Saturday, May 15, 2010

Measuring for Success Workshop

Third Blog Post from the Convention
May 15, 2010

Today’s “Good Ideas” from the 23rd MCAA Annual Meeting come from member Rick McMcClelland, a passionate believer in the power of metrics and 25 year veteran of the same-day transportation industry. If you missed his session, you missed bright ideas about “Turning Intent Into Reality” through metrics

Here are a few Good Ideas from that session:

• Objectives - Create a Road Map for success for your business that includes: Personal and professional objectives; metrics to measure progress against those objectives; a performance management system to help you track progress; a look at your people and a look at the way your time is being spent.
o Set your objectives by starting with an analysis of your current market position. That starts with market awareness. To develop this, talk to current customers to learn how to maintain their loyalty. Also, do a “hit and miss” analysis of proposals. Add to that an analysis of your competitors, including finding out why former clients shifted to them and an in-depth look a lapsed accounts.
o Create a profile of the best customers to pursue. To do that, analyze your best customers. Do they come from specific SIC codes? Do they tend to use one of your services more? Are they in a growing segment? Are they loyal? Are they served by a particular driver? Do they require excessive driver support and what is your yield quality from them?
o Ask yourself what percentage of your time you spend on your biggest customers. Then look at what percentage of your revenue they take up. Do you want more customers like them?

• Metrics – Now it’s time to develop systems that will help you track your progress against those objectives.
o Develop a one-page income statement summary that allows you to measure actual and budget numbers for the month as well as percentage of sales from specific services, both monthly and year-to-date.
o Do a P/L on each major account and educate your talent pool to these metrics so they can do their jobs in line with your objectives for these accounts.
o Do a P/L for your on-demand work in particular. “Most people started in this segment but have expanded into other segment,” Rick said, “That means this part of the business is left to flounder.”
o Do a “Run Chart” that looks at month-by-month gross margin numbers to identify trends.
o Chart your cost and income momentum “report card”
o Put all of these together on one page for in a monthly business dashboard. This will put the numbers, moment and history on one sheet.

• Customers – Develop an operational index that allow you to look at customer satisfaction.
o Survey existing and prospective clients to determine their top priorities. Train customer service people to do this during their down-time.
o Sample a percentage of your current customers each week and develop a chart of the percentage of good or excellent ratings for each of the above priorities. This is also a good use of customer service reps.
o Feed these into a Customer Satisfaction Index to determine what you’re doing right and what needs to improve.

• People – Include your people in the process
o Use the metrics above as feedback tools to help them measure and adapt their behavior
o Feed information back to your people to tap into their ideas for improvement. Rick reminded us that, “Nobody is smarter than everybody.”
o Find out why drivers leave to lower driver turn-over and improve hiring.

• Time – Look at where your time is spent
o Do you have an excessive concentration on large, low-margin accounts? These kinds of accounts inhibit your ability to focus on more profitable client and to bring in more profitable clients.

For a copy of Rick’s insightful Power Point from this presentation, including helpful metric templates, go to

Tune in to our next MCAA Annual Meeting for a legislative update on the key issues that continue to affect each and every member of our expedited delivery members.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Members Share Ideas on Sales & Marketing, Operations & Personnel

Welcome back to “Good Ideas” from the 23rd MCAA Annual Meeting. If you missed Thursday’s session, you missed bright ideas from motivational speaker Mark Moses on “Leading in Turbulent Times” and the Courier Focus Groups, a pooling of knowledge from couriers whose experience went from first time attendees to MCAA veterans.

This edition of "Good Ideas" come from members of those groups whose experience ranged from those in business for eight months to 65 years. They came from Alaska to Florida and all states in-between.

Here are some of their Good Ideas from what one participant called “The Highlight of the Meeting”:

In sales & marketing:
• Update your website so it can be used as a tool for your customers.
• Understand the power of a good website. “The buying cycle today is either web-based or by referral – adapt of die,” said one participant.
• Realize that electronic invoicing is the way to go and that more customers than you think will accept it
• Serve more regionally based businesses and grow with them. It’s a great way to compete with the big guys. So, cultivate regional medical labs versus serving a Quest-type operation. You’ll get steady, incremental growth
• Look into non-traditional market segments. One focus group participant added the transportation of animals – specifically dogs and cats -- from the airport to their owners.

