Change is crucial for retail businesses: no one would argue that a retail business today cannot survive using the retail playbook of the 2010s. The customers are different. The technology is different. Even the products retailers sell are, in most cases, quite different.
Yet within organizations, many, if not most, employees dislike and fear change. They see it as a threat to the status quo, what they already know, or even their employment.
Within the world of retail IT, change is both constant and inevitable. A change agent can take a particular role within a modernized deployment initiative by acting as a support of the change and a trusted conduit between a service provider and the retailer. That is why retail IT professionals need to be able to establish a dispatch partner as a change agent, people well-versed in change management principles.
Change management principles guide how we prepare, equip, and support individuals to successfully adopt change, driving accelerated organizational success and outcomes. Change agents use these principles in compelling ways to reach hearts and minds throughout an organization.
Here is why this matters, as well as how to find the right employees that will truly perform as change agents for your business.
The Need for Change: A Matter of Survival
As the retail economy gets more technologically complex and as organizations grow, businesses must often introduce new technologies to support expansion, improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and keep their competitive edge.
And this is not optional: retail has always been a competitive landscape, and consumer preferences are shifting faster than ever before. Companies must invest in updating retail tech, or they risk losing it all.
In other words, selecting and implementing the right retail technology is a matter of survival.
With new technology comes various promises, such as improved effectiveness, lower costs, and a more seamless customer experience. But organizations cannot realize these benefits — at least not fully — without considering the need for change management.
Achieving successful adoption of new technology is not always easy. The implementation itself can also be difficult, especially for organizations operating without an effective retail IT dispatch partner. But installing the right devices in the right places is only part of the picture. You also must train end users in how to use new retail tech, and you must drive change.
This last element is where change agents come in. They can champion positive growth and innovation and lead the way in training peers, subordinates, and even clients on how to use or adapt to new retail technology.
The Most Common Point of Failure for New Technology Projects
Rolling out a new technology project is a challenging process with plenty of opportunities for obstacles. But the most common point of failure may surprise you. It is not in stakeholder approvals or in procurement. It is not in installation or configuration, either.
The most common point of failure is the end user adoption phase. This is when the masses get ahold of the new technology, and several things can go wrong. For one, the end users may not understand the technology, or they may not be properly trained in how to use it. Even worse than that is when the end users do understand and have been trained — but they do not use the new retail tech nonetheless.
These individuals can help your organization effectively communicate the benefits of new retail innovations with both new prospects and current customers throughout the sales process, helping you drive sales and build your portfolio.
Advocating a Partner & Their Change Agents
An experienced dispatch partner can implement a change management process and can help control the life cycle of strategic, tactical, and operational changes to IT hardware dispatches through standardized procedures. Consider these traits and attributes in your partner’s tech coordinators and project managers when you’re looking to control risk and minimize disruption to associated IT services and business operations.
- Innovator: Look for a candidate who is an innovator in the tech space, always tinkering with the latest tech and reading up on new developments.
- Adapt despite ambiguity: Some employees crumble when presented with ambiguous instructions or decisions that fall in a gray area, while others thrive. Look for independent thinkers that are not afraid of ambiguity.
- Growth mindset: Prioritize candidates that value growth initiatives and show signs of having a growth mindset.
- Adaptive to change: Candidates with a proven history of successfully adapting to rapid changes in workplace technology will be best positioned to guide others through the same process.
Of course, “change agent” isn’t a job title. It is simply one of many attributes service providers can look for when searching for a partner to aid in hardware deployments. Once a service provider identifies the right partners experienced in change management principles, efforts here will help to ensure successful deployment projects down the road.
Need a Quick Infusion of Change Agents? Kinettix Can Help.
Sometimes, the quickest way to find scalable numbers of change agents is to work with a retail IT dispatch partner like Kinettix. Kinettix works with retail IT professionals like you, helping augment and scale technology deployments rapidly and with minimal disruptions.
Kinettix can provide you with the change agents you need who can leverage their skill sets to help communicate change and create buy-in. Our retail IT dispatch network consists of qualified field technicians, tech coordinators, and project managers who provide the tools necessary for both you and your clients to embrace change — and thrive as a result.
Change management is one key to successful technology implementation. The other is professional-caliber deployment services at scale. Learn more about how Kinettix can be the consulting and dispatch partner to retail IT service providers, aiding retailers in maximizing their ROI on technology investments.