We have lot of buyers in Africa and other parts of the world who have been managing trucking companies for transportation, freight and other business purposes.Most of them are pretty experienced in what they do. However, in the following lines, we are going to discuss how you can manage your trucking company.
Although, the overall size of these trucking companies in Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world may not be that big, they still have a to do a lot to maintain their companies and their trucking fleet properly. Following are some thoughts on how to lead a trucking company when you have to think about the growth of your business as well as wear and tear of your trucking fleet and occasional replacement of these trucks when they break.
1. Be visible and communicative
Don’t hide in your office all day in closed door meetings. This is sure to unnerve your employees. Be visible and try to maintain a “business as usual” demeanor. Check your trucking fleet every now and then to make sure that every thing is working fine, without any major issues.
2. Promote a positive work environment
Watch the freight business carefully and work hard on recruiting more and more customers. Explore all options before cutting staff, especially long service employees who have been productive and loyal to the organization. Explore reduced hours before staff reductions. This will allow you to retain these good employees until conditions improve. If staff cuts have to be made, be decisive, get them done and move on. Don’t engage in a drip, drip, drip process spread out in waves over various weeks and months. This is a sure way to distract your people from securing freight or moving freight and get them thinking about looking elsewhere for employment.
3. Be thoughtful about where to cut costs
Some companies will seek to eliminate costs that are deemed to be discretionary or of a lower priority. These may include sales staffing, sales or other forms of training, advertising and marketing costs. Remember that many of these activities take time to produce benefits. Cutting sales people and spreading the workload over fewer account managers or cutting back on training will have long term consequences. Reduced sales coverage or less well trained staff will ultimately lead to lower revenue. Cutting back on service will ultimately lead to unhappy customers. It is important to remember that it is costly and difficult to replace established, loyal customers.
5. Identify and execute the key elements of your Business Plan
Identify the key elements of your Business Plan and execute the plan in a focused and diligent way. Don’t take your “foot off the pedal” since this will surely result in lower revenue or higher costs.
Freight recessions, if they truly exist, do not correlate directly with economic recessions. The Cass Freight Shipment Index has declined year/year in the United States for two consecutive quarters nine times since 1991, a period in which the U.S. saw only three recessions. The bottom line is that ebbs and flows in freight volumes are common over time. There are indications on both sides of the border that business levels are now on the rise.
Trucking company leaders need to “keep their cool” during slower periods, maintain their focus and the morale of their team. Crisis management can be learned and is a skill set of successful business leaders.