I recently had the opportunity to witness over a long period of time what happens when people pull together and share the information they have. While it was not in the context of the trucking industry, the results I saw from a team of people who had the customer’s best interest in mind were pretty amazing.
I think the trucking industry could learn some lessons from what I saw:
Check your ego at the door. The people in the team I was interacting with had expertise in a wide variety of areas. What was most amazing to me is the fact that they were willing to listen to what other members of the team had to say and to acquiesce when it turned out that maybe their solution was not the best in this particular situation. But, and this is what is really important, they did not walk away. They figured out how they could best continue to help the customer even though a different path was being followed.
There is no such thing as too much communication: This team was constantly sharing information with each other. There were no siloed pockets of information that only a few folks have. The team knew that in order to achieve optimal results it had to make sure everyone involved — including the customer — had ALL available information. There is that old adage about information being power but these folks were more than willing to share the power. Refer back to item Number 1.
Be transparent: This is part and parcel of communicating. Transparency meant sharing all the information — the good, the not so good and the awful. It allowed the customer to ask questions for a fuller understanding of the options. Having all the information allowed the customer to make the best decision given the circumstances.
The end result of all this is that everyone involved was committed to the solution and worked really hard to see the issue through. Like I said, what I witnessed did not take place in the trucking industry, but I don’t see any reason why everyone in the supply chain along with other interested parties can’t follow these three simple steps. I bet if we did we’d see some big efficiency gains.