In Operations
• Reduce costs by joining forces with a competitor to serve geographic areas where you’re not making money. One participant talked about “moving in together” with a competitor so they share routes in low- populated areas. Both of them won by saving overhead.
• Reduce costs by moving customers to electronic billing and on-line order entries.
• Centralize call centers. So instead of having several branches that serve the state, send all calls to one. It not only saves money it standardizes the way customer calls are handled.
• Cultivate synergies with your customers.
• Develop a “killer team” of employees by treating them like family. One participant talked about having “zero turnover” which he said continues to drive up their quality.
• Change or die! As company leaders, it’s your job to get your employees more comfortable with change because it’s happening whether they like it or not. “We have to manage change and help our employees deal with it. Communications makes it happen,” said one participant. He said the key was “consistency of message” and telling your employees why the change is necessary.
• Look at change as a positive. “We call it an OFG – opportunity for growth,” added another
• Consider dropping customers who aren’t good for the bottom line, no matter how long they’ve been with you.
• Institutionalize “tribal knowledge” --the wisdom of your employees. This means gathering it all and bringing it into one centralized source so everyone can share in that knowledge.
• Customers can see the signature right on their mobile phones. It also helps you build efficiencies by getting true measures of performance.
• Ask the customer what they want and be ready to adapt to that.
• Reduce the use of paper with scanners, even for those customers who are wedded to paper. One participant told about a customer that used to insist they use their own forms. Gradually, they’ve even been able to switch them over to scanners.

• Use psychological testing to put the right person in the right position.
• Hire only sales people with “the hunger”.
• Use Craiglist, Google, Facebook and Courier Board to recruit.
• Avoid hiring people who are overqualified.
• Consider hiring college students and moving them through the ranks. They work well and are flexible. One participant even starts the process earlier by mentoring high school students, essentially growing his own employees.
• Remember, “if it doesn’t get measured it doesn’t get done” so measure and incentivize employees to do what you want them to do.
• Make use of performance appraisals. These start with updating all standard operating procedure, training employees to them and using them as a guide to evaluate them.
• Set your expectations of employees up front “or you lose the ability to gripe about their performance,” said one participant.

Tune in tomorrow for Good Ideas from workshops on: hiring, using metrics to get results; 8 things you can do to improve your courier business and tips on becoming a pharmaceutical shipper.

Good Ideas from First Timers

Welcome to “Good Ideas” from the 23rd MCAA Annual Meeting.

Today’s Good Ideas come from Wednesday night's first-timers at the convention. They came to Las Vegas from Indiana, Connecticut, California and even from across town.

Here are their Good Ideas on why they came to the convention:

• “I’m new to the business and want to learn from the veterans”
• “I can’t believe the guys I’ve heard about in this industry are right here and anxious to talk with me”
• “I’m here to learn about new developments in software as my company enters the pharma market”
• “I want to learn about making better use of the internet”
• “We’re starting to grow and I want to know how to adapt”
• “I need ways to deal with a tight economy”

Tune in tomorrow for Good Ideas from our popular Courier Focus groups, where members exchange ideas and learn from the experiences of their colleagues.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Click HERE for a video on the advantages of attending an MCAA Meeting
Early-Bird Deadline April 22nd - REGISTER NOW!!!!!!

Register to attend the MCAA Annual Meeting before April 22nd and save $100 per person. April 22 is also the hotel cutoff date. After that date rooms and rates will be subject to availability.

Register online HERE
Click HERE to make your hotel reservation online
Click HERE a pdf faxable copy of the registration form

Agenda Hotel & Travel Registration Sponsorship Exhibitors Golf

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa11011 W. CharlestonLas Vegas, NV 89135Reservations: 866 767.7773

MCAA has obtained a special group rate of $125.00 single or double per night, (Your Resort Fee is included in this rate!) exclusive of applicable taxes.
Please note: Registration to attend the meeting does not serve as a hotel confirmation. To make your hotel reservations, call 866 767.7773 where you will then be prompted to press 1 for Group Reservations. To receive the group rate you will need let the reservations agent know you are with the Messenger Courier Group (MCAA). For your convenience, check in time is 3:00 pm and checkout time is 12 Noon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Two concurrent presentations added - Pharma/TSA

We have added 2 great educational presentations on Friday afternoon that are sure to generate great interest.

Friday May 14

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm

The Basics of Becoming a Pharmaceutical Shipper
Mike France, Cardinal Health

Last-mile delivery of pharmaceuticals is a growing, but highly regulated segment of the same-day delivery industry. Learn the basics of how your courier company can get involved in this important market segment.

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm

Update on TSA's Indirect Air Carrier Program
100% Screening is coming - get the latest on the IACSSP Change 5 (Since this meeting will discuss SSI attendence is limited to current IAC's only)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MCAA’s Annual Meeting May 12 - 15

You won't want to miss the same-day delivery's largest meeting and trade show coming up on May 12 to 15 at the the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. Industry veterans and speakers will help you grow your business and network with others in the field. Register before April 9 for a $100 discount. Go to to