Tag: Transrep

Who’s In your Square Squad?

For the last 10 months I have been focused on working on my leadership skills. I think I am decent leader but I want to be better.

As a young competitive athlete I was known as a team guy and was fortunate enough to be part of some pretty amazing teams both on the ice and on the fastball diamond. There are so many lessons learned in sports that apply to the business world.

Starting out in business in 1989 and bringing on employees/associates I often turned back to my sports days to reflect on what I had learned and needed to do to lead in business. I needed to be a team guy which included determination, practicing and working hard at the skill, working together to win as a team and setting a good example for my teammates in business. It has been a journey and I must admit in the early days and sometimes even now after 30 plus years I struggle with my leadership abilities at times. For the most part it has worked out and I have had many great teammates along the way for which I am very thankful. I continue to invest the time, energy and resources to becoming the best leader I can which means plenty of reading, diarizing and practicing what I am learning.

One of my industry pals who is part of my network knows I have been working on my leadership skills and gave me a great book on leadership for Christmas, Dare to Lead by Brene’ Brown. I’m just a quarter of the way into the book but I am really enjoying it, I have never heard of Brene’ but I am so glad my pal introduced to me to her work. In her book she talks about having a “Square Squad”, a squad of people who’s opinion really matter. most of us do right? Sometimes opinions can overwhelm us and they come from all directions. Here is what she suggests to focus on, the opinions that matter.

On a one inch by one inch piece of paper write the names of the people who’s opinion really matter to you. Put in in your wallet/purse to remind yourself when needed. Next, reach out or call those on your “Square Squad” and let them know your getting really clear on who’s opinion matters to you. Thank them for being one of those people and let them know that you are grateful that they care enough to be honest and real with you. This is all part of your self-awareness and self-love and it matters.

Who we are is how we lead. Good stuff!

Something else worth mentioning is our team at Transrep would like to thank all of our sponsors and delegates who continue to support our decision to move the National Recruiting and Retention Symposium to the end of October. We were hoping to run it in person in April but that’s not going to happen due to COVID-19.

We will host another Mini Virtual Symposium on April 22nd from 10-12 to thanks our sponsors and delegates for once again sticking with us. The lineup at time of this blog is being finalized but I encourage you get it in your calendar, its going to be another great event and will be free of charge.

One final mention, I want to thank my industry friends and business colleagues at the Trucking Human Resource Council of Atlantic Canada (THRSC) for allowing me the opportunity to present at one of their recent virtual events on networking. Helping others succeed and paying it forward to others is important to me and a passion of mine. I hope those who attended enjoyed it as much as I did talking about it.

Be safe and healthy and hopefully it won’t be long before we are enjoying each other’s company and friendship in person.

Networking Is Key To your Success

Everything in life personally and professionally is about the people and relationships you develop. Successful networking is an art. There are steps, a plan and there needs to be execution.

I am just an ordinary guy from a small town who has become very lucky to learn a series of extraordinary lessons and tips that has helped me become successful.

Being good at networking is one of them. Networking is a key skill we all need. Three things to understand about networking is:

  1. Learn the value of a network
  2. Learn who should be in your network
  3. Learn how to build you network

This is not always easy depending on your personality. I am outgoing and social. I like to meet to meet people and find out there likes and dislikes.

In a recent article I read experts agree that the most connected people are often the most successful. When you invest in your relationships — professional and personal — it can pay you back in dividends throughout the course of your career. Networking will help you develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, keep a pulse on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development.

When we look at who should be in your network you really want to surround yourself with three types of people. Visionaries, realists and connectors. These types of people are very important to your network.

If you would like to hear more about networking on January 20th

I will be working working with the Trucking Human Resource Sector Council of Atlantic Canada (THRSC) via zoom giving a presentation and engaging with participants for an hour in the morning. To register go to www.thrsc.com.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the very best in 2021. Take time to be with those that matter the most to you. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Virtual Meeting Regarding Finishing Programs

As the industry starts to ramp up again and the driver shortage escalates along with the hard insurance market mentoring new drivers and having a solid finishing program is important.

