In our ongoing effort to recognize our employees for their contributions in helping to make our customers successful, we would like to honor and profile the FY13Q1 winner of Descartes’ Quarterly Employee Excellence & Innovation Award – Justin Marshall.  Justin came to Descartes in 2005 where he worked in our Implementation and Maintenance Systems (IMS) department.  He wanted to learn more about how our applications helped customers, so he moved into the Professional Services group where he became the technical implementation lead for Descartes Route Planner™.

Justin’s first route planning project was with a company in Hong Kong where he learned the basics of the Descartes Route Planner solution. He was not only able to see and work in a different part of the world; he also had the opportunity to learn how to train customers overcoming language and cultural barriers. Since joining Professional Services, Justin has either lead or was heavily involved in more than 20 of the largest and/or most complex customer implementations of Descartes Route Planner™.

Justin MarshallOne of his more recent projects was working for a construction supply company out of Atlanta. The company had 5 divisions, each with different Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and operating processes. They wanted to streamline and standardize their day-to-day operations incorporating Descartes Transportation Manager™, Descartes Route Planner & Descartes Reporting Services™. This project provided Justin and the implementation team with some interesting challenges in that it required a significant number of unique coding configurations to deal with their existing systems and processes.  By working collaboratively with the engineering teams for the Transportation Management and Route Planning solutions, they were able to develop a more scalable and reusable solution for future customers with similar requirements.  This project, along with many other implementations, has provided Justin with the opportunity to solve many challenges with innovative thinking in support of Descartes’ key focus on delivering results for our customers.

When I asked Justin what he felt was the number one thing that makes complex projects successful, he explained, “It’s actually a handful of things. First of all, a lot of hard work and dedication by everyone involved was required to bring these engagements to a successful completion. Many of these projects pushed the boundary of what was known to work or even what was possible and required a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. They required a team effort, from both professional services and product teams, to innovate and keep up with our customer’s requirements.”

Justin added, “While projects may have had their bumpy moments, in the end, they were all successfully completed and, ultimately, our overall solution offering was improved as a result of lessons learned and customer input. From a more general project management standpoint, it is important to have a plan, schedule sessions regularly and work closely and collaboratively with customers and our internal teams to determine where the gaps are.  And most definitely, if a problem arises, you need to be able to quickly cut through all the detail and find the root cause to ensure the projects continue to move forward as planned.”

We would like to congratulate and thank Justin for sharing is insights, his initiative and above and beyond performance to help make the customer implementations he has touched successful. We are excited to add him to the growing list of Descartes’ Employee Excellence & Innovation Award winners.

Written by Ed Ryan

Chief Executive Officer at Descartes