Truckstop.com chief relationship officer, Brent Hutto, recently sat down with radio host and CEO of Let’s Truck, Kevin Rutherford, during TIA 3PLXtend to discuss automation, technical connection, relational transparency, and the small carrier.
As one of the most recognized voices in the owner-operator community, Kevin shared an important reminder for brokers when it comes to technology adoption and automation: “Don’t forget the carrier.”
It can be easy to get wrapped up in one half of the equation and the impact a certain technology can have on your immediate business. But, remember, the technology choices you make will impact your carriers as well. “Bring them in and make them a part of your process.”
One of the biggest takeaways from the discussion was centered around what Kevin calls the “Three Cs.”
Contact (before first load)
Recognizing the current challenges of in-person contact these days, Kevin still encourages brokers and carriers to meet in person, even if it’s only once. It gives both sides an opportunity to talk about their operations and their expectations. Often, it is the human touches, like a phone call after a load is completed, that will cement a client relationship.
Customize (identify the best type of carrier for your freight)
Customization is all about understanding preferences, especially when working with owner-operators. Knowing their preferred lanes, equipment types, and freight is a great first step, but you can get even further with questions like:
- How long do you like to stay out?
- What is your ideal length of haul?
- What is a good week for you?
- What freight is absolutely no good?
These simple questions can make all the difference.
Clarity (share all the details, even [or especially] the BAD ones)
One of the biggest causes of “one-and-done” hauls is a failure to communicate clearly. Imagine an owner-operator hauling a great load only to arrive at the destination and find they aren’t allowed on the property until 10 minutes before their appointment time. Sharing details, especially the bad ones, may end up saving or even creating a better relationship. If you can find a driver that will do a great job with your worst freight, imagine how they’ll do with your top loads.
At the end of the day, technology should enhance, not replace, your industry relationships. For more than 25 years, Truckstop.com has been giving owner-operators and brokers tools to work faster and more efficiently, helping them with the “Three Cs.”