Q&A with Willy Schmidt: How One Idea Powers his Company Forward

What do you think of when the word “strong leader” comes to mind? Maybe you think of a leader as being a forceful person who finds it easy to make tough decisions or you picture a person who can stand in front of a room and confidently command orders. But do you picture somebody who is an extraordinary listener? Someone who values your opinion? Willy Schmidt pictures just that and a recent initiative himself and his partner, Bernard, developed is proof that Willy means serious business about his capability to be the leader in listening.

Willy and Bernard sent out a company-wide message. The request was clear. All they wanted was one idea that could help the company in some way.

I have asked Willy a few questions about this initiative and what it meant to his company, Willy’s Trucking Services.  Below is the conversation:

 

What gave you this idea..to ask for an idea?

“During meetings, I would notice I wanted to listen to what people had to say just as much as I wanted to do the talking. It made me realize there was an opportunity there to make everyone feel like they had a voice. Offering a reward company-wide for a great idea from a team member made sense and as soon as we put that on the table, we realized we had also picked up on the needs of the drivers; one being that they weren’t really being heard. ”

When all of the submissions came in, did you instantly see the one that you thought was a winner or were there many winning ideas to choose from?

Looking through the submissions, Bernard and I got the ideas down to a top 10 and then from there, we cut it in half. Then we decided on the winning idea; it was such a good idea and so simple that no one is even thinking about it, yet it’s so powerful.

So, who is the winner??

Our driver, Tim, submitted an idea that said: “Take a moment”. To us, “take a moment” could mean all kinds of things. It can be used by our drivers on the road, by our marketing team, by operations and management- the list goes on. It is so simple yet is meaningful in all sorts of ways.

All of the trucks have that decal on the doors now, right on the outside of the door, by the door handle. They all see that quote when they are going in and out of the trucks. We even have it on the side of our BBQ trailer! You also have to think, because it’s on the outside of the trucks, it’s not just us benefitting from this either. Sitting in traffic someone else could look over to our truck and see this quote. They could think to themselves as well “Hmm, take a moment”. It’s not just for us.

That’s fantastic. Would you recommend this method to other business owners and entrepreneurs? 

By all means, I would recommend this…The drivers are the people out there and they have the most time to think on the road. Reach out to your team and let them know you’re listening.

Tim H

 

What do you think about Willy and Bernard’s idea? What are more ways to grab genius ideas from your staff members? Share with us below!

 

Author: Melodie Mills

 

 

 

More Reasons to Drive into Digital

        In a recent survey by PwC, only 28 percent of the transportation industry can claim a high level of digitization today. Fortunately, embracing innovation has always been at the forefront of Willy’s Trucking Service. This is why we are pleased to announce that we will be implementing a new computer software system, Transport Management Software, or TMW. The TMW shipment management system will enable us to greatly improve the visibility of key data that helps to deliver our customers’ freight with greater efficiency and reliability. The advantages of digitization are many, including:

  • More Efficient

The new system has the capability to supply superb performance in the amount of energy that we use when printing and performing other office functions. The new system contributes to a more productive and environmentally friendly office overall.

  • More Productive

Our old systems had a tendency to be unproductive. There were unacceptable levels of redundancy in tasks and connectivity. The time delay between data entry and actually printing the documents that are needed prior to the freight leaving our dock was a deterrent to productivity. The new system does not suffer from this disadvantage.This will improve overall productivity in the movement of freight.

  • More Secure

The new systems will allow computers to benefit from additional protection by making sure that they have the latest defensive solutions that will help limit the threat posed by hackers and malicious software.

  • More Speed

The new system will allow customers faster access to the information required relating to their shipment, billing and invoicing. Greater overview of a shipment’s progress through the freight system is something many customers have been asking for.

  • More Environmentally Responsible

The new system will allow us to become as paperless as possible through electronic manifests, BOL’s and digital signature capture for POD’s greatly reducing our impact on the environment.

As we work through any potential integration issues and become accustomed to the new system we would like to thank all of our customers, vendors and employees for their patience and cooperation as we work to provide improved service.

 

Best Practices for Successful Freight Delivery

Best Practices for Successful Freight Delivery

Choosing the right Company to ship your freight with should always be about the quality of service you expect. The fact that we have been in business for 10 years tells you we have had a lot of practice in shipping and receiving and once your order is placed with us, you know it is going to be in good hands. Here are a few simple things you can do to assist us in making sure your shipment arrives on time, in the correct location and in the best condition.