On Thursday November 25th at 10 am the TTSAO Carrier Group and the TTSAO Insurance Group are hosting a one hour meeting to talk about finishing programs, insurance criteria and how the two link together. We’re pretty fortunate to have Caroline Blaise from Kriska and Steve Newton from Challenger to discuss some of what they do with mentoring new drivers and their finishing programs.

From the insurance sector we have our TTSAO Insurance Chairperson Lisa Arseneau having a candid conversation with Scott Creighton of Northbridge Insurance about the importance the finishing programs and insurability.

I want to give a big shout out to the interim Chairman of the TTSAO Carrier Group, Gerald Carroll for setting up this meeting and bringing everyone together for this opportunity.

It will be a full hour of education and information regarding some best practices and insurability for entry level and existing drivers in the commercial industry.

There is no fee to attend and you can register by emailing ttsao@ttsao.com.

Virtual Driver Safety Meeting During American Thanksgiving

For over three decades our industry and customers look to KRTS Transportation Specialists Inc. and our team for fresh value. We are known as innovators and we have always believed that innovation trumps repeating what has always worked in the past.  In today’s climate and dealing with COVID-19 it has never been more important to get creative and innovative. Thank goodness we have had many years of practice and we love wowing our customers and industry.

With social distancing, government regulations and industry protocols it is going to be very difficult for companies to host Driver Safety Meetings, and the American Thanksgiving has always been a very popular time to hold these safety meetings. KRTS in partnership with Safety Dawg (Chris Harris) will be hosting a Virtual Driver Safety meetings twice over the American Thanksgiving on November 27th and 28th. This will allow companies and their drivers the flexibility to choose a date that works best for them.

Both Safety Meetings will run from 10 am – 12 noon eastern time.

Topics will include:

  • Winter Driving
  • Speed and Space Management
  • How To Have An Exceptional Experience At the Weigh Scales
  • Pre Trip and Post Trip Expectations Across North America

We have teamed up with long time industry veteran Chris Harris of Safety Dawg and CVSA Director Kerri Wirachowsky of the Roadside Assistance Program to educate those attending.

Registration has been made simple and affordable.

1 Driver $49.99

10-19 Drivers $499.00

20 and above $899.00

A Certificate of completion will be provided for those who attend. Most importantly the program is very driver friendly with easy instructions to follow and attend.

For us at KRTS and our partner Safety Dawg we have determined through our research and development that companies and insurers’ support and embrace the concept of on going and regular Driver Safety Meetings. Education is important to companies culture and to meet insurability, compliance and regulatory standards in North America.

For more information or to register contact Kim Sytsma-Hill at 800-771-8171 ext. 205 or ksytsmahill@krway.com

Stay In the Know During These Extraordinary Times

We are in extraordinary times for sure. These times are revolutionary without a doubt. The only way organizations will win during these extraordinary and revolutionary times moving forward is with new models. A new model of revolutionary change. We as an industry need to drive change, drive leadership, drive innovation.

Think of how innovative we have had to become in order to change with the times. One of the big innovations this year is the shift from in-person to virtual conferences. The Private Motor Carrier of a Canada (PMTC)  just hit it out of the park with their conference. The Truckload Carrier Association (TCA) did a terrific job with their virtual conferences and just around the corner on October 2nd the Fleet Safety Council (FSC) has put together a stellar line up and agenda for a morning of education and information.

The FSC shared some exciting news last week, Caroline Mulroney, the Minister of Transportation will provide the opening remarks. You won’t want to miss this. The morning will continue with updates from industry leaders, professionals, all highly regarded and recognized by anyone in transportation and their conference is free of charge for anyone to attend. For the full agenda go to https://fleetsafetycouncil.com/fsc-annual-conference/

An advanced big congratulations to the Fleet Safety Council and the leadership at the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA) and the conference committee. I am told at time of this blog there are 175 delegates registered and there is still a few weeks to go.

As a young man many, many years ago the Fleet Safety Council was an excellent organization and resource that I benefited from and still do today.

Other things happening that is reflective of our camp in our businesses is the October 22nd Virtual National Recruiting & Retention Symposium 2020. As most of you know we have had to reschedule the in person Symposium twice and are now scheduled for next April 2021. Every single one of our sponsors has stuck behind us which means so much to us. In order to bring them value and show our appreciation the mini Symposium’s we have been hosting are free of charge and bring great value to our sponsors, delegates and the industry.

