A DIY approach might work for fine for simple tasks like putting up shelves—but when it comes to implementation of new logistics technology, it just won’t cut it. Providers can’t simply drop a solution in their clients’ laps and expect them to figure it out for themselves. The onboarding process is critical to the long-term success of the initiative.
When it goes well, onboarding can ensure processes are tailored to the business’s specific needs, help employees get up to speed quicker, and allow leaders to see real returns on their investment much faster. Done poorly, however, it can leave the business struggling to use its tech effectively—or to realize any benefits from it at all.
In order to get the most out of their investment, shippers need to know that their provider has a comprehensive onboarding strategy that spans from the moment the contract is signed through to go live and beyond. Here are some traits that the best onboarding methodologies share.
A consultative, customized implementation—not an attempt to fit shippers into a box
Before implementation begins, providers should seek to gain an in-depth understanding of the business and its unique challenges.
Which processes are working well and should be preserved? Which could be improved? What is the desired outcome of the implementation? Without answering these questions, it will be virtually impossible for a provider to customize processes and configure the technology to the company’s exact requirements.
That’s why leading providers take a highly consultative approach to implementation and onboarding. Unfortunately, this is the exception, not the rule. Many providers try to take a one-size-fits-all approach, offering little to no configuration or customization and forcing every client into the same restrictive box. For complex global supply chains, this can do more harm than good—tying shipper’s hands and dragging their efficiency down.
To be truly consultative, providers need to work closely with their clients from the very beginning—helping supply chain leaders to gain executive buy-in by providing the resources they need to make a compelling business case. They also need to dedicate more time to gathering information from their clients before implementation—from hard data and make-or-break details, like the availability of IT resources within the business, to tribal knowledge, input from subject matter experts, and the company’s ultimate goals.
An agile, long-term outlook—not a rushed hand over and exit
Leading supply chain technology companies know that the most successful implementations are staggered, not pushed through.
By developing in an agile environment, creating a shippable but not finalized product that can be put in users’ hands for a trial run, providers can gather feedback throughout the implementation and onboarding process to make adjustments as they go. In contrast, by waiting until the end of the process to let users review the product, providers run the risk of discovering major gaps or flaws that can only be fixed by starting from square one—delaying the timeline for roll-out and frustrating their clients.
That’s assuming that the provider even bothers to gather feedback and make adjustments, of course, which some do not.
A staggered implementation and onboarding process is easier when the provider has put together a robust project team to steer the project to success. This may include a dedicated project manager (or different managers for each region, with one global logistics management resource ensuring harmony), various analysts on both the business and technical sides, and an engineering lead, among other roles. This team can guide employees and stakeholders through the process from beginning to end, helping them make the right decisions to ensure the solution meets their needs.
A long track record—and an enduring commitment to excellence
Naturally, the longer staff have been supporting clients through implementation, the better the onboarding process will be. Experience breeds excellence—and at CTSI-Global, our team has plenty of the former and a true dedication to the latter.
Not only have we spent more than 60 years performing successful implementations for our clients, but most of our staff have worked with us for at least eight years (in many cases, much longer) and come from extensive logistics backgrounds. They bring a wealth of industry and domain expertise to every implementation—and a commitment to our clients’ satisfaction.
Having worked with companies across every vertical, we understand the different needs of each business and can make strategic logistics consulting recommendations based on what has worked for our clients in the past. We’ll be there every step of the way—because when our clients succeed, so do we.
Take the first step. Contact us today.