You might think that your business is performing well, but to find out whether it is really operating in an efficient and profitable manner, you’ve got to get to grips with the data. Today I am going to describe the Key Performance Indicators – or KPIs – that you need to be monitoring in order to understand both how your fleets are performing, and how you can improve upon current company practice. Good haulage companiesare based on detailed data analysis, so we should get started!
Delving into your KPIs may seem a daunting task, as there are literally hundreds of different performance indicators that could be part of your company evaluation. However, it is key that you take a little time away from the hustle and bustle of the depo and the measured chaos of the office to consider which factors are the most important to your business. Experience has shown me that attempting to analyse lots of KPIs simply leads to pointless number crunching and will probably give you a headache! The best method is to pick just four KPIs that are significant to haulage companies and focus on those aspects of company performance.
The Details – Number Crunching for Haulage Companies
Though examining your income growth or your market share may seem useful, these are not the aspects of the business that you should be monitoring with an eagle eye. Below is my short list of the most useful metrics for haulage companies. Having an understanding of these figures will help you make key decisions, such as whether to implement a set of driver training courses, or whether to invest in the latest telematics. They are also really useful figures to have on hand.
· Calculate how long the average journey takes from start to finish.
· Keep a record of the number of client claims for damaged freight and how this affects your freight costs.
· Record how late, early or prompt your drivers are on average.
· Note the number of handling points a single package passes through prior to delivery.
· Divide the total cost of freight by the total number of loads delivered over a chosen period of time.
· Similarly, divide the total cost of freight by your net sales and purchases.
· Keep on top of the accuracy of your freight bills by dividing the number of correct bill by the total number.
The Golden KPI
The most important KPI for haulage companies is undoubtedly the percentage of a potential truckload that’s used on an average journey. This statistic is vital, as empty space cannot make you money. If you find that a low percentage of potential load is being fulfilled on an average journey, you can take steps to increase the efficiency of operations – such as signing up to Haulage Exchange’s online exchange platform! The more stops a vehicle makes on its route and the fuller the truck, the higher the profit.
When confronting metrics, take a deep breath and remember that you only have to select three or four key areas to monitor. Hopefully this article will help you take your first steps into the magical world of metrics!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies or self-employed drivers with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.