Think Lean: 16 Ways to Run a Lean Trucking Business + INFOGRAPHIC

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Infographic - 16 ways to run a lean trucking business

Running a lean trucking business could put more money back in your bank account and allow you to grow more quickly. Here are sixteen strategies that can help you get a better return on the money you spend. 

Maximize Working Capital By Running a Lean Trucking Business

Business owners that adopt a “lean” business strategy set out to spend less overall by ensuring that they are getting measurable value – and the most value possible – out of each dollar they spend on business operations. The bottom line? Adopting a leaner business model could mean faster growth for less money. In a minute we’re going to share sixteen ways to run lean trucking business operations in order to get more from each dollar you invest in growing your business.

Before we do, it’s important to point out that “lean businesses” are not just organizations that try to cut costs. Cutting costs outside of a business growth strategy could easily result in lost business when items that enhance the customer’s experience – and perception of the value of the goods or services of the business – are slashed. A lean business model is an operating strategy that both:

  • strives to eliminate waste in product and processes, while also simultaneously
  • strives to satisfy customer wants and needs

A better understanding of the idea of a lean trucking business model might be creating more value for customers using fewer resources. It’s about maximizing the value of each and every dollar spent in running and growing a business. The Lean Enterprise Institute shares a multi-step process for creating lean business operating tactics that boils down to this:

1. Identify specific value prized by your customer

2. Identify all the steps or inputs it takes to create that value, and eliminate any unneeded components

3. Make the stream tighter; make the value-creating inputs occur in as tight a sequence as possible to get it to the customer as quickly as possible

While it might sound simplistic, tracing back all of your business processes to their elemental components might be difficult. Luckily, we found this Entrepreneur Magazine infographic which identifies sixteen ways that you could run a lean trucking business and make your company more efficient and profitable.

16 Ways to Grow Faster By Running a Lean Trucking Business – Infographic

1. Go Without

When it comes time to make a purchase or a hire, take time to be sure that it’s necessary and eliminate the possibility that there are less expensive ways to fulfill the need.

2. Lead by Example

It’s going to be tough to get employee buy-in for a work environment that’s too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer (for the sake of saving money) if you aren’t working in the same conditions. If you want others to remember to turn off lights and equipment when not in use, be sure they see that you are doing it too.

3. Source Creatively

You might be able to trade for goods or services with other companies at a lower cost than buying comparative goods or services outright. Network with other local business owner and Chamber of Commerce groups so that you can source more creatively. As a bonus, you’ll also be earning local goodwill as you create mutually beneficial networking relationships with other organizations.

4. Get Things in Writing

Eliminate unpleasant surprises by asking to have the details of your agreements with vendors, suppliers and clients spelled out in writing.

5. Recycle and Resell

Rather than throwing out old equipment or furnishings, see if there is someone willing to buy them from you, or whether some of the materials (such as metal) could be redeemed at a recycling center for money. Every penny recouped by recycling or reselling counts!

6. Max Out Available Discounts

Save money by taking advantage of discounts available to your company in business networking groups, purchasing groups or memberships in business office supply stores or retail centers (like Costco or Sams Club).

Trucking companies that factor with us may also maximize cash flow with factoring agreements that include enrollment in fleet fuel cards and TruckersB2B programs. Fuel cards provide a great cash management tool that allow trucking fleet owners to control expenses and fund drivers on the road 24×7. TruckersB2B provides the fuel discounts trucking companies use to become more efficient and access to dozens of other trucking industry discounts and offers.

7. Take the ‘Petty’ Out of Petty Cash

Petty cash funds are often made available to make it easier for staff to make change or to go out and buy miscellaneous supplies. In a lean business, there is no such thing as a “petty” – or unimportant – line item. Keep track of petty cash and any other slush funds and establish accountability.

8. DIY as Much as Possible

If you can save money by creating your own forms, printing and cutting your own business cards, picking up local supplies rather than paying for delivery and making repairs and renovations yourself, you may be able to shave lots of dollars off the operating budget. And don’t forget to tap your staff, because they may have skills or connections that can be leveraged to help you grow that you aren’t yet aware of.

9. Ask Why

Take nothing for granted! Before re-upping or when auto-renewal windows arrive, make sure you are asking whether it’s still essential to your business and taking the time to explore competitive quotes.

10. Hire for Core, Outsource or Train for Extras

Before hiring or refilling a position, consider whether you are hiring to a core business need or might be able to reduce costs by outsourcing or spreading tasks out among existing staff.

11. Waste Not

Save by buying in bulk when you can, printing on both sides of your paper, using waste paper as scrap for taking notes or phone messages, refilling print cartridges and other penny-saving practices. Pennies can add up fairly quickly when everyone is getting the most out of supplies and equipment on hand.

12. Get Professional Help Where it Matters Most

The cost of legal, marketing, accounting and other expertise might seem expensive, but it might be a drop in the bucket compared to the pitfalls you might encounter if you don’t pay for experts when it comes to doing your taxes, reviewing contracts, submitting trademarks and copyrights, writing business plans and completing other business activities.

13. Keep All Your Receipts

You may be unaware of all of the different business expenses that qualify, so to make sure you can take advantage of all deductions available to you, keep all your receipts, at least until tax time!

14. Use Plastic Money Strategically

Some credit and debit cards or banking activity can help you earn rewards, miles and other perks. Look around for those that offer the type of rewards that would benefit your organization most and use your cards strategically.

15. Negotiate Everything

Ask vendors and suppliers for discounts on cash or early payments, or negotiate for longer payment terms that will let you keep working capital on hand longer, whichever is more financially beneficial to your organization. Also, find out how factoring invoices with a top freight factoring company can put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiating with vendors or extending better terms to your own customers.

16. Buy Used Instead of New

Craigslist, newspaper classifieds, eBay and second hand stores all make it possible for you to buy office furnishings, supplies and other items at a lower cost than new items usually require. Likewise, watch for local going out of business sales, surplus actions and other events where you may be able to save exponentially on the equipment, supplies and furnishings your business needs.

You might also like: 10 Point Year End Inspection Every Business Should Make

 

Infographic - 16 ways to run a lean trucking business

 

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