By Steve Steinacker
Transportation Manager, Transervice
Doing It Better Than the Rest…
Do It Best Hardware is the second largest Co-Op hardware supplier in the world. The success of the company is largely based on the hard work and dedication of its employees/co-owners. Many factors go into making a company great. All aspects of the supply chain are vitally important to the ability to get the product to the stores as needed. Once the suppliers deliver the goods to the Retail Service Centers, proper planning is the next step to filling the store orders. No one has done this on a more regular basis than Lexington Transport.
Lexington Transport (LT) is based in Lexington, South Carolina. LT was just recognized by Do It Best Hardware for being number one in the entire Co-Op for the best percentage of on-time deliveries. Their “On Time Delivery Award” represents the dedication of all 25 drivers and both managers, Worth Rogers and Troy Ivery.
There is no magic button that gets pressed to make it to the stores on time. As Worth Rogers told me, there is an old adage it all comes back to “Plan the Work – Work the Plan.” Worth and Troy along with the entire driver group all use open lines of communication to reach the store on time. The drivers all know what time they are expected at the stores for their deliveries. An on-time delivery for Do It Best is never more than 30 minutes early or 30 minutes after the scheduled time. So many of the LT deliveries are to mom and pop stores; being on time is essential for being profitable. It costs the stores money if the deliveries are early or late. On-time is the only result that is acceptable to everyone. The stores must make special arrangements if the load is early to get the truck unloaded and back on the road. If the load is late people at the store stand around and must be pulled off other assignments which affect the whole store’s ability to be profitable. To ensure the deliveries are made on time there must be communication between the drivers, store, and the management team. In the transportation business, there are many factors that can go wrong. You not only have traffic and weather to contend with, but the equipment can break down. No matter what the case, there is one constant that will overcome all of these possible pitfalls – “Communication!” The drivers know their job is to be on time. If for any reason they are going to be late they are to call the store with an updated ETA. In doing so the store now has time to adjust its workforce and remain profitable.
None of the items above just happen. A great deal of communicating and coordination goes into these processes. Worth is very quick to point out that Troy, even though a relative newcomer, has stepped in to fulfill the role of master communicator. Troy is a former Marine and comes to LT with over 10 years of transportation and logistics experience. Like a true “Jar Head”, he is always faithful (Semper Fi) in his efforts to manage the driver’s group and to positively influence the LT operation. Troy has the complete respect of the entire team and will never ask anyone to do something he is not willing to do himself.
Congratulations to Lexington Transport on a more than “just” a job well done! Their award will be placed in a prominent location for all to see. This not only will be a reminder on a daily basis but one they will repeat several times in the future.