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This post is part of the Twinings Implementation blog series.

“Change” has been a decade long buzzword within the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) industry. Some companies fear it, some avoid it, and others attack it with full force.

Fi Gilkeson is the current Change and Project Manager for Twinings & Co. Fi doesn’t attack change, but rather strongly embraces it. She’s passionate but meticulous in her approach, a combination that has fit the bill while navigating major change.

Fenwick and Twinings are currently working together in a new system implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. For Fenwick the partnership presents another exciting opportunity to improve outcomes. We agree with Fi’s Mantra; the process is more than technology. Its real feat lies in people and benefits.

The need for an update and a new approach

Twining’s currently operate on outdated and disparate systems. They partnered with us after realising they needed a modern ERP system to improve. Yet, long before our partnership, the Twinings team were preparing for the change.

The process is more than just the technology, it’s people and benefits.

Fi Gilkeson

Twining’s understood the perils of overturning systems heavily embedded. Issues from technical problems to attitude problems previously bubbled at the surface. Twining’s wished to embrace a new approach for this implementation.

Importance of a dedicated resource

The approach, began with a strategic decision to outsource Fi. Her role has played an integral force in project delivery.

Fi is the Director of GilkesonKemp; a small business solutions and support company. She believes that a dedicated business resource like GilkesonKemp empowers the project with knowledge to plan, process and succeed. Outsourcing this role also ensures a company isn’t competing with usual business and work priorities.

With an extensive background in driving business transformation, Fi has developed a unique ability in getting people to see the bigger picture.

With Twinings, she instilled success was dependent on getting it right from the very beginning. The focus was on early communication and building a hustle for change internally. The buy-in was that the challenge would open the door to endless benefits and possibilities.

If you can’t do it right from beginning you won’t get people on board. If there’s no buy-in and you can’t reap benefits.

Fi Gilkeson

Building team culture

Fostering a supportive team culture was core in Fi’s crusade of change.

Dedicated time was spent discussing ERP process and running demos with staff. In these initial stages Fi jokingly admits to sounding like a broken record. She preached, an implementation would lead to better ways of working, user friendly systems, time efficiency and less work around. This broken record of change was on repeat for six months. The tracks played clear and consistent messages.

Developing team support

Consistency made staff feel comfortable and accurately informed. The implementation was going to be a challenge for the company. Fi didn’t hide that with painting a sunny picture. Staff knew hard work was ahead and they felt supported.

This staff encouragement was provided from the leadership team. Fi defines this support as top-down sponsorship. She believes, without it, change is extremely difficult to implement. A constant theme across similar projects, sees organizations attacking change headfirst without consideration to early team buy-in. Risks are minimized in support and careful planning. Fi’s early approach meant the team were committed early.

A team on track for success

Twining’s have successfully embraced Fi’s change method. Developing the new approach was an all inclusive effort. Twinings utilised Fi’s role combined with full time business experts and experienced external resource.

Ultimately, they have created business buy-in and engagement that is delivering exceptional results.

Working with an organized hustle for change

Twinings possessed an organized hustle for change from the get-go. This culture has already minimized typical project issues that can occur initially. As a result, we were given full ability to focus on what we do best, implementation of our Business Central solution.

The project is on track for success. We’re currently in stage 3. Yet both companies are thinking ahead to stages 4 and 5.

Looking into the future, another one of Fi’s mantras rings true; “it’s not where we are coming from but where we are going to”. Change is a one in, all in attitude. Success is dependent on clear communication and nurturing the buy-in of the team. Watch this space!