RFX Blog

How to Effectively Communicate and Execute Policy Changes Throughout Your Transportation Organization

January 22nd, 2015

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The transportation industry, like many others is changing all the time. We are constantly met with regulations, FMCSA rule-makings and EPA standards. We find ourselves being continuously exposed to liability that didn’t exist yesterday. News about court rulings can shift in our favor, or against us. It is an evolving landscape of risk which we must react to quickly and uniformly throughout the entire organization.  This poses tough challenges.  Our trucks cannot be expected to stop on a dime and neither can we as trucking and logistics companies react to these changes immediately.

A great example of this is the regulations handed out by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) which would hold transportation brokers responsible for arranging transportation of non-compliant reefer equipment (TRUs) into the Golden State.  Refrigerated Food Express, our refrigerated truck line was prepared for the CARB regulations, but when the news came out about broker’s liability, our brokerage division had to react quickly. We had to introduce these regulations into our contract language and communicate these new regulations with all of our operations offices and the carriers they contract with. It was a challenge, and we learned a lot from the process.

Be Aware of Current Events – Simply put, you can’t avoid problems you don’t know exist. The best way to stay on top of policy and regulation changes is to follow the news.  Read trade publications or better yet, join a trade organization such as the Transportation Intermediaries Association, the Transportation and Logistics Council, the Truckload Carriers Association or the American Trucking Association. These organizations have their finger on the pulse of the industry. They serve as an intermediary between the lawmakers in Washington and the professionals who run the industry.  They are often directly involved in driving change and know what’s coming down the pike before anyone else.  They do a great job at informing the people of the industry of these changes. RFX relies heavily on these organizations to receive our industry news so that we can respond quickly.

Consult Legal Council – Significant court decisions play a big role in shaping our industry.  Having a legal council with concentration in transportation is great way to stay up on the latest legalities. Our attorneys report big court decisions to us the moment they occur which allows us to stay ahead of these changes and shift our operation to adapt to what the courts are saying is or is not fair game. If a legal precedent has been set, having a qualified transportation attorney to proactively communicate those issues to your company is a very powerful asset. A good attorney will educate their clients as a preventative measure, not just assist when something goes wrong.

Find All Areas of Exposure – Once you discover a new law or policy the affects your company, it is important to get a 40,000-foot view of your operation and isolate areas of exposure.  Is it a weakness in your contract? Our your operations people instructing the motor carriers to do something when they shouldn’t be? These are questions you should be asking prior to executing an action plan.

Design an Action Plan – The plan can be as simple as changing some contract language or it can be as intricate as traveling to multiple locations and giving training sessions on the new policy. It depends on the scenario. However, it goes without saying that acting on your policy changes is the most important part.

Educate – Once you have done your homework, it is important that you communicate the policy change to your staff.  Explain to them the repercussions of not executing the change from a company liability standpoint. It’s important that you not use scare tactics on your staff or individual disciplinary actions such as “If you don’t follow this policy change you’ll be fired!” Rather, simply explain how this policy is affecting the entire industry and explain how the company could be affected if policy is not implemented. Explaining policy changes from a “greater good” standpoint is always the best way to educate your staff.  It may also be helpful to keep a company policy manual, update it on a regular basis and ask your staff to read the new policy changes.

RFX uses a solution called “BrainShark,” which is an online web presentation tool that allows us to share training videos, powerpoints, photos & other documents with our staff while tracking which staff members signed in to watch the presentation and how much of it they watched. You can watch BrainShark presentations on any mobile device as well. It is a great tool for companies with multiple locations or even motor carriers with a fleet of truck operators who are always on-the-go.

 

Posted on January 22nd, 2015 in business strategy, freight agent, Freight Logistics