Preparing for the Winter Ahead
By Stefan Cordeiro
As the summer continues on and the low discount summer work is steadily flowing in, I can’t help but think to the near future and how the seasonal rates along with a looming recession will change all of this in just a few short months. What does that mean for our industry? What does that mean for the local moving companies that supply all the manpower and equipment needed to service all these moves throughout the entire year? Have you given it much thought? Are you prepared? Here are a few thoughts that come to mind when I start to plan for the winter months ahead. Am I over Staffed? How can I streamline some of the processes in my organization in an effort to cut costs? Can I invest in some better technology that will help automate or alleviate some menial tasks for my employees? Can I motivate some of my employees to be owner operators? These are just a few of the questions that come to mind when planning for the winter.
Some of these questions can be daunting, but if you are able to take a few steps back and look at it from different angles and have a few meetings with your employees, they will usually give you plenty of insight and ways that they can be more productive with fewer people or better technology. You might not always have the ability to act on all of the ideas immediately but at least if you communicate and formulate a plan to achieve some of those goals, everyone in your organization will usually step up to plate to help make the plan come to fruition.
Technology is one avenue that I think a lot of movers tend to avoid. In today’s world, you really need to embrace technology and possibly get someone in your organization to step outside their comfort zone and see what is out there. I feel as though many organizations think the cost will outweigh the benefit for smaller companies, but the fact is, there are a lot of products out there that are very inexpensive or possible free that can help your organization be more streamlined.
Investing in your employees and helping them build their confidence and knowledge base is another good way to really increase your productivity during the winter. If you start the culture of building up your employees and training them during the winter months, this could eventually lead to higher retention or even greater success in converting them to owner operators. Most of the successful owner operators out there did not just walk into it. They had years upon years of training and mentorship from an industry veteran. This seems to be one of the things that is getting forgotten with time. I think that most organizations really need to focus on building from within and promoting when possible. The true success of a great organization is promotion and retention.