Welcome to Edition #36 of the JBF Bulletin! Spring is nearly upon us, and the warmer days are opening up opportunities to do some much-needed "Spring Cleaning." I'd like to recommend though, each of you to consider doing some Spring Cleaning of your own - specifically, your Customer Service and Purchasing policies.
What? Why policies? Why do we care about customer service or purchasing policies?
Because simply, these are often the most fundamental rules that drive your business and your logistics operations. And, like the house and/or yard after a long winter - they need a thorough cleaning every now and then.
We recently worked with a make-to-order manufacturing client to integrate a new TMS to power their private fleet and contract freight operations. Through many design iterations and conversations with customer service and the various 'product line owners' - we discovered an astounding 52 distinct customer service policies!
These policies were sometimes systematized, sometimes documented, but mostly what we call "tribal knowledge." The policies themselves contained the 'rules of engagement' for specific customers, groups of customers, product tiers, and drove key operational rules like when to ship an order, when to cancel an order, how much lead-time is applied to an order, and so on.
For a successful implementation, our job is to take these 'policies' and convert them into automated 'If This Then That' (IFTT) rules to apply digitally to the integrated solution.
Converting 52 customer service policies - many of them conflicting with others - became a serious design challenge during the implementation. Compounding the situation was the lack of documentation and the quantity of different people we interviewed to uncover all the policies.
In this month's edition of the JBF Bulletin, Adam Gray explores a very common impact point to ROI for TMS projects - Order Dates. Order date logic is key to unlocking the value of your TMS, and in the vast majority of shippers we work with, this logic is in various pockets and corners of the business. These 'policies' need to be controlled, starting with documentation of the rules.
Also this month we are unveiling the updated *new for 2023* list of Top 150 Industry Podcasts. We understand the importance of staying informed in our fast-paced industry, and this comprehensive list provides a valuable resource for anyone looking to expand their knowledge and keep up with supply chain industry trends and innovations.
Let me know your favorite show!
Thank you for your continued interest in our monthly Bulletin. Happy reading!
Read the full March Edition 36 newsletter here.
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The JBF Freight Transportation Industry Bulletin is a newsletter curated by the JBF Consulting team, with a focus on supply chain, transportation, logistics and of course freight.
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The fine print: This newsletter is being provided to the reader as a general overview of current market conditions and contains information compiled by JBF Consulting from a variety of sources. This newsletter is provided solely for general informational purposes and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed by the reader as, specific advice or a solution tailored to a particular company or client. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided to your company’s circumstances and it is recommended that you seek independent advice if you have questions specific to your own objectives.
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