RFX Blog

4 Benefits of Staff Cross-Training in the Transportation Industry

July 11th, 2014

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons: Brad Wilmot

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons: Brad Wilmot

As a business owner or manager, the single most important investment that you can make for your company is an investment in your staff.  In the transportation industry, we put so much emphasis on recruiting and retaining sales staff, truck operators, freight agents, and dispatchers, but we need to also focus on administrative staff.  These are, after all, the people who make the company run every day.  A transportation company’s administrative staff keeps freight bills moving, they make sure drivers and motor carriers are paid, they administer contracts, claims, they maintain computers and technical infrastructure – they keep the company moving.  That is why staff cross-training is vital to keep your company driving forward.

At RFX…

  • Our safety department also manages cargo claims and administers shipping contracts.
  • Our carrier qualification department also administers shipping contracts and insurance renewals.
  • Our Technology department also oversees the maintenance of our fleet.
  • Our Receptionist also reviews and administers customer credit and updates motor carriers regarding payment status.
  • Our Accounts Payable department also does the daily deposit.
  • Our accounts receivable department also tracks down missing paperwork for unbilled orders.

 

Here is a list of some of the benefits that we are seeing at RFX as a result of our administrative cross-training.

  1. Business Continuity: Everybody needs a vacation.  Everyone gets sick once in a while.  The initial purpose for cross-training our staff was to have a strong level of coverage and business continuity during periods of absence for staff members.  As you will see below, we achieved much more than that.
  2. Improved Industry Perspective:  Not only does this cross-training allow us to maintain coverage when staff members are absent, it also gives our staff a mufti-dimensional perspective on our industry.  For example, since our claims coordinator also reviews shipping contracts, she understands the pitfalls of future claim situations based on our level of contractual liability to a particular shipper.  Having reviewed the indemnity section of the shipper’s contract, she already knows what parts of the claim we are responsible for, and she responds to the claim accordingly.
  3. Maximized Potential:  Cross-training also allows staff members to branch out and not get pinned or feel trapped into a single department.  Part of being a manager means recognizing people’s talents or potential and giving staff members continued opportunities for growth and professional development.  By cross-training staff, we are getting the most out of their potential and allowing them to choose how far they want to take themselves and the company.
  4. Lean Staff / Lower Overhead: Having a cross-trained staff means that we can function as a lean operation.  This allows more growth opportunities for our staff and creates low overhead so that we can remain competitive in our pricing and commission structures for freight agents and owner operators.

 

At RFX, we all wear multiple hats.  Cross-training is important to our operation because it keeps us moving forward in the absence of key staff, increases our staff’s industry perspective while maximizing their potential and it allows our company to remain competitive as we price our services.

What is your company doing to cross-train your staff?

Posted on July 11th, 2014 in business strategy