3 Key Considerations to Manage the New Hours of Service Regulations
Over the last two weeks we highlighted some of the impacts the new hours of service regulations are going to have on logistics providers and shippers alike. The bottom line is that in a system that is already taxed, with processes that already operate with minimal fail-safe protocols, the margin for error is virtually disappearing.
The important question for shippers is, “What must we do to properly manage these changes and mitigate any negative impacts?”
The answer falls into three key categories.
1. Scheduling & Workflow Management
Probably the biggest direct impact of the new regulations is that it will lengthen delivery times across the industry. Left unchecked this can increase costs, disrupt complex supply chains and introduce cascading consequences across your platform.
It is even more critical today that you review every pull point from a delivery and pick up standpoint. It’s also important that you review the steps leading up to those pull points. We’ve worked with customers who were able to gain greater capacity and efficiency by simply adjusting their warehousing processes.
Scheduling will also be stressed. A common practice among trucking companies is to schedule driver hours for early morning to allow more drive time and to put trucks out with less traffic. The new rules will require this approach to be managed even more closely, and small mistakes from scheduling or unexpected events will have greater consequences. Ensure that your providers are fully engaged throughout your system and are prepared to handle contingencies.
2. Driver Management
It’s easy to forget that multi-million dollar supply chains rely on the work of drivers that operate outside the observation of anyone; and whose average income is $45,000 – $50,000. An industry that is already suffering from a significant shortage in drivers now must adjust to tighter regulations, increasing the need for good drivers.
This means that driver management, always an important portion of your supply chain, is now absolutely critical. Drivers must understand increasingly complex regulations, must be more attentive to compliance while also serving their critical function of keeping your supply chain humming.
Attention should be paid to recruiting practices (as the need to attract top drivers becomes increasingly important), as well as training and management practices.
Collaboration has always been an important part of delivering a supply chain that creates an operational advantage and gives you greater control of your costs. Today it is essential. Ensure that you’re trucking company provides the technology, transparency and reporting that enables you to continually improve the efficiency of your business. Just as importantly, provide them the data to allow for greater gains in productivity and management.
It is often said that with every challenge lies an opportunity. The HOS regulations certainly present a challenge that when properly managed provide you the opportunity to exploit you operational excellence and drive improved performance against your competitors.