USTC J9 Peak Season Call (10 Sep)
Data for the 10 Sep Peak Season slides reflects week 36 data.
- Based on questions from a previous call on why current year and 3-year average totals in different areas of slide 2 were different, slide 2 data was adjusted. The upper center table now reflects actual and requested (projected) shipments for the current year (as annotated) vs. the 3-Yr average of actual pickups from weeks 20-45.
- The little graphic to the middle right of slide 2 now states “DPS Peak Season Shipments (actual); and reflects just pickups. There is still a slight discrepancy between the center graph and the middle right number for historical and 3 yr average, and I frankly don’t remember the explanation for why.
- Charts 3-11 have not changed significantly in weeks, and really only drew some comments on Code 2; with one industry rep stating Code 2 was a superior way to move HHGs; and another reminding DoD that the highest rated shipment in the industry is a pad wrapped shipment by a professional van driver, door to door. And we should find ways in the program to utilize and grow this capability.
- Chart 12 resulted in more conversation over projections. If you look at the middle rows on the graph, it shows that compared to this week last year, “In-Post Award Compared to Last Year”, essentially shipments with the TSP, we are 2% higher right now than last year this week. And at the bottom, “In-Process Compared to Last Year” suggests for shipments in any DPS status, compared to last year at this time, there is an increase of 11%. That’s an 11% increase over a fairly small number. Therefore, it would be difficult to look at these projections and believe there were a large number of shipments still moving in the out weeks, much beyond the historical average. There appears to be some increase, but as of yet, it’s still no clear that there is any sustained significant increase in this “extended peak season”.
- Slide 16 is data that was previously depicted on slide 15; but is now shown on its own. These are past projected shipments that have not moved due to COVID; and the further in the past those shipments are, the less likely they will materialize into shipments this year. Some of the shipments closer to the current date could still move; but many will not.
- Slide 17 is a new slide depicting NTS and DPM shipments.
- Not much of note on slides 18-19.
During the open discussion the issue of TEAMS digital certificate issue with the extreme workload of getting digital certificates linked to the various TSP accounts is problematic. And issues associated with “bot” accounts and the new Robotic Process Automation (RPA) policy that is set to be implemented by mid-November. USTC J9 did not have a lot of answers to the issues raised. Many TSPs are clearly frustrated with the lack of automation with digital certificates and linking them to their accounts in TEAMS. Chrissy Schneider spoke up. She is the DPS Program Manager. She acknowledged the issues and offered her staffer, Kipp Reed (firstname.lastname@example.org) as a POC TSPs could use when they experience issues with the connection between DPS and TEAMS; and concerns over the new RPA policy.
Karen Perkins of Suddath commented on the call. Karen was gracious enough to provide me further details about what she’s learned looking into the issue for Suddath. Her notes to me are as below and are offered for industry-wide situational awareness (Thank you Karen):
One ECA DIGITAL CERTIFICATE will accommodate 10,000 UserIds / DPS Accounts
IdenTrust has confirmed that one certificate can be used for 10,000 accounts/UserIDs
- IdenTrust ECA BROWSER CERTIFICATE for “EasyDPS” is available now at www.identrust.com ($109)
- When purchase is approved, the new certificate will be installed in the WebBot
- With “EasyDPS” DIGITAL CERTIFICATE installed, we’ll need to generate and submit requests for DPS BOT Accounts
- Per USTRANSCOM Advisory, we’ll be allowed 10 BOT ACCOUNTS per SCAC (DPS ROLES - Operations/Claims/Quality Assurance roles)
- Approved BOT ACCOUNTS / DPS UserIDs will be assigned to EasyDPS/web-bot processes – Shipment Management, Claims Management, CSS, etc.
- At this time we don’t know how to request BOT ACCOUNTS or who will authorize/approve those requests for access
Finally…IAM Chairman, Tim Helenthal of National Van Lines, asked J9 to explain a previous statement made on the call where J9 stated refusals have led to more short fuse shipments. J9 believes it is fairly well established that refusals lead to more short fuse. JPPSO NW stated to them, it was very evident that they received no positive results from refusals; but in their mind it only resulted in more workload; JPPSO SC also chimed in that refusals lead to more workload for JPPSOs with no apparent help to their capacity issues. Tim countered that regardless of whether industry blacks out or refuses, the result is the same…that if a shipment is going to the short fuse process, it happens regardless of whether the shipment is blacked out or refused. SC stated that what happens with refusals is that JPPSOs offer the shipment, often times three or four days because refusals make it look like there is still capacity. The shipment gets backed up in the shipment queue in peak because of all the other shipments being worked. By the time they get back to that shipment with no industry interest, now they are likely within the short fuse window, and now they offer the shipment short fuse. In that process, they also already touched the shipment and talked to the customer multiple times. In contrast, if all capacity was blacked out for the same shipment, the JPPSO would touch it once, know that there was no capacity, push the shipment to the right where there was capacity; coordinate a new date once with the customer, and offer the shipment in the normal shipment queue and the shipment gets booked.