Search This Blog

December 1, 2011

Getting a lot more for a lot less

No company still around is doing business like it did in the ‘90s. We’re all leaner, more productive. Doing more with less.

A great example is emerging in the truck maintenance area from the ranks of ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC). Some of the most well known members have become limited-time executives, spreading their expertise over a number of smaller truck fleets as they spend time with each client. Doing so brings big-fleet practices and years of experience to the smaller, intermediate fleet level at a cost that’s spread over the client base. And it’s precisely when fleets must tighten belts and look for new ways to manage at a lower cost that these limited-time executives add significant value to operations.

The first proponent of this new way of managing companies that I recall is Darry Stuart, DWS Fleet Management Services ( Stuart, an ex-General Chairman of TMC, has been a good friend for years.

On Stuart’s website, he offers to supplement a company’s leadership capabilities on a limited-time basis with expertise in organization, purchasing, lease evaluation, vehicle specification and maintenance management, including shop systems analysis and cost control initiatives.

As a "limited-time executive," Stuart and his similarly employed colleagues provide programs specifically tailored for fleets in a variety of industry segments.

Talking with Bruce Stockton while he was still with Con-way Truckload late last year, I found he was leaving to start up a similar time-share executive program. Like Stuart, Stockton has been another innovative resource through his years as Vice President of Maintenance for Contract Freighters (CFI). Stockton continued in his position after Con-way acquired CFI to create its truckload division.

Stockton says he has found many fleets that need help – not just in understanding what is going on with the technology of maintenance and spec’ing but also with setting up truck fleet maintenance facilities and the rest of the truck operations that his 30 years of experience brings to the table.

His website,, explains the services he provides, which he describes as “Interim Executive in Maintenance, Safety, Risk Management and Operations.” He provides services such as employee productivity and incentive programs, sustainability and risk factors in litigation, acquisitions and mergers, among a host of others.

And just recently I learned trucking’s great specifier and maintenance manager, Ken McKibben, has launched his consulting business. Many will be familiar with McKibben as the man you had to woo if you were to be a supplier to Penske Truck Leasing. What he doesn’t know about leading-edge maintenance and technology and management isn’t worth knowing.

McKibben has a new concept on how to provide guidance to the fleets utilizing his Single Source Transportation Solutions (SSTS) Expert Team. Each member of his team has more than 25 years experience in their areas of expertise and include industry experts like Joe Stianche, Wayne Lampen, Bob Wessels and Bruce Purkey. Together with Eileen Wessels and Andrew Avtjoglou, McKibben started SSTS to provide a one-stop shop for all kinds of commercial trucking expertise. At you can view a list of SSTS Experts and products that have been personally recommended by McKibben for the benefit of fleets.

“Our mission,” he says, “is to be an essential link within the transportation industry between fleets and manufacturers.”

Like Stuart and Stockton, McKibben’s team uses their many years of experience in all phases of maintenance operations to provide guidance to fleets, evaluate products that meet a higher standard and improve efficiency resulting in increased profitability.

And if that’s not getting a lot more for a lot less, I challenge you to find a better example.

1 comment:

  1. The transportation industry is global in nature and its growth has been spurred by the increased adoption of new technologies that allow time-specific delivery and electronic tracking of cargo. And we can't avoid business men to get this opportunity specially if they have the funds needed.

    Truckload (LTL) Shipment