In the trucking industry is very important to take time to step back and look at challenges that are facing a company. Many times, these problems are right in front of our faces and we approach it one of two ways; we either fail to see the issue at hand or choose to handle it the same way we always have and expect different results. As an industry, trucking fails to take the time to see if there is a different way. How can we use creative solutions to solve old problems? All too often I hear, “this is the way we have always done things”. This type of thinking is not productive to creating unique solutions to problems that exist. If you continue to have the same problems over and over again without any resolve, why not step back and think about new ways to solve them. This is not always easy. It takes time, energy, thoughtfulness, and leadership.
Let’s dive a little deeper into a real-world example and then look at how we could creatively solve that problem. Many companies offer one type of pay package for drivers. Why? Companies often lose drivers because their “one size fits all” pay package no longer works for that driver. While it would be unfeasible to have an individual pay package for every single driver, it is possible for a company to develop two or three different packages to cater to the multitude of drivers that cycle through a company at any given time. Some drivers may only be concerned with how much money they make at the end of the week while others may want good pay but are more concerned about home-time. Developing these different packages allows everyone involved, from recruiting to operations, to be able to cater to these drivers. A Lease Purchase OTR company could create a package with a lower truck payment where the driver is expected to work every week but will have higher net pay at the end of each week. The driver that wants more home-time could sign a lease with a higher weekly payment, but he gets a full 8 days (Saturday through the next Sunday) home every 8 weeks. He will not make as much, but his motivation is regular extended home-time. This example may or may not work for your company, but these are the types of solutions that will make a difference in differentiating your company form the competitors. There are many small changes like this that a company can implement to create a real difference.
When thinking about solutions, it is vital to look at company culture. Each company has its own individual culture and when we think about finding answers to reoccurring problems, it is important that these potential resolutions fit within that company’s culture, otherwise, they will not work.
Working on creative solutions allows a company to create a dynamic culture where they can focus on solving actual problems, not just putting Band-Aids on old problems. This will have a real impact on the bottom line. As always, be careful to nurture the idea, get buy-in from all and stakeholders within the company.