The recent addition of Stephen Laskowski leader of CTA and OTA discussing Driver Inc. – Where We Are, Where We Need To Be is an excellent addition to our already stellar line up. (https://therearviewmirror.ca/2020/09/15/stephen-laskowski-to-speak-at-the-virtual-nrrs-2020/).

You can get the full agenda and speaker panel line up here, Virtual NRRS Agenda and Bios

Being Busy

Why do people always feel the need to play up their busyness, saying or pretending your busy all the time is not sharing anything of value. When you constantly wear the “busy bee” badge your really just showing the world that your not making very good choices with your time. Being busy is a passive excuse for not getting things done.

Work on being available, make it seem like your available, it sends the message that your available for new opportunities. Good, smart people make time and prioritize for themselves or what others prioritize for them. I don’t know one successful person who does not understand the value and importance of a “to do list”. Your to do list helps you prioritize what is important to you. Fill your days with what is important to you professionally and personally.

If you want to be successful and succeed at your craft the best way to reach your goals and objectives is to write down what your going to do each day and then do it. I believe the first 5-10 minutes of the start and finish of each day is most important to being really productive. Notice I flipped the word from busy to productive. How many other words can think of that mean busy: productive, active, bustling, thriving, engaged, brisk, lively. Think about how many times you ask people how they are and the answer is busy, very busy, crazy busy. Busy doing why? If you really want to be the best you need to take a look at what your busy at.

Try this exercise, it works, for two weeks from Monday to Friday diarize everything you do, from the time you wake up until you go bed. You can do this, I did and I’m not brilliant by any stretch. You will be amazed at what you do in a day. Let me give you an example of one of my days.
Woke up 5 am.
5am      Coffee, read, review to do list
6am      Walk dog, shower, eat breakfast
7:30am Talk to industry friend
8am      Office: calls, association call, TCA call, Transrep call answer emails
12pm    Home for lunch, more emails, Instagram, Twitter back to office
1:30pm KRTS sales calls, follow up on business opportunity with X. Calls with personal friend, call with existing customer.
3:30pm Walk along river back to office
4pm      Team meeting to review proposal
4:45pm Prepare to do list for tomorrow
5pm      Prep dinner, dishes, family time
7:30pm Watch hockey game, social media time
10pm    Go to bed

Now break your time down, work time approximately 8.5 (productive work time) family and personal time 5.5. TV time 2.5 hours, totalling 16.5 hours. Do this for a week and then total up your weekly time. You will be amazed (or not) at what you are getting accomplished. This breakdown of your time will help you decide where you can improve your time management and truly stay busy, I mean productive.

I am often asked how I am able to do what I do, be involved in so many things and manage. For me, work and life balance is important and time management is critical to my success. A terrific support team both professionally and personally is critical to the recipe as well. I am very fortunate in both cases. Without a doubt managing your time and your daily to do list is paramount. Want to learn more about being busy, time management and life lessons learned? I have committed to sharing this information with companies, groups and organizations in a presentation. I am happy to speak with your team, your company, your association either on a webinar or at your conference or board room. Give me a call or drop me a note via email if your interested to learn more.

I can’t believe it’s coming to the end of the summer. For me that means fall fishing in the far north, 1 week unplugged, no phones, no emails, no work and definitely no to do list!
This is important to success as well, relaxing and recharging the batteries.

Enjoy the rest of our summer.

We Can Learn From Costco

All good companies have solid operating principles to guide their businesses. Mission Statements and Core Values can be found on most businesses web sites, office walls and marketing collateral. For some they are just words but for the great companies, ownership and associates understand it, they walk the talk. It’s practiced everyday, most importantly customers of these great companies feel it in the commitment and dedication to solid customer service when they do business with them.

Costco gets it for sure. My wife and myself take the odd trip to Costco, I call it the $500.00 store, we don’t seem to get out of there without spending at least $500.00. As a Costco member I love getting their magazine ever month, it is very insightful. This month their VP of Marketing, Membership Services and Travel, Ron Damiani penned an excellent story talking about the Costco operating principles. Costco’s operating principles began when the company was founded in the early 80’s, Costco calls its the blueprint they follow to ensure business is successful and they meet the customers expectations.

