With a new era of professionalism now available, small to medium enterprise business owners need to be more demanding of their transport supplier, argues transport and logistics management expert Walter Scremin.
There currently exists in the transport industry a level of sophistication and excellence that was previously only enjoyed by, and within reach, of the very largest companies. But not all SMEs are benefiting from it – because they either run their own transport with little attention to detail, or use suppliers that are sub-standard and stuck in old ways.
The old-school, outdated approach to transport was to supply (allocate) a vehicle with a driver, to be on time with the right sized vehicle and supply an invoice that was confusing and full of transport terminology. This approach was never truly acceptable, but is the way most transport suppliers operated (and many still do).
SMEs need a supplier who addresses the details and goes beyond the basics. Transport can and should add value to their business – your transport company should at least offer the following:
- The latest technology to promote transparency and efficiencies.
- Drivers trained to the clients requirements.
- Driver induction to the site and the job.
- Procedures supplied and regularly updated.
- Driver Trainer support (ongoing driver measurement and improvement).
- Regular account management meetings.
- Dedicated staff to monitor ‘the service’ for minute to minute assistance.
- Driver and service monitoring via Key Performance Indicators.
- Ongoing driver performance appraisals.
- GPS tracking technology for performance monitoring and driver and vehicle safety.
- Industry best practice and advice inclusive of cost-reduction strategies.
- Assistance with on-site OH&S and Chain of Responsibility.
Above all, the service should be a partnership where everyone works towards collective goals, such as efficiencies and service outcomes. This is paramount to true value for money.
Being transparent in all activities and communication builds trust, as does simple to read invoices set out in a way that assists the client to determine exactly what every job costs. In a nutshell, your transport supplier needs to demonstrate that they can deliver the level of professionalism required to add value for your business.
Walter Scremin is General Manager of national transport & logistics company OnTime Group.
Follow @mybusinessau on Twitter for breaking stories throughout the day.
Find out why you should join the SME Association of Australia now.