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Forward Thinkers Tom Donnelly

August 3, 2022 kgreenwood

Forward Thinkers Tom Donnelly

As part of our Behind-the-Scenes stories, our latest Forward Thinker is Tom Donnelly, Product Specialist at Forward Solutions.

Tom has been with Forward Solutions, since he first finished his computing qualification at New College Nottingham aged 18.

Having spent a lot of his education focusing on computers, with a GCSE in computing and a college qualification in computing and computer programming, joining the Software Support team was a great fit for his skills.

He worked in the Software Support team at Forward Solutions for his first 14 years at the company, a role involving helping customers maximise Forward Solutions’ software. He and the team of four assist thousands of users understand the different modules which make up Forward Office.

Tom has now moved to another role, but the Support team continue to work hard to ensure customers are maximising all of the Forward Office software suite.

Forward Office is a feature rich and hugely flexible freight management software solution (FMS).  At the core of Forward Office is Forward Core, which allows you to manage shipments as precisely as you need, from invoicing to quoting.  Forward Office is supported by six additional module which can be added independently, all offering a unique service to support the freight process.

Since moving away from the Software Support team, Tom has become a product specialist for Forward Vision, the latest component of the Forward Office Suite, which is a web-based portal allowing customers to manage their entire supply chain.

Tom is also the Product Specialist for documentation and reporting, supporting customers with any bespoke requirements, for example, collection notes, booking confirmations and customs documentation. In addition, Tom is able to support customers with the use of external reporting tools on their Forward Office data.

Tom added: “Each day is unpredictable; I spend a lot of my time liaising with customers about their needs or analysing the data they provide. I also work with the support team so they can work on assisting our customers.

“I’ve been at Forward Solutions since I started work and the nurturing nature of the team has made me want to stay and develop alongside the company. I work alongside some very knowledgeable people who provide support not only to our customers but to each other.”

“I also work closely on Forward Vision, which we started to develop in 2021. It provides many features including quoting, shipment management and tracking, integrated vessel tracking, and PO management.”

Forward Vision will allow operators to give their own customers true visibility within their supply chain.  The system offers dashboards and detailed reports that will monitor required KPIs and offer greater ability to meet delivery targets and more transparent communication, reducing errors.

Forward Vision is a new highly intuitive front-end solution that meets the growing need for digital platforms that can provide fast and UpToDate management information, providing instant access to all elements of the client’s supply chain.

Richard Litchfield, Managing Director at Forward Solutions added:

“Tom is a long-standing and valued member of the Forward Solutions team, he’s been working here for 18 years and knows the company and our software inside and out.

“It’s important that our team has experience with both the software we use and the industry, it’s forever adapting, and we work hard to ensure we have the skills necessary to adapt with it.

“Technology is the future for freight transport, with changes always around the corner. For example, the shift to Customs Declaration Service (CDS) and away from Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) will be happening very soon, and we need to make sure we’re ahead of the game and have a clear understanding of what’s needed from us to help our customers continue their operations smoothly.”

Outside the world of computers, Tom likes to spend time with his three kids at their allotment in Calverton, near Nottingham where they take time to grow a variety of vegetables including beans, courgettes, onions and even pumpkins for Halloween.


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