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[Podcast] A deep conversation around Logistics Systems with Mike Mulqueen from JBF

Season 2, Episode 8:  A deep conversation around Logistics Systems with Mike Mulqueen from JBF

In this episode, Adam Perlmutter chats with Mike Mulqueen, Consulting Strategy Practice Lead at JBF Consulting. They have a deep 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!

Listen now:


“Our primary clients are shippers… that will use contract freight, LTL, truck load, parcel. Oftentimes they'll have either dedicated fleets or private fleets, and we help them in a number of ways. My practice is focused on technology assessment and making a determination as to what technology or set of technologies an individual shipper should be using to achieve their desired end state.” - Mike Mulqueen

Mike Mulqueen quote-1

Implementation of TMS 

The Challenges

Due to issues such as bad data, organizational changes, and turnover, businesses often do not reap the full benefits of their TMS. At JBF there is a practice called "Accelerate", which 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

  1. You get to solve big problems 
  2. Opportunity to have an impact on shareholder value and transportation
  3. Transportation and supply chain has become forefront in everybody's mind 
  4. The complexities are so grand that you never stop learning

Transportation and logistics has so many sub components are very differ, 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.
    a. Ex. 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.

That becomes the basis for JBF’s vendor selection. 

“TMS applications are extremely reliant on good data. I need to make sure my rates, my contracts, my customer preferences, my time… all these different pieces are set up accurately, and it's not just a one time setup.”- Mike Mulqueen

Mike Mulqueen quote 2Key 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:
                - Pricing
                - Predictive ETAs
    - 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 JBF

  • Boutique consulting firm 
  • Focus on transportation management technology
  • Primary clients: shippers!

Learn more about JBF at https://jbf-consulting.com/ 

 Mike Mulqueen can be found on LinkedIn here 

Learn more about Metafora+, Metafora’s partnership program here

Interested in chatting with a SME from Metafora? Request a free discovery call here!


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Metafora
Metafora
Metafora, previously "CarrierDirect", is a business consulting and software development company that exclusively services 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. Welcome to the new way forward. Welcome to Metafora.

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