Ensuring your freight gets to you.

  • Calling in your order early in the day -This is very helpful for us to arrange for a pickup. One customer scrambling to get in a shipment last minute can possibly result in multiple other shipments being delayed.

 

  • Collecting specific information- Collecting detailed shipment information really covers a lot of things. It helps us decide the type of equipment needed, when it’s going to be ready for pickup, and who we need to talk to at the shipping office. Knowing who to call if and when we need to confirm details about shipments also helps us be more efficient.

 

  • Knowing your expectations- If you need a shipment delivered by 6:00 AM, it’s helpful for us to know that. Take the time to share the detailed information so we can meet and exceed the expectations.

A good percentage of service failures are the result of missing information and details that could have ensured perfect delivery. Even though it takes a few minutes to answer the same questions every time you call, having your shipment delivered to the right destination at the right time with the right equipment is totally worth it!

Company Update: We Are Hiring!

Willy’s Trucking Service was proud to announce our expansion into Fort St. John and now we are excited to build on our branch, beginning with hiring a Regional Sales Manager.

 

If you or someone you know would like to apply, please follow this link for more information on the position and how to apply.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/cap/view/171655523?pathWildcard=171655523&trk=job_capjswillys_trucking_map_2016_a

Company News: Willy’s Trucking Service Opens Depot in Fort St. John, BC

Earlier this year Willy’s Trucking Service began their daily routes into Northern British Columbia with stops in Dawson Creek, Cache Creek and Fort St. John. Willy’s Trucking Service is pleased to announce we have officially opened our branch in Fort St. John.

The depot is located at 10529 269 Road Fort St. John.

Telephone: (250) 785-2364Willy's Arrow Right Orientation (2)Willy’s Trucking Service is proud to be Western Canada’s leading transportation company. We offer daily routes across Alberta and Northern British Columbia. 

Company News: Willy’s Trucking Service has expanded into Northern British Columbia

As of April, 2016, Willy’s Trucking Service’s will beginwillys_trucking_map_2016_a providing service into the following areas:

Fort Nelson

Charlie Lake

Fort St. John

Hudson’s Hope

Chetwynd

Tumbler Ridge

Dawson Creek

Pouce Coupe

And continuing our service into:

Peace River

Grimshaw

Grande Prairie

Valleyview

Fox Creek

Whitecourt

Edmonton

Calgary

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone in the Peace River region and beyond who have been working so hard to make this expansion possible. We are very excited as a team and as a Western Canadian, locally owned company to bring this expansion into fruition.

DO YOU CONSIDER THESE 5 FACTORS ON YOUR DAILY DRIVE?

mix 142.JPGRecently I had agreed to do a ride-along with Willy’s Trucking Service’s HSSE personnel, Carol, in order to learn a bit more about the trucks they use and to see a day-in-the-life of a delivery driver.

What I thought I was going to be paying attention to the whole day, and what actually ended up happening, were two different things. 

Yes, I did get a chance to pull on the air horn (which, by the way, everyone should do at least once in their lives) but the real eye opener was realizing that I am not as safe of a driver as I thought I was. 

Not only does a semi-truck driver need to be pro-active by knowing exactly when to shift one of the many, many gears to slow or speed up the truck, but the reactionary vision they need to have due to ignorant car drivers was made clear to me that day. 

  • BLIND SPOTS- We have all seen the stickers, ”If my mirrors can’t see you, I can’t see you!” stuck nicely to the back, side, front, all over the truck. There’s a reason for that. It is really difficult to see everything happening around your massive 50 foot long box trailer. If you thought it was tricky to see what is in the next lane when your ironed, collared shirt is hanging in the backseat, well, this is a whole new ball game. So, don’t ride along in a truckers blind spots. Be wary of a truck making a right turn as well, as they need those two lanes to maneuver and don’t need you trying to squeeze past them just to crush your Civic. 
  • BRAKING- that sweet spot in front of the semi truck that is empty enough to slip your BMW in front of because you sped up and were enjoying swerving in and out of lanes too much to actually get in BEHIND the truck like you should of, but cut off the trucker instead? Yeah..that. Don’t do that. They need ample time to shift down to come to a safe stop and they need ALL that space they leave in between themselves and the car in front of them. Don’t worry, you’ll still get there even if you have to slow down a bit to safely merge in behind or when it’s safer.
  • SHIFTING – have you been in a semi-truck? Have you seen that gear shift? 18 gears. Ok? Not just “Drive” and “Park” but basically they become “one” with their engine. Listening to the sound of the RPM’s rising and lowering, watching the gauges, working the pedals, shifting from one little rectangle box to another. It’s an art. One of which I will enjoy being the spectator of!  
  • ICY ROADS + EMPTY LOADS= SLIPPING – Of course you can’t know if there’s a full load in that van or not, but, just be extra careful on icy roads. I was being driven by a very capable, seasoned driver but knowing how easily the truck could slide and jack-knife with an empty van was enough to make me stop breathing every time a car would cut in front then slam on their brakes or swerve in front etc. I can’t stress this enough… Try your best to give truck drivers plenty of space in between your car and them. Everyone can breathe easier that way!
  • TRUCKERS CARE – they care! These are people that operate big machinery every day and do their utmost best to make sure everything is delivered on time but most importantly, safely. These are the people that will pull over on a snowy, dark highway when they see someone in distress to help you change a tire or put chains on (I have experienced this first hand!) They work long, strange hours and are away from their families that want them home safe and sound. 

