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Wholesaler in food and non-food

A wholesaler in food and non-food faces a big challenge: it needs to level up with its competitors and become financially sound again. So, they decide to go for drastically changing their strategy as well as the way they run their operations given that their current work processes are outdated. Each branch works has devised their own ways of working, meaning unnecessary loss of time, money and manpower and a lack of attention for their customers. And managers are not able to interact with their employees as much as is needed.

The Challenge

The company develops a programme for introducing a new operating model. Local management of the specific departments in each store is taken over by Head Office, based on standardized processes. The integral approach will make the many processes – such as stocking up the stores – more predictable. Employees at all company levels must adopt a new way of working. We were asked by the client to support them in their change management and communications.

Our strategy

We strongly believe that any change needs to happen in everyday work, with the top communicating a clear direction and with room for employees to process and internalize the change. As usual in retail, wholesale employees are working on the shop floor to tight schedules, presenting an extra challenge in terms of reaching them. Opportunities to work together with employees on the change are not abundantly available. In our strategy, however, we came up with as much options as possible for this crucial change aspect.

We support the Board in developing a clear vision on the change process, that serves as the basis for all their communications with their employees. We design and facilitate ‘why, what, how’ sessions with branch and other local managers, to prep them for their role in the change process.

Regular live and narrow-casted town hall meetings are organized for the Board to talk about the process, stressing time and again why the change is necessary.

In addition, we arrange that during existing moments such as a daily stand-ups, managers pay attention to any questions or concerns their employees may have. This allows room for employees to process what is happening, how it affects them, and to understand what concrete changes await them. We create a feedback loop so that input from the shop floor is addressed via the change monitor and unnecessary concerns can be dealt with.

Employees are updated at regular times, so they know when to expect information. It allows them to engage with the changes for them and the entire organization.


The wholesale retailer has carried out its change program now, and implemented its new processes, systems and ways of working successfully. Their employees have been involved as much as possible in actually changing and work in line with the new set-up. The organisation now has a solid foundation to build on and further its strategic ambitions.

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