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Customer Order Management Supervisor – Tamika Bowers

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. Tamika Bowers is a Customer Order Management Supervisor who leads and coaches her team of specialists who work together to solve “problems” with backorders, constraints with components, and/or metric changes to meet our customer’s expectations – if not exceed them.

Tamika, with previous experience working as a CSR and then a Financial Services representative, joined Cummins just 6 years ago and has moved from a Customer Service Representative up to our Customer Care Supervisor. She partners with her Order Management colleagues to develop and maintain external customer and channel partner relationships.

“Everything we do at Cummins is customer-focused. We strive to be proactive rather than reactive in efforts of serving our customers.”

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Tamika starts her morning on a conference call with one of her OEM account managers to detail an entire order cycle. Its hurricane season and they are working with a customer to expedite a generator needed for backup power at a hospital. They work to place an emergency order and plan out steps to work on the PO to ensure it moves efficiently through the system.

She now meets with her team to check reports, especially the suspended order lines report. They utilize this report to monitor lines that have yet to be released to ensure timely delivery to their customers.

“Sometimes parts have superseded to new parts, or need pricing updates for example and it is my group’s job to resolve the discrepancy quickly not to impact on-time delivery."

In a mid-morning meeting, Tamika needed to call directly to the Cummins Materials and Operations Group in Memphis and ask for “all hands on deck” to get kits built/moved in the warehouse. It’s another example of her and her team serving our OEM customers to the best of their ability.

"Building and fostering relationships are paramount at Cummins. Some of my direct reports and I travel to Seattle, Memphis, and Auburn Hills to meet with our OEM customers on a quarterly basis.  We have on-site internal meetings with other parts of our supply chain to work through process improvement opportunities. Often times we’ll work really hard on-site then head to a local restaurant afterward. It’s really nice to work hard then have an opportunity to relax and get to know people as well.”

For lunch, Tamika brought a healthy meal from home and sits in the cafeteria area to eat. It’s a good time to catch up with others in the office and watch a spirited foosball game. The casual conversation turns to career development and Tamika provides some perspective on her career path – and her potential next steps.

“First, I was promoted to Analyst handling Brazil and Mechelen. Working on the international team gave me a very strong foundation in order management and an introduction to how customers really depend on our product. Then in 2014, I transitioned to SR Analyst on the OEM Engine New and Recon Parts side of the Cummins operation.”

Tamika heads back to her desk after lunch to prepare for one-on-one meetings with her direct reports. Developmental coaching and working to ensure that they are aligned with both their performance objectives as well as their individual development plans. She very much wants her team members to understand the importance of their contributions to Cummins.

“Growth is the ultimate goal whether my team members progress within the team or decide to pursue opportunities outside of order management. Our process is to update work instructions (as a metric) twice a year minimum for backup purposes and for succession planning, I typically use this time to provide detailed feedback.”

Later in the afternoon, before Tamika leaves for the day, she checks in with co-workers who are planning a Community Involvement event.

“I love… love.. love volunteering with the Angel Tree through the Salvation Army and Red Cross. It is always a good turnout when our employees support this cause. All you see are red Cummins shirts flooding the warehouse and it’s AWESOME! It is always so much fun trying to get imagine the kids’ faces as you’re packing their bag of toys they’ll receive for Christmas.”