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How to Approach Executives About Upgrading Warehouse Tech

Article - 5 Min. Read

Discover the best tactics to get your company’s executive team on board with a warehouse tech upgrade.

Colorful, futuristic intersecting lines representing advanced warehouse technology.

To stay ahead of the latest trends—and the competition—many shipping managers are seeking to upgrade their operations, leveraging advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics and blockchain.[1]

Even when shipping teams have created a detailed plan for implementation, they may struggle to present their ideas to executives. To bring about the changes you’re considering, you must first learn how to effectively communicate with these top decision-makers.

Read through the three tips below to help you make the best business case for warehouse technology upgrades.

Speak in a way that will resonate
with C‑suite executives.

Perhaps you’re hoping to upgrade your warehousing tech to fix specific supply chain problems hampering day-to-day operations. Or maybe you just want to ensure your business can stand out from the competition. No matter what your specific goals are, it’s crucial to communicate with C-suite executives in a way that will resonate, speaking to issues important to them.

This will help encourage your higher-ups to further explore the tech upgrades you’re proposing and will instill confidence in your ability to lead the change.

Although it may seem most logical to point to numbers-based data and lay out very detail-oriented, supply chain–based arguments, C-suite executives tend to think in less technical terms.

Use business-oriented phrasing that will grab their attention.

Focus on return on investment (ROI) and broader value propositions. Pitching a tech upgrade to higher-ups can be intimidating, but keep in mind that you all have the same overarching goals: to improve the supply chain and ensure the future success of your team members and the company as a whole.

Spend some time practicing your pitch and write down any questions C-suite executives may have. Familiarizing yourself with key financial concepts and laying out how you will address any concerns will help you feel confident and prepared as you step into meetings.

big-picture gains.

In recent years, supply chain management has become a central concern for C-suite executives. The disruptions caused by COVID-19, in particular, have forced many companies to reassess how they do business.

The complexity of today’s marketplace means supply chains are no longer thought of solely in terms of procurement and logistics, and many C-suite executives are well aware of the importance of end-to-end optimization.

A holistic approach is paramount to supply chain success. When addressing your company’s C-suite executives, emphasize the value that a technologically sophisticated, well-managed supply chain can provide to all shareholders, rather than just the ways it can be used to control costs. Framing your argument in strategic terms will be most effective when speaking with the executive team.

Warehouse tech upgrades can boost a company’s bottom line in more ways than one.

These transformations can improve the customer journey, enhance end-to-end visibility, offer real-time data, boost brand reputation, improve regulatory compliance, and help mitigate risk.

Speak to these benefits in business-centric terms, citing easy-to-understand, real-world examples whenever possible that show how the upgrades will help. It’s easy for C-suite executives to dismiss opinions and speculations, but it’s harder to argue with illuminating case studies and industry success stories—even those of competitors.

As e-commerce and consumer technology continue to alter the business landscape, warehousing operations must keep up and adapt. The most successful companies will implement solutions that allow them to stay nimble far into the future, and C-suite executives are always thinking ahead; emphasizing the big-picture points above will help drive your case home.

Focus on customer
experience improvements.

When pitching warehouse upgrades, using business-oriented, big-picture lingo is important, but it’s also crucial to zero in on specific concerns. You may be focused mainly on the technical supply chain issues disrupting your workers’ day-to-day duties, but company decision-makers typically have various concerns.

C-suite executives will be more interested in how an upgrade could improve customer experience.

With reverse logistics playing an increasingly important role in supply chains, excellent customer service is no longer just an option—it’s a necessity to continue thriving in today’s ever-shifting retail landscape.

Today’s customers expect transparent and easy communication, quick and efficient fulfillment, and seamless returns. By streamlining processes, reducing overhead, and harnessing the power of data, warehouse tech upgrades can help your company remain relevant in the minds of today’s savvy consumers. When a business creates a positive experience that makes the customer feel valued, it’s a win-win.

When meeting with the executive team, explain clearly how the upgrades would enhance the customer experience—and, ultimately, what that means for the bottom line.

Key Takeaway

As supply chains become more complex, warehouse technology upgrades become increasingly important. But before any changes can be implemented, the executive team must be on board and in full support of the transformation.

Speaking in business-oriented language that resonates with C-suite executives will strengthen your argument from the get-go, and specifically emphasizing big-picture gains and potential supply chain improvements will help grab their attention. Finally, remember to show the long-term value of the transformation by focusing on customer experience enhancements.

Keeping these simple tips in mind will help you feel informed and prepared as you approach your higher-ups, increasing your chances of achieving a warehouse tech upgrade that will keep your company nimble, competitive and future-ready.

  1. [1]“The Shipping Revolution: 5 Technologies that are Transforming the Shipping Industry," Cogoport, April 29, 2020.

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