Here is their code:

Obey the law – Costco adheres to the laws of every community where they do business and don’t cut corners. This ranges from safety standards for products to employee wage and hours law.

Take care of the members (customers) – trust has been extended because Costco charges a membership fee. Costco says they will only succeed if they don’t violate the trust of their customers and that trust extends to every area of their business.

Take care of our employees – it’s simple: Costco feels it’s employees are their most important asset. They are the front line in ensuring your happiness and satisfaction.

Respect our suppliers – They are Costco’s partners, for Costco to prosper in business they must prosper as well.

At the end of the day Costco knows that achieving all of these goals allows the shareholders to prosper. As I read this article I couldn’t help but think how these principles are so similar to our family businesses and we try to follow similar principles every day. With hundreds of corporate customers and many successful business partners we are very privileged to see so many follow similar operating principles as Costco. Over the years we have adopted some of those great practices.

Next month we celebrate 31 years of being business, as our leader I can confidently share with you that our business journey has been filled with many ups and downs, many successes and our share of failures along the way. When we have been most successful as a business it is when we have paid the most attention to our people. In our businesses our Core Value is People. Simply put, simply practiced.

Enjoy the rest the summer, be safe.

Been Working on Some Stuff

For those that know me I have a hard time with biting my lip, I have been working on it and it’s hard. I have been around this industry since 1983, I have developed rhino skin, I am opinionated and have no problem sharing my educated opinion about the industry. Chewing on my words before I spit them out has been a project, it can be frustrating for me but honestly it has helped.

My hours at the office since March 19th have been very few, maybe 10 total, 15 minutes here 1/2 hour there. Visits to customers, zero, visits with business partners, 3. COVID-19 has hurt, professionally, personally and financially, it has hurt us all. Zoom calls, conference calls, Microsoft teams, virtual conferences, 100’s, for someone who is not known as technically savvy person I think I have done okay. Little help now and again, thank you!

Much of my time since March 19th has been spent on two fronts;

  1. My role as TTSAO President. For something that is suppose to be a part time gig it has been nothing but full time most weeks since early March consumed with calls with Serco, MTO, other industry associations, members phone calls, emails, updates, board calls, media calls. Extraordinary times on the TTSAO front. I have enjoyed (almost) every minute learning so much. Our weekly calls with The Minister of Transportation, Minister Mulroney have been very fulfilling for me, very rewarding both personally and professionally. What goes on behind the scenes like  calls, the lobbying, the negotiating, the positioning, the development of relationships, I have enjoyed it! Thank you to the TTSAO for allowing me the opportunity to be your be your President.
  2. Our team at TransRep has been really busy on many fronts. We have some pretty cool changes to a couple of our services at TransRep. Our Executive Placement business has had some major changes, all for the better. Quietly, our executive placement has been good to us, it is a perfect fit for who we are and what we do. At the end of the day we love to help people and businesses succeed, human capital, great human capital is critical to the success of any operation. We have had our share of great and our share of bad, thankfully there has been much more of the good. I’m a firm believer you can’t run an A class businesses with C class talent.  Timely, Effective, Reliable. 3 key words that have been driving our team since we started the process of the new plan. The TransRep team is excited and we’re looking forward to our new innovative approach that will embrace technology and people as we move forward to meeting and exceeding our customers expectations.

As I rap up I want to thank all of those who have continued to stick behind the National Recruiting & Retention Symposium.  All of our sponsors have remained on board along with the delegates and with strong hope and optimism we will be a go at the end of October. Thank you!

National Recruiting & Retention online Webinar

I am so pleased that industry experts like Kelly Henderson, Scott Rea and Joel Mandelbaum have agreed to participate in our Virtual National Recruiting & Retention Mini Symposium which our team has decided to host on June 26th.

