Lists, Lists and more Lists

Lists, Lists and more Lists

As we approach the end of the year, your inbox and social feeds will be filled with lists, lists and more lists detailing the best of 2017, the Top 10 ‘whatevers’ and the Best ‘whatchamacallits’ from this past year. Unfortunately, the time value of these lists is minimal. They exist as reductionist platforms to simplify and curate what has already happened into a bite sized delivery.

Reflecting on the past, however, can serve a purpose. It allows us an opportunity to see what has been accomplished (whether successfully or otherwise) to act as the benchmark or starting point for the next stage of our development. What happens next is profoundly more important – our choices and our focus.

By knowing where we are today and where we want to go, we can have clarity on the context for our energy focus and the proper decision matrices for development towards that defined success. This system is now a structure that simplifies your decisions and self-aligns towards the goals. Recalibration of processes becomes easier. The more thought, time and energy that are focused on the outcome, the faster you can achieve your goals. The ‘right’ decisions, those that are aligned to your goals, become clearer and easier to make.

When your team is equally focused on these goals, the speed to achievement increases exponentially. Including the team in the development and definition of your goals increases their involvement, ownership and collaboration. Work with them on both the long term strategy and the short term initiatives to fulfill the vision and satisfy the mission.

The lists in your life should be built around what you are trying to achieve and the methods you choose to bring about that success.

Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the second day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the third day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the fourth day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the fifth day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Five CTBs
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the sixth day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Six drivers lumping
Five CTBs
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the seventh day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Seven damaged pallets
Six drivers lumping
Five CTBs
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the eighth day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Eight out of service
Seven damaged pallets
Six drivers lumping
Five CTBs
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the ninth day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Nine cross dock shipments
Eight out of service
Seven damaged pallets
Six drivers lumping
Five CTBs
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the tenth day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Ten expedited
Nine cross dock shipments
Eight out of service
Seven damaged pallets
Six drivers lumping
Five CTBs
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Eleven acquisitions
Ten expedited
Nine cross dock shipments
Eight out of service
Seven damaged pallets
Six drivers lumping
Five CTBs
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Saint Transport gave to me,
Twelve weather issues
Eleven acquisitions
Ten expedited
Nine cross dock shipments
Eight out of service
Seven damaged pallets
Six drivers lumping
Five CTBs
Four calling leads
Three quick pays
Two loadboards matched and
A mandate for E-L-Ds now

Where are we Going?

Where are we Going?

TSP Business Focus Survey Results

As we approach the end of 2017 and prepare for a tumultuous 2018, we wanted to discover where our network of transportation leaders was placing the focus of their time and energy. For all that participated in the survey, we thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about your concerns and your resource deployment.

The full results can be found here, but we wanted to provide some insights that we gathered from the data and the responses.

Sales Focus:

Top Energy Focus: Retention of existing customers

Under the 80-20 rule, 80% of business for 2018 will be manifested in the current customer makeup. Properly servicing a majority of that current business is essential to maintaining your current revenue, but organizations need to be diligent in reviewing the profitability trends of each client to make sure that the focus on maintaining top line revenue is not at the expense of margin and profitability.

Operations Focus:

Top Energy Focus: Process

Maintaining a consistent approach to customer service that is repeatable and shared across all aspects of the business helps to keep the customers engaged and satisfied in the event that certain people within your organization may depart. The customers should love the company and the company’s service and not be dependent on a particular individual within the company.

Carrier Relations Focus:

Top Energy Focus: Negotiation

Negotiation can be a very transactional process in brokerage, particularly in the spot market environment. It can be difficult to manage the nuances of negotiation when decisions need to be made in minutes. Moving beyond a transactional model, fueled by load boards, towards a single source customer commitment will allow for negotiations based on larger need sets and strategic relationships.

People Focus:

Top Energy Focus: Training

Brokerage Training is really separated into two main development areas: Process and Skills. The system and process training, the ‘blocking and tackling’ of any brokerage is necessary for the tasks of load entry, carrier onboarding and billing – the functional aspect of the daily routines. The skills development allows each member of the team to become more effective in how they perform these functional tasks. Organizations with stronger, higher level skills development in their frontline teams are able to differentiate their service beyond the commodity of transportation service towards a more consultative approach to serving the customer and their needs.

Technology Focus:

Top Energy Focus: TMS

Building your brokerage for the future requires the right technology tools and partnerships. The TMS options of today offer more complete technology solutions beyond simple load processing. They incorporate or integrate with sales, marketing and analytics tools to better manage the customer and carrier relationships. But the price tags on many require proper due diligence to find the right solution for today, tomorrow and the next stages of your organization’s needs.

Business Focus:

Top Energy Focus: Cash Flow

Cash Flow is the life blood of any brokerage. Understanding the DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) and the DPO (Days Payable Outstanding) will provide the necessary funding need metrics of the company to meet financial obligations and, more importantly, invest in the company’s future growth opportunities.

However, understanding and preparing for the risks associated with brokerage operations can help you avoid the punitive costs of uncertainty – large claims, customer default or personnel errors. Set up the right processes, insurance protections and system alerts to protect against the moderate-to-catastrophic risks that could cripple your business.

Strategy Focus:

Top Energy Focus: Growth

Overall, by looking at the top time energy focus areas, there are some inconsistencies. Growth and Retention, while not incompatible, are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Growth is a result of existing customer expansion and new customer acquisition. The lower energy focus on marketing is also at odds with a strategic focus on growth. How we promote our brand and our service offerings/benefits is an important component of lead acquisition and customer expansion.

In general, the top priorities identified in the survey are highly focused on the urgency of the daily motivations and tactical actions of the organization, but are less focused on the importance and strategic directions toward true growth pursuits.

Coordinating the time and energy of your company requires that the leaders and the frontline operators have a collective vision of success – complete with clear expectations, the right measurements and the opportunity to grow themselves as they grow the business.

Having the right partnerships and mentors to build and execute the vision are necessary to achieving the success of which your company is capable. To learn more about how TranStrategy Partners can help you achieve your success and maximize the value of your organization, please contact us at 888-625-1139 or via email at andrew@transtrategypartners.com.

Urgent See, Important Do.

Urgent See, Important Do.

Focusing on the Urgent can keep you from reaching your fullest potential.

Once you have determined your goals for success, you must stay focused on the actions necessary to achieve it. However, the competing forces of The Urgent and The Important are vying for your time and energy.

The Urgent pulls you, as a leader, into the operation: to book one more load; to make the collection call; or, to find the next customer. The Urgent is tactical and task oriented.

The Important allows you to plan the resource deployment for proper execution: to evaluate the new technology options; to hire, train and set proper behavioral expectations; to strategize about the best alternatives to overcome the obstacles before you. The important is strategic and big picture oriented.

The Urgent is the aggregation of the activities that brought you to your current state. There is comfort in performing the tasks that are easily recognizable and can be checked off the list in the name of ‘accomplishment’. The Urgent requires skills and thinking that we already have. The Urgent doesn’t ask more of us, only our time and energy.

The Important requires steps into an unfamiliar area. It has high rewards, but it has uncertainty – that is, by its very nature, uncomfortable. The Important requires a different set of skills that stretch what we know into new areas. The Important asks more of us than we currently are aware that we possess.

The Urgent brings us the same or incrementally better results.

The Important accelerates us and allows for maximization of results.

Focusing your attention, time and energy on The Important over The Urgent allows you and your organization to be positioned for stronger growth and become more adaptive to the obstacles that invariably will be placed in your pathway to success.