – retaining hearts and minds

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Touchless planning brings new energy, purpose, and service quality to everything the business and its workforce holds dear

In my previous post in this series, I outlined the benefits of touchless planning – but I also highlighted some of the main steps organizations should take in order to prepare for its introduction. I pointed out that for some businesses, this groundwork, while advisable, wouldn’t be straightforward.

In fact, even if everything goes relatively smoothly, change on this scale is going to have a significant effect on the culture of the organization and on the working lives of very many people within it. When some processes are digitized, and intelligent systems interpret and act upon data without human intervention, the workforce is understandably going to have questions and concerns.

Communicating the vision

That’s why it’s incumbent on those in a leadership role to communicate the vision for the company, and to demonstrate how people within the organization can benefit by developing skills that are complementary to an increasingly automated environment.

For organizations that assist their employees in skills development, there is clearly a mutual benefit. Service providers can provide appropriate support: for instance, here at Capgemini, the purpose of our Digital Learning Operations offering is to go beyond merely reskilling, and to start looking at creating the right channels for people to equip themselves on their own terms and at their own pace – anytime, anywhere, in module sizes that fit their other commitments. Some of it may be classroom-based, but much of it may be in remote virtual teaching sessions, with people coming together in online communities to learn and to share ideas and experiences. It all helps to remove anxiety, and to give people confidence that there is a place for them in this new environment where they can add value, and where they can maintain a sense of worth and fulfilment.

Demand  planners are a specific case in point. In this new, digitized environment, supported by smart technology acting in real time on more data than could previously ever have been analyzed, they will be able to be more strategic and less transactional, because many of the operational functions for which they were previously responsible can now be automated. They will occupy less of a support role, and they will increasingly be seen as a partner to the business, working in real time and collaboratively with other disciplines in the organization, with production and planning systems, with newly emerging automated and AI solutions, and of course ultimately also with customers.

Better – not different

The general point to keep in mind here – for everyone, and not just for newly-empowered demand planners – is that evolution, by its very nature, is intended to enable higher levels of performance. Touchless planning provides a prime example of this. It won’t simply eliminate tasks; it will also create new, more valuable forms of work. It is crucial that the organization’s leadership communicates this point to the entire workforce, together with a corresponding reallocation strategy, to ensure that everyone remains engaged, positive, invested in business goals – and able to take advantage of the benefits the new technology brings, on behalf not just of the business, but of the customers it serves.

Touchless planning doesn’t mean the culture of the organization has to change. Instead, it can bring new energy, purpose, and service quality to everything the business and its workforce holds dear.

In the fourth and final post in this series, I’ll make some suggestions about the best approach to take on the path to touchless planning.

Read other blogs in this series:

Learn more about how Capgemini’s approach to continuous touchless planning provides a framework for organizations to develop and deploy capabilities and processes across the business to deliver new levels of speed, accuracy, and responsiveness.

To learn more about how Capgemini’s Digital Supply Chain Practice  can help your organization implement a supply-value network and touchless planning across your supply chain, contact: joerg.junghanns@capgemini.com

Jörg Junghanns  leverages innovation and a strategic and service mindset to help clients transform their supply chain operations into a growth enabler.

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