Whether you’re introducing a new product line, opening a new store, or even launching a new venture, it is always challenging to step into the unknown. And it can be the same when initiating new logistics operations. Unless, of course, your launch is managed and implemented with a reliable and proven method …
That’s what the P-8 onboarding programme is all about!
Success from start to finish
Every new client partnership starts with an onboarding process. It allows us to learn more about the client’s needs and understand exactly how we can help them with our extensive capabilities. However, the implementation stage of new operations has the potential to be a very complex and lengthy process. To avoid this, it is our goal to ensure that our clients’ operations are implemented as smoothly as possible, with first-time-right results.
To achieve this, we have developed a proven, proprietary methodology, based on our long experience in logistics and many successful implementations. Our learnings and best practices have been translated into a recipe for a perfect project launch – saving you time, money and stress.
The goal of this onboarding programme is to launch every new client’s operations on time, on budget and meeting all their expectations.
“The ‘P’ in the programme’s name stands for what we aim to deliver: Perfection, Promise, Project, Process, Procedure, Performance, Progress and Perseverance – and ‘8’ represents the number of project steps,” explains Ming-Chia Tu, Project Manager at Bleckmann. “In addition, eight is seen as a lucky number in Chinese culture, typically associated with luck, wealth and prosperity.”
That sounds like a “fortunate” choice of name!
The 8 steps
Below, we take a closer look at the eight steps of the P-8 onboarding methodology:
Step 1: Kick-off
When it’s time to get the ball rolling with onboarding, it's essential to have a good kick-off. Step 1 consists of two parts:
- Internal kick-off: The sales team hands over all relevant information about the client and their expectations to the implementation team. This is to ensure that all Bleckmann colleagues who are involved in the implementation have all the necessary information at hand.
- External kick-off: Bleckmann’s project teams meet their counterparts on the client’s side to explain what they can expect throughout the process. This includes the project scope, key milestones, planning and scheduling, and an agreement on the go-live date.
“The internal and external kick-offs are an important starting point to ensure close cooperation between all the teams and workstreams involved,” continues Ming-Chia Tu. “The groundwork is laid, and expectations are clearly communicated, to ensure agreement at every stage of the process.”
Step 2: Collect
Step 2 is all about collecting all the necessary information from the client, so we are fully prepared for the task ahead. At this stage, it is important that the leader of each workstream takes ownership of their designated responsibilities. To facilitate this process, we host deep-dive sessions with the client for each workstream to study all materials and input in-depth. This ensures that we know in detail what we need to deliver in terms of processes, operations, systems, transportation, equipment, staffing and more.
Step 3: Analyse
In step 3, we structure, analyse and interpret all the data. This gives us a complete overview of the client, their products and their logistics process. The data and information we analyse will form the foundation of the solution we eventually implement for our client.
Step 4: Design
Now, it’s time to sketch the solution and present it to the client. Together, we review the outlined solution to ensure that it is fully aligned with the client’s wishes. At the same time, we crosscheck the proposed solution against the client’s proposed budget and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Step 5: Implement
Step 5 is all about implementation, focusing on the following:
- Building technical solutions into the Warehouse Management System (WMS)
- Arranging resources and providing training
- Preparing and setting up warehouses to support the client’s entire operation
- Configuring hardware for the start of the logistics process
- Checking processes and systems to make sure everything works as expected.
We conclude this phase with a sanity check during which we walk through the entire process with the client. This way, we are optimally prepared for the go-live stage, giving ourselves the best chance of first-time-right results.
Step 6: Go-Live
This is the moment we have been working towards with the entire team: all systems are active! Our goal for every new implementation is to meet all the milestones we have set and provide all the deliverables we have agreed on to the client’s satisfaction. Once we have processed the first orders, we continue the logistics process the same way we would for any other successfully implemented operation.
Step 7: Monitoring
In step 7, we closely monitor and evaluate all operations and processes for a period of one month. Any possible issues are logged and solved, and we review the operations with the client to ensure that everything has gone according to their expectations.
Following this stage, every person involved in the project, both internally and externally, is asked to provide feedback and approval before we proceed to the final stage of the project.
“After every implementation, we collect feedback from the colleagues involved to further improve our methodology,” concludes Ming-Chia Tu. “We never stand still and are always looking for ways to deliver the best possible results.”
Step 8: Close
In the last step of the programme, which lasts one week, we conclude the onboarding project and shift to “business-as-usual” mode. Depending on the client’s preferences, we agree to regular business reviews on a monthly or quarterly basis.
And with that, the onboarding process is finished … It is the start of a new journey and a new partnership. Because a tried-and-tested onboarding methodology gives you the best chance of building a successful long-term client partnership!