TOPIC 3 (Continued)
What you really need to know to optimise your operation
Road Transport requires a wide range of real-time management competencies.
What do we mean by “real-time” management competencies (RTMC)? Given road transport is a service industry, the challenge is to accept priorities are continually in a state of flux, which means there are no hard-and-fast rules that can be applied to every situation. Many refer to it as a “make-it or leave-it” decision-making process.
Here's an example: A priority shipper requires an urgent load to be delivered some 1 000 km by the following day. Dispatch informs you that the only available truck is scheduled for a service tomorrow morning. Your first option is to check whether the vehicle can be run for a further 2 000 km over the interval mandate, it turns out that this will conflict with your Service Maintenance & Repair (SMR) policy.
You check the revenue target for the vehicle, and it shows this trip is needed to make budget for the period. The odds are stacked against taking the risk of either upsetting the customer, which means possible loss of business to a competitor, or chance of a road call breakdown, which means delays in completing the delivery and disappointing the customer.
You go with the risk of exceeding the SMR policy which, in the circumstances, is seen as the lesser of two evils. Well just think of the consequences of a possible breakdown, which could seize the motor on the lead haul? In your position as fleet manager, what would you do?
Although we have used an extremely negative example to describe the everyday conflicts challenging a Carrier’s real-time management competencies (RTMC), it nevertheless illustrates why we focused on the absolute necessity to factor in this critical ability when making this sort of important decision.
Thanks to an experienced RTMC, this incident was avoided because the fleet manager insisted on a vehicle inspection, before releasing it to overrun the maximum service interval and by repairing a minor coolant leak the load was delivered on time...
Spontaneity is a priceless attribute!
Real-time Management Competency can best be described as that of applying spontaneous discretion in difficult circumstances, to weigh and access the best possible action in critical situations, while accepting personal accountability for the outcomes.