Through a planned, partnered approach, NFI’s Transportation Management (TM) team implements solutions that get customers up and running with powerful network capabilities in a matter of weeks. In this video, team members Bill Wolfe and Darren Conner highlight how NFI is able to address complex implementation projects by working collaboratively with customers and delivering functional, flexible solutions.
How does NFI guide customers through the project implementation process?
Bill Wolfe (BW): We guide the customer through the process in a couple of different ways. One, we have a very strict project planning and project set-up process, where we have very distinct tasks and individual processing gates that we go through throughout the project. On top of that, the key piece of the project is the design workshops and the detailed design that we complete with the customer.
Darren Conner (DC): We really need to have resources from a lot of different areas of the shipper to make sure that the program is effective. Things like customer service, finance, accounting, IT — anything that really affects it upstream or downstream in the transportation process — we want them to have good visibility to the project and have their input.
BW: NFI can connect with any ERP or TMS system. From an overall standpoint, because of our integration background and our flexibility from a mapping and integration standpoint, we have had no issues connecting with any ERP that has come our way, along with the fact that we have several levels of connectivity that we offer. It’s a matter of what is best for that client and what’s best for that project.
DC: During the implementation, it’s very important that we understand all of those different touchpoints and what the responsibilities are all the way along the supply chain. We listen to them, we understand what they do, and then we take that and help design a future state to dole out the responsibilities and what it’s going to look like down the road.
BW: Both from an operation standpoint, as well as an IT standpoint, we have very flexible options. The benefit of our flexibility is that customers see the same thing and get the same benefit from our Transportation Management System (TMS), setup, and operations, and you can see the difference between the connections there.
DC: We take the time to understand our customers’ freight and look at what functionality they are trying to get out of the transportation management program, and then design the program to work with them to see how complicated their freight is today. We have a lot of experience with this in terms of past customers, but it really depends on the complexity of the freight and what the customer is looking to get out of the program in terms of functionality.
BW: A typical TMS implementation takes anywhere between eight and sixteen weeks, depending on the complexity of the project. It is very client-dependent, especially from the resources that a client has available for the project, as well as the change management that’s available within their organization. A go-live event is a team effort where we work collaboratively with our clients. We want to ensure through a planned, partnered approach that the customer, as well as our operations group, is comfortable with the go-live and we have complete sign-off that both parties are ready to go.
DC: We’re extremely flexible in terms of being able to offer new KPIs, or being able to switch gears quickly to provide customers with new KPIs as their business evolves or as new data and visibility that they did not have before becomes available. As we get to learn the customer, as we get to learn their business, what’s going on in the marketplace, we’re able to offer continuous improvement ideas. We will work to show what savings opportunities are and continuously look to make improvements collaboratively with the customer.
Bill Wolfe, Vice President of TM Integration
Darren Conner, Sr. Director of Operations