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Managing dealer change: How OEMs can up their game


The challenges of managing change for a dealer audience can be daunting. A dealer network frustrated by or unable to cope with change can have far-reaching impacts on customer experience, including damage to brand reputation.

For this reason, effective dealer change management is becoming more and more important to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). In the coming years, Accenture believes that OEM industry leaders would be those who shift from seeking dealer change-management assistance on an initiative-by-initiative basis to building internal, cross business-unit change management capabilities.

In this point-of-view report, we examine the dynamics of dealer change management.



The Challenges of Dealer Change Management
When faced with managing change that impacts a dealer audience, manufacturers have to grapple with a number of unique challenges and limitations:

Trust Equation

Dealers in the Trust Equation

Source: The Trusted Advisor, Maister, Green & Galford, 2000

Dealers in the Trust Equation
When approaching dealer change management from a strategic perspective, and considering the nature of dealer-manufacturer relationships, the Trust Equation is a good place to start. Manufacturers often take dealers’ lack of receptiveness to change for granted.

The Trust Equation can help manufacturers to consider the underlying reasons that dealers generally do not accept change, and it can serve as a foundational question for the validation of all change activities.

Direct Dealer Involvement​

In Summary

Dealer change management can be difficult but there are some very practical steps that OEMs can take to improve their change-management efforts, both on a project-by-project basis as well as more holistically across the organization. If they do nothing else, manufacturers must be mindful of the Trust Equation and involve dealers in shaping solutions and change initiatives as much as possible. If they really want to take dealer change management to the next level, they need to make it a specific function—with representation from all dealer-facing business units—within their organizations. The prize to be won means making those changes can no longer be ignored.

Paul O’Keeffe
Paul O’Keeffe

Industrial Managing Director
Paul has twenty years of experience leading change programs for OEMs with the majority having a large dealer impact. Paul leads the Change Management Practice for Accenture’s North American Industrial business.

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Mark Wrobleski
Mark Wrobleski

Change Management Manager
Mark is a Change Management Manager in Accenture’s North American Industrial Practice. He has broad experience in large change programs that impact dealers.

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