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Why Ask Why?

by Employee Voices
21. March 2016 08:15

Like most of us that have children, sometimes we can be pushed to our wits end by the ever pondering "why" question.

Just the other day, I was getting ready with my children. 7:30 rolled around and it was time to go. I asked my son, who was sitting on the couch watching TV, playing on his Kindle, listening to his iPod, and texting his grandmother (how is all that even possible) if he was ready and he replied yes. I said let's go, and he started heading to the door with no shoes on. I asked him, "Don't you need your shoes on?" and he hit me with a "why"!?!?!

Like a good parent, I resisted the urge to drag him out of the house without his shoes on and just simply told him, "Dude, you can't go to school without shoes on!"

But in all honesty, children's "whys" are not meant to pester us parents. Rather, our children are genuinely trying to get at the truth. Even from really early on when they start asking these how and why questions, they are asking them in order to get explanations.

When explanations come their way, sometimes our kids probe even further. This is a good thing as it tells us that our kids are playing more of an active role in learning about the world around them than we may have expected.

Using Why to Your Advantage

This very same principle can be applied in our daily adult work life. Over the years, I've had the honor of wearing a lot of different hats: Mailroom, Customer Service, Project Management, and now Product Manager.

In all of these positions I've had to work on ways to solve problems — some more complex than others. In any case, you always have to find a way to get past the symptoms of a problem and to find the root cause.

The 5 Whys

Along the way, I picked up a process called the 5 Why's. In short you simply ask the question "why" five times. Of course there really isn't a magic number; you may get it in 3 or maybe 6. The important thing is that you use this mentality to peel away the layers that encapsulate the problem. Sounds easy enough that a child could do it right?!?

Let's take a look at an example:

Why Ask Why

Conclusion: We do not have an equipment maintenance schedule… Setting up a proper maintenance schedule helps ensure that packages will never be late again due to faulty equipment. If we just repair the brakes, or even do a one-off check of all the trucks, the problem will happen again at some time in the future.

Keep it Simple!

What makes this process so great is its simplicity. It's a process that every person can apply without difficulty. It also serves to keep you from moving too quickly without fully seeing what you've identified as the true problem.

It Comes with Limitations

There are limitations to this process, and it's not meant to solve more complex problems. It's best if you use the 5 Whys technique along with a range of other approaches. Regardless of the technique you use, make sure you can always back up possible causes with evidence and data to support.

Here are some of the basic reasons why this technique may not always work:

  • Participants in the process may not investigate deeply enough in attempting to identify root causes.
  • The process may be limited by the knowledge of the person carrying out the technique.
  • Different people will often get different answers using this process, which in turn raise questions about its reliability.

Overcoming Limitations

The best way to overcome some of these limitations is to properly develop skills to make certain that the process is robust and all participants contribute and investigate each of the possible 'whys'. Think about these questions as well:

Why Ask Who

Closing

In closing, here are some key points to remember: Use 5 Whys to get to the root cause of the problem.

Why Ask Why, closing remarks

Now, this doesn't mean I still won't pull my hair out when my son asks me "why does he have to brush his teeth," but now I may be better armed to explain to him in more detail WHY it's important — so his teeth don't fall out and so he won't have horrid breath!!

And I also just might be able to help solve a problem or two at the office by taking the time to figure out the 'why' and not just address a symptom.

About the Author:

Richard's headshotRichard Perry is CTSI-Global's Product Ninja. His purpose is understanding customer needs, defining product value propositions, working with users, and promoting CTSI-Global Awesomeness!

Welcome to CTSI-Global Employee Voices

by Employee Voices
11. March 2016 08:30

CTSI-Global is a technology solutions leader in the logistics industry. We have been providing service to our customers since 1957. From freight audit to transportation management, CTSI-Global helps companies worldwide save money on their shipping costs with customizable SaaS applications, leverage their KPIs in order to drive process improvements, and increase visibility in their supply chains. CTSI-Global supports hundreds of clients across all industries and thousands of carriers in all modes.

That's what we do, but who are we? Welcome to CTSI-Global's Employee Voices section of The Link. Employees from different departments will provide their perspective on working for CTSI-Global. We hope you enjoy reading.

- Elizabeth Nolan, Director of Business Development

Why Memphis Is Cheering This Week

by Marly Hazen McQuillen
23. October 2015 11:07

Happy Friday! It’s been an exciting week for Memphis, home of our global headquarters.

  • Last Saturday, the University of Memphis Tigers hosted Ole Miss for our annual football throwdown. With a score of 37 to 24, Memphis earned a major victory – our first 13-game winning streak ever!
  • That evening, native Memphian Justin Timberlake became the youngest person to be inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. He celebrated the fun with a rousing tribute to our Tigers, as he and Jimmy Fallon led the crowd in the U of M Fight Song!
  • In business news, Fortune 500 company TJ Maxx has signed Memphis’ largest new lease of the year so far, 800,000 square feet and hundreds of new jobs!

Image by KatMillis, iStockphoto | Video by Katie Mars

Supporting our clients and carriers in their own language!

by Lucille Lepez
21. September 2015 08:50

Global connections
Image by Yuri_Arcurs / IStockPhoto

One size does not fit all!

This summarizes our major learning while expanding our business throughout the world and working with multiple countries across various regions and time zones.

