In a competitive industry that faces constant change, we are challenged by our customers to create efficiencies, both in our business and theirs.
The first principle of our Bison mission is to empower our people. One of the ways we do this is by fostering mentorship relationships – both formal and informal. As a person who has received mentorship over time, I’ve been the benefactor of working with mentors who intentionally met with me to help me grow in specific ways and they invested heavily in me as a person. I’ve also experienced 'mentorship in the moment' many times. Sometimes, I haven't even realized I’ve received mentorship until I've looked back and gain some perspective about how a situation has progressed or changed.
The Four Disciplines of Execution campaign (4DX) allows our organization to come together and agree on a gap we see in the business, and then work together to close the gap.
While the first 4DX was about “more” (increasing revenue) and 4DX 2.0 focused on “better” (driving efficiencies), our third 4DX campaign and most ambitious yet, focuses on both “more” and “better”.
After a successful inaugural campaign the bar was set high for 4DX 2.0, but this time we set our sights on a different goal.
Our initial 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) initiative, launched in 2014, focused on increasing revenue volume, revenue rates and trailer productivity, with the ultimate goal of increasing operational efficiency and profitability. The campaign was a great success, as we met our overall goal, but as we launched 4DX 2.0, we decided to take a different approach and focus on finding efficiencies throughout the business.
Using a fun Star Wars theme, we set out to find opportunities to create efficiencies company-wide, from the fuel department to human resources, with the goal of saving $10 million.
By creating efficiencies in our business, we could reinvest our savings in the professional development of our people and improve our business performance in the process.
As an organization, we are stronger because of our connection to many non-profit organizations, officially and unofficially. One such example is Special Olympics. Bison provides financial support, time and volunteers for both the World’s Largest Convoy in the summer and the Special Olympics float in the Santa Claus Parade. In these circumstances, employees are able to give ‘hands and feet’ support to others outside our organization that need help to reach their goals.
In today’s internet rich, multi-media society we are routinely confronted with images of the world-wide struggle against poverty. We don't need to look outside our city or outside of Canada to find poverty - it is all around us. In a study of 17 developed nations, Canada has an average of 15.1 percent - 1 in 7 - children living below the poverty line (Conference Board of Canada 2013), and Manitoba’s child poverty rate is the second highest in Canada (Source: CBC, Nov 24, 2014) despite solid economic conditions in our province.
Will The Trend In Fuel Surcharge Continue?
Crude oil is at its lowest level in years. Gas prices are falling across the country. The DOE National average for diesel fuel has been trending lower for several weeks, as have other Canadian traditional indexes. While fuel prices are trending downward in certain regions, they are actually trending upwards in others. This upward trend in certain regions has caused fuel surcharges to remain high despite some prices falling.
Trucking is a low margin business and fuel is a major cost component of a carrier’s total cost. Even the slightest move in fuel costs (up or down) can mean the difference between making a margin and losing money. Fuel surcharges are intended to offset those fuel cost changes, so the effect of changing fuel prices is neutralized. A fuel surcharge calculation that does not accurately offset fuel costs can be potentially fatal to a carrier.