By Ken May, Partner

In modern society, transportation is more important than ever.  People take for granted that they can move around the world easily and have products delivered to their door in a day.  Most people never think about what that means or how it happens.   

In years gone by, moving people and goods could take months, if they even arrived at all.  Horse drawn carriage and sail boats became railroads and container ships. Today, we have a sophisticated network of rail, truck, air, and water transport and millions and millions of items and people are moved daily around the globe.  Those movements have gotten faster, more accurate, and safer over time.  

Transportation business owners have driven those improvements; though as we know, progress brings opportunities and challenges. When speaking to clients in the transportation industry, six issues that frequently surface are:  

1. Hiring and retaining drivers and shop workers:  Without a dedicated human resources department, keeping up with hiring and the rapidly changing HR environment is next to impossible.  What can be done to keep personnel engaged, reduce turnover, and diminish workplace injuries and accidents? 

2. Purchasing and maintaining fleet: New vehicles, used vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles, electric vehicles, and more.  What is best for the business?   

3. Cash flow and vehicle profitability: Knowing your cash flow is one of the most important metrics that any business owner can utilize to manage various aspects of their business.  Whether you are bussing students, transporting hazardous waste, or moving any number of goods, are your vehicles turning a profit and if not, why? 

4. Utilizing the right tech: Do you know where your drivers are?  Are you alerted when a vehicle is damaged or has been in an accident?  These concerns and more can be answered by new and ever adapting technologies.  

5. Creating the right management team: Hiring the correct people to manage your assets and personnel is important.  But before you hire, you must understand your needs.  

6. Insurance: How can you lower your insurance costs?  Are there options other than traditional insurance?  There are and business owners need to know about them so they can make educated decisions. 

Over the next few months, I will be writing in depth about these issues, and others, in a series of blogs.  I encourage you to step back from your day-to-day business operations to think about the aspects of your business that are going well and those that can be improved upon.  What does a perfect business day look like for you?  My intent is that these articles will help you gain knowledge and insight to achieve that perfect day. 

About Ken May: Ken graduated from Drexel University in 2006 with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Finance.   He has eighteen years of diverse public accounting experience with Haefele Flanagan. He provides accounting and assurance, tax, consulting, and business valuation services to our clients. Ken’s industry exposure includes financing, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, construction, and healthcare industries.  Ken lives in New Jersey and enjoys spending time with his wife, Ghazal, their son, and two parrots. Email: ken.may@hfco.com

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