Hit the Road Jack

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights Leave a Comment

“Hit the Road Jack
Don’t ya come back no more, no more
Hit the Road Jack
Don’t ya come back no mo-o-o-o-re”

– Ray Charles, 1960

You look out at the yard and you just have too much equipment sitting idle.

You have drivers wanting trips.

You have some owner operators wanting to know when they can get their next load.

You want your Dispatchers dispatching, your truckers trucking, so your Invoicers can be invoicing.

But someone has to get the business.

Perhaps your big customer – the one who was giving you the most business- got into big trouble and went out of business, or perhaps some competitor, a bit more aggressive with their quoting and margins, took the business away from you.

Your mistake was probably letting that customer become 75 -80% of your business. It was good no doubt, much easier to get big volumes from one customer. The return was good but so was the risk. It’s usually at the top when you are most vulnerable –  but the biggest problem is that you don’t know when and where that ‘top’ is.

Perhaps it’s good to be a bit paranoid. As such it’s prudent to be always looking for new customers, new shippers – it can serve as an insurance policy in case your mainline business goes south. A good rule of thumb is to never let any customer become more than 25% of your business. Yes, can secure a contract to mitigate your risk, but there is always some risk, and it’s important to be able to defray your risk across a group of customers rather than just one.

A good trucking software and brokerage software system should provide you with a Database – a CRM system – where you can build a database of prospects and customers and record all of your interactions with them. Ideally you have staff that is always on the look -out for new customers and new opportunities for business.

A short-cut to building the long term relationships with customers is connecting into Load Boards and posting your equipment to find a load, or in the case of a brokerage, posting loads to find a vendor.

As an Owner-Operator you can use the CRM system to manage your relationships with your brokers and shippers, or both.

As a Broker you can use the CRM system as a way to manage your relationships with your shippers and your vendors.

Having that database and a record of your interactions give you a head start whenever you have to replace a customer or a vendor – rather than starting with nothing and finding yourself in a bit of a lurch.

So when a customer tells you to…

“Hit the Road Jack”

….You can turn to your CRM database and find some more trips for your drivers…

….and in turn when that driver arrives to spark up that equipment sitting idle in the yard you can tell him…

“Hit the Road Jack.”

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