Let’s face it folks, these are extraordinary times and we’re all trying to do our thing one way or another. When the pandemic hit our team got together to discuss what we were going to do about the date change for the National Recruiting & Retention Symposium (NRRS) which was originally scheduled for April. Easy decision, we talk to our venue partner and we move it. At the time, June seemed to be reasonable, we wanted to be sure we didn’t interfere with any other events and away we go. Done! Wishful thinking that in three months we would all be back to work, and business will be rolling again. We called all of our sponsors, many who have paid, we reached out to are over 100 delegates registered to date and all were good to go!

BAM! COVID-19 continues and so does the carnage in the business world. Back to the drawing board! What do we do now? The options our team discussed; cancel until next year, move the date to the end of October, have a virtual conference? We decided to reach out to our sponsors, some of the delegates and some of our trusted industry advisors (you know who you are) to help with the decision. Most said run it in October. If the pandemic is still here we can refund everyone and cancel it until 2021. Decision made.

On May 1st we notified everyone, called our sponsors who have committed and some who have paid in full, 100% support! Not one cancelled, we all were so happy! The delegates, well over 100 now all in.  On behalf of our entire NRRS team we can’t thank you enough for sticking behind us, what an amazing group you are.

Now it gets better, we decided that we needed to do something in the meantime. We got together with the team to strategize. The idea on the table, a mini Symposium delivered virtually. We asked our three keynotes to participate in a 1-hour virtual mini symposium to discuss their educational topic, no questions asked – they were happy to help. Amazing people Kelly, Scott and Joel are. Thank you!  On June 26th they will give a brief intro to what they will be presenting at the end of October. The three experts are going to give those who register for the mini Symposium something to take away that will benefit you and your companies. One hour, call it “speed educating” virtually, complementary, on behalf of our sponsors. Our team is brilliant! We don’t cancel, we move the date and have a mini Symposium virtually for an hour.

In just a few short days we have many registered for the Mini Symposium and we are hoping to have 150 register.

Check it out, this is open to anyone in the industry who wants to attend, register multiple people if you like, we really want to show our sponsors and our industry that we care.

At the end of our time on earth people won’t care about what you made they will care about what you gave. There is no better time to give than now. This type of thinking is very important to our family and our businesses.

Stay positive everyone. We’re going to be better on the other side of this COVID-19 thing. Embrace the positives this has brought to you and your families, your loved ones. I know I am.

To register and for more information on the Mini Symposium go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8657351554170847503 or visit https://transrep.ca/symposium/ for more details on the National Recruiting & Retention Symposium.

A Few Thoughts about Recruiting

The driver shortage continues to be the number one concern in our industry for most.  With our business ventures we get to talk to all types of companies who have driver issues, we attend many events annually and as a buddy says “you can’t swing a cat around a room by the tail without hitting someone who is talking about the driver shortage”.  He is a funny guy and smart too.

Here are a couple of my thoughts about recruitment;

  • For most companies there are mixed messages about their driving opportunities.  Every team member should be delivering the same message, keep it short, write it down, be sure everyone understands the message.
  • Tighter hiring criteria leads to higher retention.  The insurance industry is tightening things up but I think it goes further than that.  Once you identify your companies ideal driver, set the criteria and shoot for it every day.
  • 20% of the driver turnover is the same drivers moving from company to company.  This is their DNA, stay away from them, there probably not going to change.
  • In some cases I think recruiters are misleading with how their paid.  Many are compensated for putting people in the seats, I don’t disagree with this but I think they need to be compensated on the back end as well for the drivers that they recruit and keep for a year.
  • More attention needs to be paid to the drivers and their recruiting efforts.  Satisfied drivers who are looked after and treated with dignity and respect they deserve can be one of your companies best recruitment tools.  Remember, referrals don’t drive your business, drivers do.
  • Be innovative, innovation needs to be a habit not a goal.

Some of the brightest minds in the transportation industry will gather April 23rd and 24th at the National Recruiting and Retention Symposium in Mississauga Ontario at Lionhead Golf and Conference Center. The entire event will be chocked full of information to better recruit and retain for the transportation Industry and not just the driver.  You will take away ideas to improve your company.

Last year was a sell out and the majority of those attending were people from recruiting, retention, Human Resources and management, Association representatives, government and service providers made up the rest of the delegates registered.

For more information about registration or sponsorship opportunities go to www.transrep.ca/symposium/

I hope to see you there.