[PODCAST] Season 2, Episode 8: A deep conversation around Logistics Systems with Mike Mulqueen
In this episode, Adam Perlmutter, Director of Industry Consulting at Metafora chats with Mike Mulqueen, Consulting Strategy Practice Lead at JBF Consulting. They have an in-depth conversation around logistic systems and the complexity of selecting the right system.
Mulqueen also outlines big logistics technology changes, recent market trends, key technologies/considerations that shippers should be watching, and more!
Take a listen here:
Implementation of TMS
Due to issues such as bad data, organizational changes, and turnover, businesses often do not reap the full benefits of their TMS. JBF's Accelerate Practice, lead by Mike, revolves around continuous improvement, providing organizations with training on specific applications, super users, and also doing a decent amount of modeling and acquisition events.
Exciting things in the logistics space
- You get to solve big problems
- Opportunity to have an impact on shareholder value and transportation
- Transportation and supply chain has become forefront in everybody's mind
- The complexities are so grand that you never stop learning
Transportation and logistics has so many sub components are very different, each with their own unique set of problems to solve.
Truckload, intermodal, LTL, ocean, air, parcel. Then add to this all the complexity that comes along with geographic variables.
If you want to solve big problems, transportation will keep you on your toes!
How does JBF Consulting go about determining who is the right fit for clients?
- Define the desired end state. Look across all key sub-processes of transportation for a shipper and in multiple different lenses.
- How do you procure contract rates?
- What is your process for inbound transportation, be it international or domestic inbound?
- What is your process for outbound transportation?
- Figure out what they're doing well and what they're not doing well. Then document what the opportunity is.
- Understand the KPIs that will be used to determine success is also key in the vendor selection process.
This becomes the basis for JBF’s vendor selection.
Key technologies that shippers should be watching
- Microservices architectures with defined user exits (i.e. web hooks that enable TMS customers to customize the solution)
>>> Old paradigm of waiting for the annual release is (or should be) dead
>>> Enable the market to build extensions
- Machine Learning
>>> Lots of hype, but this will be important in the long run.
Focus has been primarily on two areas:
-> Requires lots of data
-> Requires new skill sets for ML users, but potential is there.
- Probabilistic Optimization
The world is uncertain. Probabilities need to be taken into account during planning
>>> Ex: Should I put my fleet on Load X? Decision is determined based on the probability of a load originating near the termination of Load X
>>> Should I ship this UPS ground if the customer needs it tomorrow?
“You want your TMS system almost to have to be thinking like your dispatcher, your dispatcher's got all this knowledge in their head. They know stuff. I'm trying to make it so that my TMS system has that same level of knowledge and can make decisions appropriately.” - Mike Mulqueen
About Mike Mulqueen
Mike Mulqueen is a Partner and Strategy Practice Lead at JBF Consulting. Mike is a leading expert in logistics solutions with over 30 years managing, designing and implementing freight transport technology. His functional expertise is in Multi-modal Transportation Management, Supply Chain Visibility, and Transportation Modeling. Mike earned his master’s degree in engineering and logistics from MIT and BS in business and marketing from University of Maryland.
About JBF Consulting
Since 2003, we’ve been helping shippers of all sizes and across many industries select, implement and squeeze as much value as possible out of their logistics systems. We speak your language — not consultant-speak – and we get to know you. Our leadership team has over 70 years of logistics and TMS implementation experience. Because we operate in a niche — we’re not all things to all people — our team members have a very specialized skill set: logistics operations experience + transportation technology + communication and problem-solving skills + a bunch of other cool stuff.
Metafora, previously "CarrierDirect", is a business consulting and software development firm that exclusively serves the transportation, logistics, and supply chain space. Metafora partners with carriers, shippers, and freight tech vendors to help them optimize their business and build software to fuel their growth. Metafora+ is their partnership network for the thinkers, the leaders, the innovators in the logistics space.