Being a serious global freight auditor means we have to accommodate key international requirements such as:

  • Short payment, credit note & mail-back systems
  • Local languages & support within the region time zone
  • Electronic invoice compliance
  • Tax requirements (VAT, GST, consumption tax, withholding tax, GUI...)
  • Units of measure, secondary carriers
  • Payment in various currencies
  • Currency of contract vs currency of payment, conversion validation & tolerance, ROE
  • Duty and taxes invoices...

Having a global vision together with keeping a local approach is key to all global projects we manage. With the global expansion of freight audit & payment we now have multilingual employees in our implementation, customer services, carrier services & IT departments.  These employees are based within our offices in America, Europe or Asia.

All languages are supported internally, by experienced CTSI-Global employees.

We strongly believe that being able to support our clients in their own languages is a key added-value that helps us maintain our position as leader within the global freight audit industry.

20 Most Promising Logistics Solutions Providers

by Marly Hazen McQuillen
17. August 2015 08:15

Interview with Josh Miller, Vice President of TMS, CTSI-Global

CIO Review

Logistics as a business concept evolved in the early 1960’s with the dawn of increased complexity concerning supply chain processes. It is an integral fraction of supply chain management and cannot be shunned by industries. The traditional methods of logistics that involve analyzing and tracking inventories fail to comply with the requirements of the present day industry operations. With the introduction of GPS (Global Positioning System) and the Cloud, logistics operations have become incredibly user-friendly, helping businesses to proficiently monitor and keep a track of their business activities.

Currently, the functionalities of logistics have transformed enormously with a significant rise in E-commerce industries, discount stores, and integration of cloud computing. Presently, Logistics providers are offering customers with inbound logistics, multi-enterprise grid functionality and shared distribution networks for efficient manufacturing, storing inventory information and obtaining an integrated view of all their activities.

Citing the swift growth and expansion of manufacturing businesses, the necessity for a competent supply chain has increased immensely. Subsequently, a number of companies have achieved distinction in delivering these services. In the last few months, we have come across hundreds of logistics providers and shortlisted some of the pioneering companies who have helped manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers in tackling the challenges related to supply chain management.

Our selection is based on the vendor’s capability to realize the needs of manufactures through supply chain that support core business processes of various industries. Additionally, we evaluated the vendors support through support based on the integration of technological
innovations into their systems.

Today, we present to you CIO Review’s 20 most promising Logistics Technology Solution Providers of 2015.


  • Company: CTSI-Global
  • Description: A leading provider of supply chain management technology which controls all aspects of supply chain operation
  • Key Person: Josh Miller, Vice President of TMS
  • Website: www.ctsi-global.com


CTSI-Global: Carrier Agnostic Logistics Solutions

Operational functionalities of logistics have extended to various areas including integrated planning, intelligent shipping, instant delivery and hassle free product return. To provide adaptable logistics services that support core shipping operations, CTSI-Global took one step
further with their valuable and cost saving logistic solutions. Headquartered in Memphis, TN, CTSI-Global is a leading logistics technology which offers integrated solutions to manage all aspects of supply chain operation physical, informational and financial. “We offer a SaaS based Transportation Management System, Freight Bill, Audit and Payment, BI Management, and Freight & Parcel Cost Reduction Services.

CTSI provides an integration platform to manage and receive all transactions associated with the inbound and outbound movement of freight“Clients can automate the shipping process, utilize workflows to make more informed decisions, track the status of orders and shipments, manage by exception, and utilize BI to identify trends and areas for improvement,” asserts Miller.

CTSI-Global enables unparallel access to transportation data through their state-of-the-art web based, on-demand TMS (Transportation Management System). TMS has a multi-tenant architecture which streamlines manual processes, improves performance levels, increases realtime order visibility and reduces transportation costs.

CTSI-Global’s BI capability is based on SQL database to enable vendors obtain instant access to data and identify developments in logistics operations. “We receive data from carriers, ERP systems and suppliers which can be made available to authorized users,” says Miller. The company’s innovative dashboards combine third party dashboard applications that are integrated within their system and provide a combination of operational and strategic reporting capability. In addition, CTSI-Global has more than 100 weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports in any aspect of logistics operation. Clients can choose from these reports or can customize reporting.“We have executive dash boards and modeling tools that allow clients to
not only track historical trends, but to perform “what if analysis” and focus on predictive analytics. Our special work assignment team (SWOT) comprises of senior level business analysts and technical analysts who work with clients during an on boarding process to create, KPI’s specific to the customer’s transportation network” adds Miller.

CTSI-Global’s domain experts work hand in hand with engineering teams to deliver client specific solutions. As an example, one of their clients in the logistics industry is responsible for packaging and distribution of DVDs for most of the major motion picture industry. In the case of important releases, the client has to deal with over million orders that have to be delivered
within a two or three days delivery window. As a Logistics Service Provider, their customer requires that 99 percent of orders be delivered either on or before the due date. To meet such as tight window all orders need to be tracked, exceptions identified, and delivery commitments met. To accomplish the task, CTSI integrated with the customer’s ERP and inventory management systems, multiple suppliers, and numerous carriers to create a centralized data warehouse with one version of the truth. CTSI then utilized workflow engines and web based dashboards to easily enquire and track a large number of orders. This solution improved client’s service level requirement to their customer and provided new business opportunities for client.