Thank-you to Willy’s Trucking Service’s for the experience. 

Do you have any tips to add to this article? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Written by Melody Mills

February Feature:Q&A with our client Deb Kalyn from Nykal Enterprises Ltd

1.  What prompted you to seek Willy’s Trucking Services? What situation or problem did you need to solve?

When Greyhound’s schedules between Edmonton and Peace River changed and the hours at the bus depot changed, we needed to look at other options.  We also found that there were fewer and fewer transportation companies to choose from and we weren’t particularly happy with their service.

2.  Why did you specifically select Willy’s Trucking?

We were referred to Willy’s Trucking by a friend and were impressed with the service from the first time we used them. We kept coming back!

3.  What made you believe that Willy’s Trucking was the best for achieving your desired result?

Consistency in service!  With the added bonus of free delivery from the depot in Peace River to our work site on Weberville Road.

4. How did you benefit from working with Willy’s Trucking?

I am confident that when I put my order in for  pick up of stuff in Edmonton, it will happen and I will have my product in Peace River the next day!  

5.What are the two most significant improvements that have resulted from your work with Willy’s Trucking?

Reliable product delivery

Product always arrives in good shape(not beat up)

6.What exactly did Willy’s Trucking do to contribute to the outcome you wanted?

I don’t have to worry that my product will not arrive.  I know that my project will not be held up.

7.Describe why you feel that working with Willy’s Trucking was successful.

Confidence in service.

8.In the future, what type of businesses would most benefit from working with Willy’s Trucking?

Anyone in the construction business that needs to source product out of town.  We build houses and we also install municipal water and sewer services.  We know that when we need our pipe, it will get to our job site on time.

9.If a potential client was on the fence about whether to work with Willy’s Trucking or not, what would you say to them?

First of all, we are so glad we found your company! 

Willy’s customer service is the best in the trucking industry. 

I KNOW I will get my product the next day from Edmonton. 

They are reliable, trustworthy and friendly.  They will go the extra mile when need be to ensure their clients are well taken care of! 

Thank-you to Deb and Nykal Enterprises for their feedback! If you are a client of ours and have an interest in being featured on our blog, please email info@willystrucking.com

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Why we choose Kenworth Trucks and what that should mean to you.

Picture this: You are managing a business, you have deadlines but you also have “budget, budget, budget” ringing in your ears as you try to organize orders.

When orders and products arrive on time, you can concentrate on delivering to your client exactly what they need. That is why working with a company that understands the importance of using top quality tractors to ensure deliveries are always on schedule is of paramount importance.

How does a brand of tractor/trailor apply to your business? Because without the durability, reliability and quality of these rigs, we would be risking our business and yours. 

Since 2007 Willy’s Trucking Service has been building and transporting the Northern Alberta routes- Peace River Region covering South to Edmonton. With it’s climate, remote communities and rough roads, servicing Northern Alberta and delivering on-time comes down to many factors, one being ensuring you have the right equipment to do the job. Kenworth tractors equipped with the appropriate powertrain provides that security that our drivers need to know they are in the right rig to do the job. 

Currently our tractor-trailer fleet inventory consists of 85 registered units: 29 trucks and 56 trailers. Being experts in the transportation industry doesn’t solely mean knowing the routes and the rates, it means knowing exactly which equipment to choose to accomplish deliveries safely and on schedule. 

Do you have an experience with Kenworth trucks that enhanced your ability to produce great results for your transportation company? Please share in the comments below. 100_4253