TransportationRepeat Client Surges in Productivity

Transportation2

Client provides irregular route, dry van truckload carrier transportation for some of the nation’s largest retailers in the continental 48 states and Canada.

Client retained DB&A for a project implementation that was designed to improve load velocity, fuel costs and productivity while upgrading floor control systems and conducting results-driven supervisory development. This implementation involved DB&A Staff Associates to be onsite at the client’s headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, and terminals in Atlanta, Georgia, and Orlando, Florida, working one-on-one with directors, general managers, supervisors and coordinators for 22-weeks

Directors struggled to communicate, interact, motivate and guide their staff, focusing instead on administrative duties that added very little value to employee performance and completion of company goals. A director’s average eight-hour day went as follows: 5 percent was spent supervising employees, 17 percent responding to operating problems observed by employees, 52 percent on administrative functions, 12 percent performing employee work that was unrelated to training, and 14 percent was spent idle or unavailable.

Front-line management did not engage in problem-solving techniques to identify and rectify systemic issues impacting hourly/daily/weekly production goals. As a result, the available capacity of personnel and processes was not properly utilized.

Customer service representatives did not have clearly defined expectations and responsibilities, and were plagued by a combination of business and non-business interruptions. As a result, customer service representatives, who are expected to solicit freight to proactively fill trucks before becoming available, were, on average, spending less than 1 percent of their day soliciting freight from known customers.

Improved Departmental Efficiencies: By taking advantage of production audits, the Client’s most underperforming sectors showed dramatic improvements. Customer service representatives more effectively balanced soliciting freight from current customers with the responsibility of gaining new clients. The byproduct of the newly installed systems were increased freight loads, improved truck utilization, customer satisfaction rose dramatically and representatives were able to focus on business growth instead of dealing with service issues. Through daily service meetings, the number of chargeable service failures reported decreased by 60 percent.

Increased Production via Cross-Training: By training management and employees in duties and responsibilities that span across departmental lines, communication, efficiency and effectiveness improved, leading to increased expectations for management and a more proactive leadership style. With a better understanding of the overall goal and processes of the Client, directors could easily quantify the bottom performers, measure their results and provide daily training to increase performance.

Financial Results

Prior to the start of the project, DB&A guaranteed the Client an Annualized Savings Rate of $1,560,000 and 3:1 Rate of Return Investment. Upon completion of the implementation, the actual Annualized Savings Rate achieved for the project was $1,960,000 — a 3.8:1 Rate of Return on Investment.

“The biggest change for me is that now my team wants to know how they are doing every day. One day during the huddle, I forgot to review our productivity numbers for the day, and they all told me that I forgot to do it. Also, I am now able to drive the results daily to duplicate good days, whereas previously I reviewed the numbers on a weekly or monthly basis and then reacted.”

Director of Planning