Why Implementation Is The Most Important Stage Of The Customer Journey

Winning new business isn’t easy - just don’t tell my colleagues in the Commercial department I said so. - Chrisi Lloyd Roberts, Business Improvement Director - Suttons Tankers

We have to offer a compelling commercial and operational solution that demonstrates our ability to innovate while introducing technology advancements that bring benefits, and the customer has to be motivated to award business to us.


Each stage of the customer journey is really important to us at Suttons, but in my opinion, the implementation has to be the most significant. There is only one chance to implement a new contract. One chance to give the customer an experience that stays with them for the duration of your relationship. One chance to get it right


Implementation (and integration) is complex and intensive – our experienced team understand that every customer and contract is unique, which is why we follow a rigorous approach to implementation. It must be well planned, detailed and methodical. The breadth of preparation we have to do prior to go-live can differ significantly, but for each contract we follow the same process to ensure our implementation goes as smoothly as possible.


There are many factors we need to consider to successfully implement a new contract: the operational details of our customers’ requirement, the specification of our equipment for performance and safety, preparation of physical locations and facilities, setting up processes and systems, and ensuring we meet all out legal compliance obligations.


Transferring drivers and employees into Suttons Tankers is a significant part of the implementation process, as well as being a crucial part of the customer journey. We love to grow our team of expert drivers and staff (who bring with them highly regarded skills and knowledge), but the transition itself can be a complex process to work through.


We have a thorough approach to driver induction prior to go-live to cover all the bases in regards to our expectation around safety, and also educate on the operational requirements of working in our business. Our driver training team provides valuable resource for this activity and it’s a significant step when welcoming new employees to our business.


Suttons are committed to delivering added value to its customers, so making life easy for them is a core priority. If trust is gained through the implementation process by providing a harmonious experience that is managed efficiently, the foundations for loyalty are already built for when the contract goes live. The decision to change partner or outsource transport is a significant – if we can’t assure a customer in the implementation stage of their journey, why would they trust us to manage their requirements day-to-day?


My philosophy for excellence in implementation is:


  • The customer is at the heart of decision making. No implementation is without issue or risk. When faced with these challenges we always consider the impact to the customer.

  • Address any issues and risks quickly. Not everything goes to plan, all of the time. Addressing issues and risks quickly means you reduce the chance of escalation into bigger problems.

  • A great team that executes the detail of the plan. We are only as good as our weakest link. Our team of subject matter experts are the reason we succeed every time.

  • Good communications in the project team, with the wider business and especially with the customer. No one should be left guessing ‘what happens next’. Communication is everything.

  • On the ground transitional support. Our driver training and operations team deal with the details, that can have often have a big impact during the time of the transfer. They are also doing the important job of welcoming new employees to our business, providing reassurance and making sure that any issues are addressed if they occur.


We learn from all of our implementation experiences, which gives us the chance to continually improve – ready for the next opportunity. 

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