A business owner told me the other day that the supplier’s truck that was supposed to arrive at 8:30am, it arrived at 12:30PM– 4 hours later than she had planned. Her staff was at lunch, the truck needed to be unloaded and she needed the product on the truck.
As she was talking to the truck driver, he said that he had travelled 130 miles that morning, went to another city where “he thought” the business was located. After he arrived at the city, he figured out that he had gone “the wrong way” and had to hurry to make up time and get the order delivered. The business owner called the company and asked where the truck was– thus starting a search process that resulted in “Don’t Call Bill.”
Here is the crux of the issue– the truck driver is new, is personable and has a commercial drivers license (CDL) with dual trailer endorsements. These type of individuals are hard to find today–especially those that have clean driving records and have a CDL license. OK, was there a process for truck dispatch that was not followed–someone failed to pay attention to detail. How did the truck driver leave the shop without a clear idea of where the client was located? Did anyone call to verify the address and location of the client? These are all process steps that we address each day. What was so interesting here is that nobody wanted to “Call Bill”, because everyone knew that he would not tolerate such buffoonery.
The staff did not want to “Tell Bill” because they knew that he would not tolerate such inattention to detail– as well has having wasted 4 hours of productive time that was non revenue generating time.
Good people are hard to find– good people are difficult to keep. We all make errors, however, in this case, the real error was failing to followed processes and procedures–resulting in loss of productive time as well as having an unhappy customer.
In the end, the client received her product, the truck driver returned back to his dispatch location and Bill was none the wiser for the error. We are all human and we all make mistakes–however, the ability to follow standard procedures saves time, money, frustration and most importantly, increases profitability.