At JBF Consulting and the work we do, one of the most satisfying is working with organizations as they embark on, and travel through, their journey through supply chain evolution.
Of course, much of our focus is on the technology implementations that support business logistics functions - Transportation Management Systems, Fleet Management Systems, Yard Management Systems, and the like.
But we also guide clients in developing a strategy and vision before any technology is implemented.
And we help ensure that they achieve, and even exceed, anticipated Return on Investment (ROI) post-implementation.
We recently engaged with a client on a simple assessment of their current technology platform for inbound (or what we call ‘primary network’) materials.
This client had some very real pain points (multiple solutions, workarounds, clunky UIs) that needed to be addressed quickly, as well as confirmation that the existing technology is insufficient for their needs in the future.
"In a few weeks we were able to make actionable recommendations ... that will support 5x growth long term."
Through workshops, interviews, and our knowledge of the logistics tech landscape, in a few weeks we were able to make actionable recommendations for short-term tactics, as well as longer term strategic positioning that will support 5x growth.
From this assessment we transitioned to a more comprehensive vision and desired end state.
This included outbound and final mile (secondary network), expansion into eCommerce, consideration of an ERP transition, expansion of the fleet, and potential sourcing changes.
Our Blueprint approach takes a top-down approach that recognizes the overall supply chain vision (S&OP, procurement, customer experience, etc.), as well as a bottoms-up definition of requirements of the business and IT.
All stakeholders such as finance, customer service, distribution operations, and procurement are included.
Once requirements are identified, an agnostic vendor(s) selection process is launched to craft the right complete solution for the client.
With the vision and roadmap in hand, we launch into implementation.
We act in a variety of roles - PMO, integrator, project manager, technical and functional experts - again in concert with the business and IT.
Using a foundational detailed project plan and RACI, we focus on aligning four elements: functional workstream, technology workstream, change management / communications and program administration.
This is the basis for scheduling, resource allocations, budgeting, communication timing, customer outreach and more — and allows us to balance cost, time, risk and value.
Upon successful implementation of the technical solution, JBF maintains contact with our client to ensure success continues.
This is accomplished through continuous improvement initiatives, analytics, select managed services, and on-going support as needed.
"Supply chain transformation is an expedition that can be fraught with adversity."
If you are a shipper that has begun or is considering a transformation of your supply chain, consider the following;
- Do I have an appropriate supply chain vision that fits with my overall business objects today and into the future?
- Do I know what the people, process, and technology needs to look like to support that vision?
- Have I engaged key stakeholders in IT, Finance, Customer Service, Procurement, and the like to ensure engagement and success?
- Do I need a partner to engage with my team and help drive success in planning, implementation, and continuous improvement?
- Have I considered what stewardship of the solution looks like and how I will drive ongoing value?
Supply chain transformation is an expedition that can be fraught with adversity.
Consider a partner that has seen the potential issues that will arise, knows how to avoid or resolve these issues, and will be your advocate to ensure a successful and valuable journey to supply chain excellence.
Dennis Heppner is a Principal at JBF Consulting. Dennis’ expertise in transportation, logistics and supply chain operations, and third-party providers spans 25+ years. His experience is broad-based, spanning entire supply chains, including business process redesign, sourcing, distribution network design, transportation management, distribution operations, outsourcing selection, and business strategy for major manufacturers, distributors, retailers including eCommerce, and service organizations.
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.