If you’re in the transport or delivery business, do you know the five key problems that face people in the industry? Organizations that deliver goods via truck, van, or other wheeled vehicles tend to face the same kinds of challenges. Most are related to either fleet management or driver relations, with customer relationships coming in a close third place on the top-five list.
What can you learn from observing the habits of successful transport owners and managers? For starters, companies that regularly turn a profit in shipping and transportation know how to hire the right people. Additionally, they use effective fleet management solutions, make contingency plans for inevitable problems, acquaint themselves with regular routes, and stay on top of driver and customer relations. Here are brief descriptions of how each component of success in this competitive industry fits into the general scheme of everyday management.
Hiring people who are going to end up overseeing your office operation, manage fleet efficiency, and drive your vehicles is a huge responsibility. Many transportation-based businesses turn to outside HR professional to screen new hires. There are many new innovations shaping the future of HR and by outsourcing you are better suited to be keeping up with the latest hiring trends. Keep in mind that drivers and office managers are the life blood of your company’s success because their performance affects customer satisfaction in dozens of different ways.
Use Fleet Management Solutions
Without excellent fleet management programs, it’s literally impossible to operate a profitable transport/shipping company. In addition to knowing where cargo is located in real time, managers must track other key pieces of data that are helpful for fleet management and assure on-time delivery. If your company is small or just getting started, it’s important to learn about ELDs (electronic logging devices) by reviewing a complete online guide. In many ways, the ELD is a centerpiece of in-vehicle technology because it allows owners to collect vital data, including driver hours and similar information.
Conduct Drills for Potential Problems
There’s no such thing as perfection, and smart managers realize that truth. That’s why they routinely conduct fire drills that simulate negative conditions and incidents like missed shipments, huge traffic jams, weather emergencies that close main roads, driver no shows, and more. Every company has its own set of nightmare scenarios, and it makes perfect sense to prepare for each one. Rather than react to a challenging situation, have a written plan so you’ll at least know the basic steps for crisis management in ways that are specific to your business.
Maintain Excellent Driver and Customer Relations
Owners who transport goods directly to consumers, retail outlets, or other businesses know the importance of driver relations. In fact, staying on good terms with your vehicle operators is nearly as vital as maintaining good relations with customers. Managers who know how to communicate with drivers, treat them fairly, and stay informed about driver needs have a much better hold on day-to-day operations.
Know Your Most Common Routes
It pays to know the particulars and nuances of your organization’s most frequent vehicle routes. For instance, some roads undergo regular weather-related maintenance, while others are subject to frequent closures due to accidents. Keep a detailed list of common routes, potential problems, and alternate delivery options.