Essendant is one of the nation’s leading wholesale distributors for business and facility essentials, with $5.3 billion in sales, multiple best-in-class brands, over 70 distribution centers and 30,000 reseller customers.
With market demand for traditional office products declining and customers purchasing a broader array of products online, Essendant recognized the need to change. To better serve customers, Essendant’s leadership decided to integrate and streamline their multiple businesses. A common IT and operating platform needed to be created to combine the two largest business units and solve the many challenges of today’s marketplace.
Essendant engaged Baker Tilly Digital to work closely with program leadership to develop and implement an approach to support the transformation of the company to become the fastest, most convenient solution for workplace essentials.
We collaborated with the client to understand the requirements associated with comprehensive changes to business processes and policies related to critical areas such as item content, supply chain and customer experience. Once the requirements were understood, dozens of impact analyses were performed on a diverse range of customer, technical, operational and business issues to identify specific stakeholder needs. This in-depth analysis established a solid platform for change execution.
Baker Tilly Digital brought the methodology and resources to help Essendant through their transformation journey by tailoring change management and project management to align to the needs of the business. We delivered project management expertise to provide structure to the activities to achieve the client’s goals, and a process for raising and resolving issues and key decisions throughout the program. This change management enabled customers, suppliers and internal associates to understand and support the overall solution. A key and foundational plank of the program included executive sponsorship and cross-functional communications aligned to each step in the client’s journey.
Essendant cited key elements of the approach and execution as being instrumental in achieving success.
The Baker Tilly team was an essential part of the overall project team and provided their expertise to guide our change management efforts, managed numerous communications and challenged our traditional thinking. These efforts helped drive and deliver our goal of becoming the fastest, most convenient solution for workplace essentials.Janet Zelenka, Essendant SVP and CIO
Baker Tilly Digital also helped author a conversion guide for customers, which detailed the change and explained how customers will do business on the new platform. As a result of our approach, Essendant was able to successfully:
Baker Tilly’s change management tools and processes allowed us to successfully manage the expectation of our customers, suppliers, and associates throughout our journey to transform our business. By using a methodology of viewing impacts ‘from the customer back’ we were able to effectively identify, communicate and train on enhancements to our systems, processes and policies to manage our stakeholders through their change curves.Janet Zelenka