Tracy Gibson created good operating systems in her short-haul trucking company and these systems are now critical to her success. By Tracy Gibson #000147
Value Of Systems
By Tracy Gibson
Hi my name is Tracy and again with Mustang trucking. I’m going to talk to you a little bit today about the value of systems. We are once again in Honduras here at Plan Escalon working with students and leadership here and trying to help teach them the value of systems as well. Want to share just a few things I have learned through the years and hopeful that you can find something that might be helpful for you. In starting a trucking business, I really didn’t understand systems but started to implement them pretty early and found the value of them that it was a repetitive business and by doing so it was dispatching trucks, collecting tickets, doing billing, accounts receivables, tracking that the drivers did get paid and on time,, customers were paying on time and so forth. But with the redundancy of that, the systems was a very critical part of this original set up and in doing that the system started to work itself where everything was on a schedule and drivers were paid on time always and I could tell what was coming and start planning and budgeting to make sure everything is taken care of. If I start seeing a little problem in view, I would start making other solutions available to help remedy that before it became a big problem. I’m proud to say that in 19 years plus running our business, I’ve never been late in any payment with any trucks, any drivers, with any member and that’s not because of me but because of the systems and the forecasting, you can look and see what’s coming down the pipe and start trying to take those small but significant changes in order to save yourself a big problem. In doing so there’s a lot of different types of systems where we have got payroll system. As mentioned in my other video, I am not knowledgeable enough on the tax system and with the changing tax system to keep up with that so I delegate that to another service company to take care payroll for me. I do some at the time, energy to put in what is required and what should be paid and they in turn do all the details and send me back the checks that they make sure the drivers get those. And in even the payroll section and trucking my construction there’s a lot of ups and downs with our seasons with our weather and things that happen that is beyond our control and to keep the drivers, the good drivers that we find and know that we want to keep them, we have to create another system in order to survive those hard times. Two methods that I have done that have worked really well, is one, created a savings account for the business that knowing that their seasons of rain or seasons of snow that we can’t really get out and do the work needed. We implemented a business savings account and the small portion of the money that would come in for jobs I would put them over in the savings knowing that we’re going to have hard times or rough times at times and we’re going to be okay. And that has balanced us out and those rough seasons. The other part of the implementation of the system and payroll for my drivers through those dry seasons was, I established what I call a little banked time account and so for every hour that they would work I would actually put like 25 cents or 50 cents into this account that I just kept on a spreadsheet and it would add up that in those rainy weeks or snowy seasons we could pull from that time in order to help give them some living money and make sure that they were okay and they were taking care of themselves and their needs were covered. That has saved me many good drivers over the years because in the construction industry, it’s an up-and-down thing and most employees don’t think ahead enough to do that themselves. So as an employer I wanted to try to help salvage what they weren’t doing to keep a good driver and of course also hopefully teach them good skills and doing so and planning ahead. Another system that we’ve implemented in our trucking industry is dispatching that we are very clear with communication. That is the key I think to any business, any relationship is communication and making sure that the driver knows exactly where to go, exactly what time to be there and exactly what’s expected of them and that we give them all the tools necessary to make sure that they’re there. The tickets, the directions, they support if there’s a problem that they call in the chain of command that we would take care of the problem. If there is an issue which there always is we have the system set in place to take care of those with lower cost, quicker communication. Another part of the system that we’re still working on but have implemented is the solution based situation where if there is a problem that the person comes not just with the problem and sit on my lap or somebody else in the company’s lap but actually thinks about it and comes back with at least three possible solutions, things that they’ve thought of that might be the best remedy and then have them go ahead and choose which one they think and why might be the best solution. In doing that it requires the employee to actually put themselves in the owners shoes and think what would be best for the company, what would the owner like done and it gives them a little bit more feeling, part of the system, some confidence is gained with them being able to do that and in situations where myself has not been able to be enriched or another authority figure they go ahead and make that decision in that call and make that change and they just get with us the next day and say here’s what happened, here’s why and we actually have never had a problem where we’re saying, “oh no you really screwed up”, it was always “that is a really good solution maybe we could tweak it a little bit more this way if it happens again.” But it gives the employee just a vested card of the system, the way things need to be and of course the end result is better customer service, better relationships.
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