3 mins

IT Distributor Increases ROI with Change Capability

The leadership team identified that building enterprise change capability was imperative to Avnet’s ongoing operational excellence initiative. The company certified practitioners, delivered role-based training, and leveraged a Prosci License to reach its operational goals.

IT Distributor Increases ROI with Change Capability

Change practitioners certified

4 years
On top supply chain operations list

Change maturity level reached


Avnet established an enterprise-level program for continuous lean and process improvement, and decided to take this work to the next level. A key initiativeelevating employee adoption and usagecould deliver significant operational benefits.


  • Expand Organizational Excellence department with change management capabilities
  • Establish a Change Management Center of Excellence
  • Develop a Community of Practice for change practitioners
  • Facilitate role-based and custom trainings for all levels in all regions

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A Prosci license was critical to building enterprise-wide change capability. The license gave us both the structure to standardize Prosci’s change management approach and the flexibility to integrate change management into our established strategy, leadership development and project process.

— Carla Howard, Change Management Center of Excellence

The Value of Change Management

Avnet Inc. is a global distributor of electronic components, enterprise IT and embedded technology with 15,000+ employees doing business in more than 300 countries. Initially, Avnet partnered with Prosci to simply add change management to its Organizational Excellence department. Change management would be an add-on to people’s worka go-to tool and enabler for executing continuous improvement.

Very quickly, leaders at Avnet saw the intrinsic potential of change management to catapult them toward exceptional performance and their desired results. With this realization, Avnet created a new initiative: to embed change management into the very fabric of its organizational business operations and develop change management as a core competency.



Partnership with Prosci

Beginning with the Prosci ADKAR® Model, Avnet spread key elements of the Prosci Methodology throughout the organization. With a deep commitment to change management, Avnet invested further. The change management team trained all levels of the company, building role-based competencies so that every role in the organization was equipped to support change management work. The team later created a Center of Excellence for Change Management, established to support Avnet’s growing network of change managers around the globe.

Avnet acquired a Prosci site license, and began to facilitate internal change management training programs and workshops. Prosci role-based trainings included: 

  • Change Management Sponsor Briefing
  • Change Management Certification Program
  • Leading Your Team Through Change
  • Taking Charge of Change

In addition, Avnet developed customized trainings for its future change managers. Using the Prosci Methodology and materials, Avnet hosted regular lunch-and-learns, workshops and presentations. They established a consistent language for change and developed over 450 global change leaders within their organization, actively sharing the Prosci Methodology and encouraging its application. 

Prosci License

The Prosci License Avnet purchased was a critical success factor, providing unlimited access to Prosci’s role-based training materials and tools. The license also enabled Avnet to create customized trainings that they tailored to the unique needs of Avnet’s widespread audience. With the license, employees could receive specific trainings customized for and designed to improve their existing operations. Avnet continues to leverage these types of trainings.

Establishing a Change Management Center Of Excellence

A substantial turning point for Avnet was the commitment to and creation of change management as its own department. Evolving from an add-on, change management had a defined function with resources to match. Transitioning from primarily providing trainings, change professionals could now develop change strategies and coach individuals through change initiatives, accelerating their application and success.

The Change Exchange

To reinforce change management’s new role as an organization-wide competency, the Center of Excellence set up the Change Exchange, facilitating quarterly global meetings to:

  • Discuss challenges that change managers were facing
  • Brainstorm and share solutions 
  • Offer support and resources

Based on the success of the global Change Exchange, independent regions took the initiative to set up their own collaborative change groups. Both the Change Exchange and these regional groups have empowered change managers to take ownership of their change work and build their change competencies. Moving more into a coaching role, the Center of Excellence was able to offer all departments and regions the tools and support they needed to succeed.

Community of Practice and metrics

Alongside the quarterly Change Exchange meetings, the Center of Excellence collected and shared stories of change management success from around the world via a SharePoint site. Departments across the globe could leverage and build upon other departments’ success.

The Center of Excellence also tracked change maturity in different departments, regularly following up with recent training participants and their supervisors. Where participants required additional skills or a department required more knowledge, they provided coaching.




Avnet has successfully built enterprise-wide change management capability across all regions of its global organization. With improved organizational performance, Avnet has experienced and continues to experience: 

  • A rise in project success
  • Lower productivity drops
  • A higher return on investment 

Today, Avnet has over 450 certified change management practitioners. Every region within the organization is growing in its change management competency, with many regions at a change management maturity level of 3, 4, or 5 based on the Prosci Change Management Maturity Model Audit (meaning that they consistently apply change management to their projects or have change management competency at every level of their organization).

Change management is a fundamental practice at Avnet, and considered a crucial component of strategic planning. They assign a change manager, project manager and sponsor to major projects and initiatives. Additionally, they assign regional change leaders to global projects. These regional leaders adjust change management plans for cultural differences while ensuring consistency in leading the people side of change.

For the implementation of a new warehouse management system, Avnet was once again recognized for exceptional performance and named on the Supply and Demand Chain Executive 100, an annual listing of the top supply chain projects. This marks Avnet’s fourth year in a row on the list, and change management was a critical success factor in attaining this recognition.

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