This past week, three JBF Consulting colleagues and a dedicated group of subject matter experts, business leads and IT leads/analysts on the client-side spent this past week sequestered in a windowless conference room. We were hashing out the detail design of a TMS implementation for a large industrial goods manufacturer.
From a process perspective, the most important lesson is the need to provide ample breaks and opportunities for the participants to catch up on their email during the day.
We were in a deep discussion trying to figure out how we were going to implement an idiosyncrasy of the load building process. Several options had been proposed and reviewed, but none of them were particularly elegant and pleased everyone.
That’s when the clear head of the business lead intervened and declared that we were not going to automate all exceptions in their transportation operations, and it was acceptable that some will remain manual.
Just like that dozens of hours of design, integration and testing work were slashed.
Why didn’t we bring it up earlier? The simplest design is most often the best approach.
In conclusion, day-long meetings are often a necessary evil but don’t forget to provide time for people to take breaks and check their phones. What you lose in meeting time, you will gain back in productivity.
Second, a TMS will not allow you to automate all your transportation processes. It’s OK to have some that will require human intervention if they simplify operations. They can be tackled at a later date as part of a continuous improvement process.
Founded in 2003, JBF Consulting is a supply chain execution strategy and systems integrator to logistics-intensive companies of every size and any industry. Our background and deep experience in the field of packaged logistics technology implementation positions us as industry leaders whose craftsmanship exceeds our client expectations. We expedite the transformation of supply chains through logistics & technology strategy, packaged & bespoke software implementation, and analytics & optimization. For more information, visit us at www.jbf-consulting.com