Nemawashi was the word of the day!

The Japan RedPrairie Warehouse Team recently played host to the BSI Change Management Team for the RedPrairie Change Management Deep Dive held over a two-day period from 21-22 November 2016.


Joined by Atsushi ‘Ash’ Suzuki, BSI Director APAC, the Change Management Team facilitated the session, which was organized to make the implementation of RedPrairie easier and more successful for warehouse employees in Japan. 


An overview on key Change Management activities – Training, Communication and Key Change Initiatives was held. RedPrairie specialist Mike Schmid also conducted a conference call for a discussion on the new to-be processes that could be expected post-RedPrairie.


Ash thanked all the participants for the two day investment of their time on Change Management.


“Change management is critical to the success of all our major regional projects. We need to help our employees adapt to the change, and the warehouse leadership team has a critical role to drive this success. It was also impressive to see the strong support of local HR, who has responsibility for Change Management in Asia Pacific,” Ash said.


Ash also spoke about the importance of “Nemawashi” in the Japanese culture – the art of informally laying the foundation for a proposed change by speaking to all stakeholders for feedback and support.

Nemawashi means that we lay the groundwork in getting ready for the move to RedPrairie (similarly referred to in Change Management terminology as ‘informal communication’). This is an important element for us to always keep in mind, as proactively executing well-structured Nemawashi in-between formal project communication enables change to be carried out with the consent of all parties involved,” said Ash.


This concept, while Japanese in nature, struck a chord with all participants in the workshop, as they understood the importance of getting buy-in from all sides.


Tetsuya Hazeki, Distribution Manager for Amway Japan, and fondly known as Hazeki-san, was happy with the outcome of the workshop.


“We have had some good discussions over the past couple of days, which has resulted in higher awareness of Change Management within the team. Let’s focus on communicating this change well to all of our stakeholders. By focusing on Change Management we can make the implementation of RedPrairie easier and more successful for our warehouse teams. Thank you to Ash and his team as well for spending their time with us and helping us understand the importance and benefits of Change Management to a project,” concluded Hazeki-san.



  • Next steps for Japan is the start of the SME Training for both the Hachioji and Kobe RDCs.
  • Training starts on 5 December 2016 and will go on for 2 weeks.
  • RedPrairie is schedule to go live in Japan in March and April 2017.