Meet Senior Technical Consultant, Tom Reber August 13, 2009
Hailing from the great Midwest state of Nebraska, Tom has been an indispensable member of Team Varsity for eight years. This 2007 Varsity Employee of the Year is a Senior Technical Consultant on our Professional Services team.
Tom worked for Varsity in the mid-90′s and returned to us in 2003, after several years as an independent consultant. He has over fourteen years of experience working with AS/400 applications and nineteen years of programming experience. He is an expert in distribution and transportation environments where he has been involved in project design, implementation, and management of distribution and transportation management solutions (TMS).
But that doesn’t fully convey the essence of what Tom does for Varsity and for our customers. Technically, Tom is a high-level project manager for accounts such as Roland Corporation US, Harley-Davidson, Cintas, and Paris Presents. But where his real value lies is not solely in his technical expertise, but in his ability to solve myriad business challenges with the multi-faceted distribution and transportation solutions he architects.
According to Kim Wright, Operations Supervisor at Roland, Tom was instrumental in the success of their initial implementation in 2005, and also the upgrade they just completed this past January to ShipSoft-Parcel Version 2.6. “Tom has been an integral and valuable member of our team. He worked closely with our ERP vendor and our internal team, and was extremely consultative in his approach. He’s a gem.”
Indeed, even before Roland had agreed to purchase the Varsity solution, Tom made quite an impression on them. What struck them most was that not only was he a programmer, he had the ability to see the business-side of the equation as well. This is the quality they value most.
Ms. Wright states: “We would not have been able to solve all of our business challenges and have a successful implementation without Tom. He was willing to do whatever was necessary to ensure a positive outcome. We just love him!”
Having worked both up- and downstream of the shipping function has helped Tom acquire a comprehensive perspective into the many business process issues that face customers when implementing a TMS. He describes his solution design philosophy as follows:
- Keep the underlying system as simple as possible.
- Understand what the customer is trying to accomplish from a business process perspective.
- Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, and recommend a solution that may be out of the customer’s comfort zone.
Tom indicates that flexibility is paramount. Flexibility in thinking about the issues at hand, in architecting the solution, and especially during the implementation phase.
In a time of unprecedented challenge and change in the transportation industry, the unique combination of expertise, flexibility, and creativity that Tom-and the rest of Team Varsity–bring to the game are critical for the success of any shipping/TMS initiative.