TRANSCOM's New CSS Process: Questions Answered

April 18, 2022

Various TSPs asked IAM for insight to questions stemming from the TRANSCOM announcement that they intend to start a new CSS process by the end of this month. We engaged TRANSCOM for insights into your questions, and received the below replies to those questions:


  1. Believe it was announced at the PPF that this new CSS process would start on 29 April. Can you confirm this start date?


Answer:  29 April is the plan based on successful testing leading up to that date. This may change due to our combing 3 surveys into 2 surveys.  Should not be a long delay (if needed). (Notice it appears TRANSCOM will issue two surveys now, instead of the three they had originally stated).


  1. Whatever the start date, does it mean that any shipment picking up on that date and after will receive the text or email link from the CSS contractor as opposed to the current process?


Answer:  Yes, shipments passing the trigger point for the new Survey #1 will use the existing process (my interpretation is the term “…use the existing process” refers to, once past the trigger date [likely 29 April] the new CSS process will be used vice the old process)


  1. Based on the start date, can you confirm that no CSS completions can/will take place from the start date and moving forward via DPS and/or the help desk?


Answer:  No, surveys not benefiting from the new process will continue be completed by the customer in DPS (I think my question was unclear; but what I take from this is for the new CSS process, the help desk and DPS will not be used; for surveys happening before 29 April, they will continue to be used as they currently are.)


  1. If confirmed, and since the last of the 3 CSS surveys goes out 30 days after shipment delivery, we can assume there will be almost no May shipments with a returned CSS during the entire month of May, since a completed survey (if pickup and delivery are completed on the same day, 30 days later would be 31 May) won’t be captured until June. With that in mind, is there a potential impact on a TSP’s statistical validity for the next performance period?


Answer:  We do expect to see a lower survey response rates during the transition for the Month of May; however, we will continue to see responses coming in for customers who have open surveys in DPS prior to the 29 April release.  In addition, we could see responses for shipments in an in-transit status or later and that deliver during May (these are immediately eligible for completion in DPS).  More important, there is little to no potential impact on a TSPs statistical validity for the next performance period (1 August performance period) because the affected 12 month data pull timeframe for that period covers all surveys from 1 June 2021- 31 May 2022.  As a result, we expect minimal impact to statistical validity due to this transition.  Any TSP lack of statistical validity will be handled in the same manner as always, per the DTR Part IV Chapter 403.



  1. Industry is interested in receiving feedback that is generated from the partial scores. All feedback is good feedback, and TSPs use it to rate their underlying service providers…ultimately leading to the use of better performing origin and destination agents. Will J9 consider providing a way for TSPs to see comments/scores on shipments where not all 3 surveys are responded to, so that feedback isn’t lost to TSPs? It would be great for a TSP to see partial survey feedback as soon as possible. That way, if there are steps a TSP can take with their underlying service providers to make corrections along the way, it can help lead to a higher quality move.


Answer:   We are working on a potential way to provide access to partial survey responses.


  1. Would J9 consider allowing the CSS contractor and any of the J9 staff involved in the process to participate via a webcast to answer questions about the process? I think TSPs would appreciate hearing details from the experts. We typically get over 100 attendees for live events like this, but could also post the video to allow moving industry (we make it available to IAM members and non-members) to review it after-the-fact as they have availability.


Answer:  More than happy to use existing meetings and venues (i.e. PPFs, NDTA, etc.), but not looking to add to team’s workload at the moment, going into peak season. 


  1. Will J9 publish the return rates you are receiving via the new process so TSPs understand how it’s working?


Answer:  Yes, we can include in peak season slides; however, it will be necessary to allow the new process to play out so customers have the appropriate time to provide input.  Would not expect to draw conclusions right off the bat.


  1. Will the CSS appeal process work the same way as it currently works?


Answer: Yes.


  1. How can industry support DoD in getting the response rate up under this new process?


Answer:  Remind the customer about the survey and encourage them to complete it. See our handouts on various timing.*


  1. Can J9 lay out the overall process for how scores will get loaded into DPS? Is it an electronic process or manual? Has it been tested?


Answer:  No intent to lay out the process.  Would ask industry to remain focused on their service and the outcomes.  We’ll ensure the process is transparent; but industry’s focus should not be on process; it should be on how to provide quality capacity.


  1. For reminder emails/texts that are sent to the member to complete the survey throughout the 90-day period, is the link to the survey included in the reminders that come after the original email/text for ease of completion?


Answer: Yes. 


  1. Will members receive a link to previous incomplete surveys when they get the next survey in the series, making it easier for them to complete the ones they’ve forgotten to accomplish as they get the next survey?   


Answer: Members will receive a reminder link to previous incomplete surveys however, these are separate from the next survey in the series.  Each survey has its own independent reminders which may be sent concurrently as needed.


  1. If the worst scenario happens, and the return rate falls below its current level, impacting TSP statistical validity, is there a fallback plan? Can a transition back to the current process happen fast enough to not impact a TSPs performance scores?


Answer:  We are confident this process is better for our customers and will provide better return rates than presently collected.  Our tests have already shown higher return rates—transition to the new process will need time to play out; so not looking to make rapid changes.  As we have done in other areas, we will take the appropriate time to collect and review the data appropriately.


  1. If for some reason, the new CSS process results in a lower overall performance score program-wide, will DoD be able to/consider adjusting the minimum performance score so as not to push too many TSPs out of the program, impacting needed capacity for the DoD? 


Answer:  We do not expect a lower response using this process; however, if this were to occur we would use existing processes and rules, which do not include a reduction in MPS. 


If you aren’t familiar with the scope of the new CSS process, or have additional questions, please let me know.