A large renewable energy company.
A Fortune 50 company approached J.M. Rodgers with a rare opportunity to handle over 7,000 clearances annually. Unfortunately, the company’s former broker had experienced a cyber attack that left them unable to perform customs entry for an extended period of time. As a result, J.M. Rodgers was tasked with handling clearances for a backlog of hundreds of arrived shipments, which posed many unique challenges, such as:
- Onboarding a large account on short notice
- Working through a backlog of arrived shipments to expedite clearance and mitigate as much potential storage and demurrage as possible
- Allocating the necessary resources to handle this transition while continuing to serve current customers with no drop off in performance
- Learning the new account chain of command and creating the necessary lines of communication to ensure we were reaching out to the correct parties for arrival notices, commercial docs, compliance information, etc.
- Working with the new customer to receive needed documentation for shipments in which JMR was not on the Bill of Lading
- Dealing with the former broker’s reluctance to communicate and cooperate
- Adapting quickly to the unique needs of the customer, including 60+ entries that needed clearing within a two-hour window
JMR worked on creating a team that would focus on and prioritize the new customer account by:
- Organizing the high volume of shipments by ETA and allocating them throughout the team to concentrate on the backlog of shipments
- Communicating with the new customer to learn the correct points of contact to create the quickest avenue to have questions answered for an unfamiliar account
- Initiating short but efficient meetings throughout the week to determine which of our customers presently had higher volume and required more resources dedicated to them for that day or week to avoid any drop-off in service
JMR communicated with the new customer daily to identify what we needed from them in the short and long term.
- Short term:
- Without a parts dictionary, implementing a system so that the correct HTS codes would be sent to JMR’s compliance team to expedite clearances when receiving new docs
- Adding the many different IORs into our system and compiling lists with the new customer for ways to differentiate what IOR to use when clearing
- Knowing the correct contacts and teams for each IOR, which was crucial in the clearance process for such a large company
- Working with the new customer to get access to clearance docs from forwarders when we were not listed as the notify party
- Keeping pressure on the former broker with the new customer in copy and documenting their uncooperativeness
- Long term:
- Meetings with the new customer to inform them on what steps needed to be taken to create a more efficient system for all parties involved, including:
- Giving JMR access to a parts dictionary with all HTS codes
- Having JMR be listed on docs as the notify party for all future bookings
- Having a list of all pending shipments for JMR to track and monitor to ensure prompt clearances
- Within the first business week of handling the new customer’s Customs brokerage, JMR successfully cleared the initial backlog of hundreds of shipments.
- None of JMR’s other customers had any drop-off in service. In addition, clearances and customer service were consistent throughout the onboarding process and while JMR handled brokerage.
- Lines of communication were formed between the new customer and JMR, ensuring fast response times from both parties.
- Meetings throughout the week provided JMR with early indicators of any issues that were arising and allowed us to address them and develop solutions as soon as possible.
- Once JMR received access to the parts dictionary, we began expediting clearances without delay.
- Consistent communication with the new customer created additional opportunities for improvement on the micro and macro levels.