Is IT Your Driver's New BFF?

Posted March 26, 2018

How do your drivers view your IT department?

If you’re not sure, you should find out.

Here at V&S Midwest Carriers, our IT department is a support team that helps drivers and dispatchers operate at peak performance. This viewpoint seriously impacts the way we do our job.

Instead of a top-down technology strategy, our technology’s main goal is to support our teams. And our drivers know it.

The result?

Drivers partner with technology to make driving better and more efficient by providing suggestions and letting IT know when things aren’t working right. Our IT team views that feedback as an important part of their job, and this collaboration creates something stronger than each of them individually.

How do we create this culture?

Here are five things that make our IT team culture different and effective:

  1. They Know Trucking – Promoting from within allows our IT team to really understand trucking and dispatching. When a driver explains where there might be an opportunity, IT truly knows what they are talking about (or can ask the right questions) because they’ve done the job before.
  2. Work on Relationships – Getting buy-in from your drivers and dispatchers ensures that when you do implement technology changes, they’re actually effective. It’s no use updating technology if the people using it are resistant and actively working against it. IT needs to be viewed as an ally when drivers hit the road. This way when IT makes a suggestion that might require a little bit of trust to get through the implementation period – they’ve earned it.
  3. Outsource the Tough Stuff –  IT needs to be adept at recognizing what technology is best to outsource and then pick the right tech to work with. They don’t need to be masters of everything, rather, they must be able to sift through all the technology out there and make sure the tech they choose works seamlessly with all the other pieces. That way they don’t get bogged down in the day-to-day tech minutia and can stay focused.
  4. Always Improve the Process – Even though trucking seems straightforward, the technology is always changing. If your IT team is only focused on maintaining status quo, well, that’s all your company is probably going to do. An IT team with vision seeks ways to elevate the company by streamlining the process and looking for opportunities to leverage the right technology.
    Technology that adds steps for drivers or dispatch while gathering information isn’t going to be very useful on the road and can actually stop a trucking company from reaching its goals. Before you create an extra box to check, make sure the information you are gathering is worth the extra work you will require.
  5. Be Willing to Share Best Practices – Many times we view our trucking company as a special island, when in fact, we are surrounded by an ocean of possibility. Connecting with other companies allows us to learn best practices and improve our approach. Many times another trucking company might have encountered a similar obstacle but discovered an entirely different way of approaching it. Other times we’ve found that another company has identified a problem that hasn’t even occurred to us. (Bonus points for already having a great solution!)

Drivers and dispatchers that trust that IT has their best interests at heart create a winning combination that propels trucking companies to greater growth. Leverage your IT team properly to accomplish even more.

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