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Customer Order Management Analyst – Billy Wales

This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees.  The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.

Cummins Customer Order Management team is responsible for delivering factory-based support to end-user customers and dealers across North America. This customer-focused team provides product and technical information through multiple communication channels, all while acting as the customer advocate.  It’s an exciting challenge of understanding the internal networks of a global company and supporting our customers in real time.  Billy Wales is an Order Management Analyst who customizable, logistics solutions tailored to fit his customers’ needs.

Billy, a previous automotive technician and service advisor, partners with his Order Management colleagues to strengthen the relationship between Cummins engineers, warranty claims, factory, supply chain, logistics, shipping partners, and our customers to ensure orders are placed in accordance with demand.

“As is the nature of the supply chain function, customer demand is always changing and we work to oblige these changes. We advocate for our customers and flex to deliver.”

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Billy starts his morning early reviewing communications from the factory and checking on his customers. He receives the news that one of the Cummins plants revised their forecasted demand due to an end customer revising their order.  He quickly puts together a teleconference with the plant scheduler, purchasing agent and customer advocate and within hours he was able to communicate the plant’s ability to deliver and accommodate the changes.

“We’re very proficient at understanding all aspects of the supply chain and determine the best course of action for our customers.  In this instance, due to raw components availability, we were able to satisfy 90% of the demand within the customer’s revised order, and the remaining 10% was delivered without causing delay.  My ability to be the link between the factory and our customer means we can provide excellent flexibility on short notice.”

In between conversations with the plant and customer, Billy’s co-worker pings him with an instant message asking about a less common issue, seeking his advice. He asks about the data and timeline needed and recalls a product bulletin that was released last week.

“I pulled up the information from the FAQ list and sent it over to him. I was happy to help because he had been on vacation and may have missed the bulletin. That’s how we roll over here!”

Later that morning, Billy takes a break in one of the open areas and talks about his morning. His co-worker on another team asked if he had any experience with ship cycle days for common customers. During the casual conversation about freight charges, they wondered if the current arrangement with their carriers might be improved. A quick meeting is scheduled for mid-afternoon.

“It became apparent that the current carriers may not be providing the best cost-savings for our customer. So, we’ll both pull some data and re-group after lunch.”

At lunch time, Billy eats a light lunch in the cafeteria area. Since the weather is nice this time of year, he sits outside and thinks about a recent volunteer event where he wasn’t as warm and comfortable.

“Myself and a group of volunteers were repairing and installing fencing for the local high school agriculture program. We underestimated the rain gear we might need and it proceeded to pour down for the next 4 hours. But the team persevered and completed the task. I was really proud of our team for finishing – and the llamas and other livestock seem to appreciate their new home as well.”

Billy heads back to his desk after lunch to spend time working on his idea to help his customer save on freight charges while keeping tabs on multiple orders.  While working through an open order report for a large OEM customer, he realizes the inventory does not match and it appears Cummins would miss the shipping date. Before I notified the customer, I reached out to the product scheduler at the source plant.

“It turns out that we did have sufficient inventory, but I simply didn’t have visibility to it. She provided instructions where to check available inventory that hasn’t been placed into our order management system yet. Of course, I added that to our team’s FAQ list and sent a link via email to my whole team. ”

By quickly being able to communicate this issue to the scheduler, he was able to avoid providing inaccurate information to the customer, which may have inadvertently caused them to shift their production schedule due to a shortage that wouldn’t occur.

Billy’s development includes developing his software skills and growing his network as Cummins adds new resources to the team.

“During a 1:1 with my supervisor, she mentioned my spreadsheet skills we ‘lacking pizazz’ so she helped me sign up for online training through the Cummins Learning Center. Earlier this week, I completed my 2nd module and I’ll start next week on my next. I’m now able to provide additional data points for much better data analysis. There’s also an enormous amount of technical training that helps me to better assist our customers which actually helped me reach my previous goals – and will help me with my current goals as well.”

Later in the afternoon, Billy meets again with his co-worker to review ideas to save on freight costs. There are 2 other Customer Order Analysts and he’s surprised by the level of detail that everyone has brought to the session.

“We spent a little time listening to everyone’s ideas based on this morning’s conversation.  Knowledge of both domestic and international shipping procedures helped drive the meeting to a couple of easy-to-implement solutions that we plan to present to our leadership and then the customer.”

Finally, as Billy is leaving for the day, he checks in with his customers and team via Skype, email, and text message for any new support requests.  A colleague provided an update on the product shipment based on this morning’s event and he gladly passes on to the customer.

“It’s so nice when your customer knows you’re working on their behalf and following up on details. I feel like I can build a little bit of trust every day with them and I think that makes a difference.”

Before he leaves, Billy plays one more round of foosball with his co-workers and thinks about the multiple ways he’s helped, but also the many ways he’s learned more about his job today. He also knows someone is likely to remind him, “Don’t forget to check the weather!” 

Editor’s note: Billy and team presented their idea for freight charge savings to their customers. By networking outside of his immediate team, they were able to provide real savings for the customer which will likely increase product sales!

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