Cast Away & At the Crossroads

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights, Life Leave a Comment

I had the chance one night last week to watch a movie with my entire family – a golden moment in time at a cottage near the ocean, in the twilight of a late summer’s eve.

The movie was Cast Away – a great movie starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt …and of course ‘Wilson,’ the famed volleyball companion to Hanks’ character. It was an absorbing and compelling movie, made so real by the wonderful acting of Hanks and Hunt.

In the last scene as Hanks heads out to uncertain future (his wife having moved on after he had been missing for 4 years with him declared ‘dead’), he finds himself practically and theoretically at ‘a cross roads.’ After having attempted to deliver a weathered and worn Fedex package, he comes to a four-way stop – the intersection of two dirt roads in the vast expanse of the prairie sky. He stops to look at a map, not knowing what direction he is going to go. It’s a perfect metaphor for his life, as he now considers what he must now do with his life given that the woman of his dreams is married and has a child with another man.

In the trucking industry, you may find yourself quite often in a similar situation… at the crossroads of your business, of your life. While your GPS and mapping software, like ProMiles and PC Miler, can give you give you the route to choose, when it comes to choosing a course for your business, it’s a bit more uncertain, unclear.

These crossroads may come at you when…

<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· One of your customers asks if you can handle the majority of his business and you realize you need to scale up quickly with more trucks and more staff

<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· You customer finds a new customer themselves and wants you to try a route that you can’t get to with your current operations

<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· You find business growing so quickly that you realize that you can’t keep driving and trying to run a business (all that paperwork) – at the same time

<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· Or you get a notice that you are getting a DOT audit…and you just haven’t had the time to track maintenance and develop a system for managing and tracking on all the important things in your business – driver licensing, certification, insurance, maintenance records

While Tom Hanks’ character didn’t know the direction he was going to go at that particular crossroad, at least he had map to help find the way. More importantly, he had the character and determination – for ‘force of self’ – that we saw on full display earlier in the movie. He was a compelling and well- liked manager at FedEx. He was an engaging and fun-loving person to his fiancée, family and his friends. And he had the amazing resilience of living for 4 years all alone on a deserted island as a castaway.

If you invested in trucking software, you will have built a foundation that allows you to respond to the inevitable crossroads you will face in your business. At a time when things are getting hectic in the business, and stressful at home, you have a platform from which you can respond to these challenges.

With information and data and a systematic way of running your business, you have the resilience to respond to these challenges in the business…in your life. Even better, unlike Tom Hanks’ character who had to survive alone, trucking software provides you with a centralized information system around which you can gather your people. It is a wellspring for everyone, helping you better define roles and responsibilities allowing you to get informed help and support when it’s most needed.

As Hanks’ character looks at a map, a pretty woman drives by in a truck. Hanks had just been at her house, ready to tell her that her one unopened FedEx box that contained a piece of her metallic art  had helped keep him alive during his desperate days of isolation on that uninhabited island in the South Pacific. The mere thought that he must deliver it back to her gave him a sense of purpose, when there was nothing else.

“You look lost cowboy,” she says. “Can I help?”

The movie ends (ex-post spoiler alert!)… and leaves you wondering how he follows up with this new ‘interest.’

Hopefully, your trucking company is afforded the same opportunity. With trucking software, the systems & process, the data & information in place, affords you the opportunity to meet these challenges at the inevitable crossroads of the business, of your life. And you and your business are made stronger and better in the long run because of it.

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