Carrier of Choice: What it Means, and How We Get There
A key part of effectively managing growth, for any company, is adapting to the different demands faced in the transition to becoming a more complex organization. Often this involves taking a step back to remember those goals and visions at the heart of our mission statement.
At the core of our operations here at Wadhams is being a Carrier of Choice for everyone with whom we work.
Carrier Of Choice: What It Means To Us
At the core of what it means to be a Carrier of Choice is commitment to providing reliable, high-quality service to customers: prompt pick-ups and deliveries, high levels of accuracy (picking up the right items, quantities, etc.), exceptional customer service, and dedication to safety. These are the priorities we believe should guide decision-making – especially in terms of operations management – for any carrier of distinction in the trucking industry.
How We Measure Progress
Identifying priorities is only half the battle; it’s also integral to establish goals and follow through with a plan for achieving them. To do so, companies should identify the highest priorities for their teams, and establish a baseline by evaluating their current operations. Some questions we regularly ask ourselves are:
- How are we currently performing on key metrics?
- Are there any areas in which there is room for measurable improvement?
- Are there aspects of our team’s performance for which we need better insight (better tracking or measurement of performance indicators, etc.)?
Asking strategic questions can help determine: (1) current performance levels’ (2) what metrics can help the team monitor progress, and (3) any changes needed to provide better insights.
Wadhams Case Study: Working Towards The Goal Of Being The Carrier of Choice
At Wadhams, we needed to assess what it means to be the Carrier of Choice for each of our divisions: RIST Truckload (TL), RIST Less than truckload (LTL), Earl T. Wadhams, and ARG Trucking.
At ARG we identified service rates as the top priority in achieving the goal of being the Carrier of Choice. Service rate refers to getting products delivered in the customer’s time frame and terms.
When we analyzed our team’s performance, we noticed one area with potential for improvement related to petroleum loading. Through consultation with drivers and dispatchers, and by putting tracking mechanisms in place, we identified the biggest sources of issues (in this case, human error and oversights). We then developed a concrete plan to address those issues, and to monitor our progress. As a result of putting that plan into action, we’ve been able to seriously reduce errors and save drivers’ time, making their pickups more efficient and reliable.
The action plan provides a blueprint for improvement; however, like any plan, it’s important to monitor progress and to re-evaluate as we go. Goals shift and progress rates change, so constant attention is important to keep us headed in the right direction. Being a Carrier of Choice, then, is not only a commitment to providing the best service now – it’s also a commitment to continued, ongoing improvement and progress.