As with any business, there will be good and bad periods. As a business owner, you need to be able to identify if you are just in a temporary bad position or if the lull is starting to look more permanent.
The trucking business is no stranger to ups and downs. There are many problems currently plaguing the industry and as a business owner, you need to follow attentively the changes being made in real-time.
If you feel you aren’t grasping issues on time or handling them effectively, it may be time for you to seek out trucking consultants. Before choosing a firm to bring in for a consultation, make sure to do the appropriate research into the company to ensure that they are reputable and results-oriented.
Read on to know about five signs to look out for that could signal the need for a consultant for your trucking business.
1. Technological Challenges
Trucking companies specialize in efficient service delivery. A component that helps drastically increase their efficiency is having access to appropriate technology. But technology is also an issue that a lot of trucking businesses struggle with. The options on the market might seem too many and too complex for the average person. If your technological processes are lagging behind your competitors, and you don’t know where to start in updating it, then it might be a sign you need to get a consultant on board.
From tracking your vehicles and driver management, to dispatch and loading of products, a consultant will help you navigate the different systems and applications out there and help you choose the one most tailored to the needs of your business.
A lot of time can be saved this way rather than trying to muddle through it on your own. Technology is improving every day, and as a business, you should make an effort to keep up.
2. Poor Talent And Customer Retention
If you’re losing customers like a leaky faucet to large corporations that are entering the industry and eating up significant market share, all the old methods may no longer be enticing enough to retain your customers. Before it gets this bad you should bring in professionals.
The job of a consultant is to get you back on track and get to the root of the reason your company keeps losing its most valued customers. You’ll need to ask important questions like, ‘what part of our business process, from start to finish could be responsible for why our customers can’t seem to stay long?’ That’s a difficult question to answer on your own because after all, you probably created your operational strategy, and it’s now almost second nature to you.
There are quite a few strategies that can be used to retain your customers. But when you’re up against colossal organizations, the best route would be increasing customer satisfaction. Your consultant will help you streamline your service and improve your marketing strategy.
3. Stagnant Growth
Stagnant Growth is a common ailment that stretches across all industries. Sometimes the most well-thought-out plan is in place but the business is still not performing as expected.
A trucking consultant will come in with a fresh perspective and analyze your plan. Pointing out the strengths and weaknesses in it and helping you roadmap the way forward.
Growth in the trucking industry usually takes the route of securing and maximizing the relationships that the business has with its shipping counterparts and with securing its consumer base.
Growing the business is arguably more difficult than usual due to the many small processes that need to come together for effective growth to take effect. From your costing to sourcing resources to the implementation of your marketing strategy, all these things would be made way easier with the help of a trucking consultant. They will engage in course correction strategies to get your business back on track.
4. Poor Driver Retention
One of the main problems plaguing the trucking industry is driver retention. From as early as 2013, driver turnover has been steadily increasing.
If your main problem is that even when you’re doing well on the customer side, employees keep leaving, then you need to see a thorough review of your working conditions and culture among other things. This leak might seem insignificant in the beginning, but if you churn out your most important team members frequently, you’ll know how expensive it can be. Plus, always being on the market, paying recruiters to help fill positions can lose you money. The months or even days you go without someone in that position also count as financial loss. So, if this is a problem that you’re facing, it may be best to consider hiring a consultant to help you.
Trucking consultants will help you plug this gap. Not only by sourcing new truck drivers for your business but also by providing and implementing strategies that will help you hold on to your employed drivers for longer.
As in any business, employee satisfaction is an important component of your success. Ways in which they could help in driver retention include:
- Investing in additional training for the drivers. This could be skills courses and the like.
- Offering scalable compensation that only becomes effective as they log in more hours with the business.
5. Lack Of Diversity
A good way of retaining your customers is by offering a wide range of services under one roof. Your trucking business should become the one-stop shop for all things transportation. But that’s easier said than done. Most trucking companies struggle in providing this for their customers— prompting their customers to look elsewhere. If they do go somewhere and that somewhere does offer the diversity you don’t have, then you might be at a disadvantage.
You may already be a dedicated Over the Road (OTR) operator that deals with highway services and irregular routes. However, it may also be best to consider expanding into other areas like storage facilities or private fleets and contract carriages.
If you need a professional to help you map and execute this expansion strategy, then a consultant will be the best bet. A consultant will help you structure your expansion in a way that will not kill your business financially. With experts by your side, you will be provided with scalable plans, and you will get the utmost assistance you need in the implementation process.
It is important to remember that a Trucking consultant or firm is there for you to succeed. They will work for you and help you navigate your business better. A good firm will help you pick up the slack and transform your trucking business into the moving behemoth you envision it to be.
Remember to conduct appropriate research on which trucking consultant or firm you’ll be hiring. Be diligent and careful in making decisions, and do what’s best for your business.