The Challenge

For over 30 years, KTL Transport Inc has grown from their humble origins as a single-truck operator to a fleet of 180 trucks providing deliveries across the Lower Mainland and servicing the entire Port of Vancouver. Today, KTL is one of Western Canada’s largest intermodal trucking companies moving over 10,000 containers annually while remaining proudly family-owned and operated.

Following an initial Rapid Lean Assessment of KTL’s current scheduling, dispatching and customer support activities, Propel Solutions was engaged over a 14-week period to conduct a full lean organizational transformation to align the firm’s new transportation management system and restructure legacy practices to position KTL for the next generation of growth.

The Objective:

The project was conducted within a 14-week period using a hybrid blend of Propel’s remote-working technologies framework and onsite installation. This allowed Propel’s consultants and KTL’s Project Team to maintain momentum while being responsive to public health directives during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The following activities were conducted:

  • New Technology Stabilization: Propel supported users with the adoption of their new transportation management system by conducting process observations, stakeholders interviews, and process mapping to understand task-dependencies and data retention needs. Our consultants worked in tandem with end users and the system vendor to implement cost-effective solutions to meet KTL’s unique operational needs and partner requirements. Training documentation and standard operating procedures were developed to ensure a streamlined customer order-to-delivery flow.
  • Consolidated Organizational Structure: Propel established a lean organizational structure with re-defined roles and responsibilities that provided dedicated resources for customer order activities, planning, and driver dispatch support. The transition from individual account representatives to a centralized customer support team ensured consistent service delivery with improved customer response times, expanded coverage, and enhanced work/life balance for team members.
  • Management Tools and Improved Asset Utilization: Propel worked with the KTL leadership team to create several resource planning tools to support the pro-active scheduling of container loads, staff, and fleet based on expected daily activity levels. The tools provided management with visibility into staffing and equipment needs and mitigated operational issues that occur when resources are unavailable.
  • Streamlined Order Management & Customer Communications: Through ABC analysis, Propel identified the effort-to-profit potential of existing customers to inform the level of volume and involvement required in the order-management process. Propel developed integrated solutions built on the Microsoft 365 Platform that simplified the order entry process through automation. Through the implementation of communication templates and system-configured notifications, Propel also reduced the time spent generating emails while delivering real-time visibility to customers.

The Results

The Organizational Transformation Project provided KTL Transport with the structure and tools needed to improve visibility into their operations and initiate process improvements while the implementation of lean best practices supported enhancements in operations and technology utilization. Over 27 method changes were developed to improve order turnaround, customer response times, transportation planning, and asset utilization.

As a result of the process implementations, KTL will realize a 10-1 return on their investment in the project while instilling confidence in the technology underpinning their operations, promoting growth opportunities for their team and enabling a culture of continuous improvement critical to a complex and evolving industry.