Operations in a Changing Environment

Operations in a Changing Environment

The past six weeks have challenged everything we had set up in operations—from the way we communicated to the playbook we used for running the day to day. When this all started, like most people, we were uncertain of what the future held. There was little information available and in turn little to go on to make decisions. I will be the first to admit there was an unsettling feeling regarding all the unknowns.

Usually Spring is a time when many of our employees go on vacations. In my operations staff, two individuals on the same team had already been out for several weeks when the pandemic hit. In early April, our president Brendon Daley, the VP of Sales Justin Smith, and myself were planning on attending a yearly conference and we had vacations scheduled as well. Then…COVID-19

The first thing we wanted to do was address some of the more pressing questions. What do we do with our People? Can we handle offsite work? What does this mean to us as a company? And finally, what does this mean to the freight and logistics industry?

Immediately we knew this was going to change how we operate. It was clear after speaking with the leadership team and a couple of industry peers that we needed to make the move towards working remotely. The logistics field was considered essential and as such we could continue to work from the office. However, in my mind this would have ended up being more of a distraction. Our ops teams and leadership would have always been wondering: “Well, should we have?”. So, I began to take inventory. Despite the many variables that come with getting people to work remotely within a short period of time we got it set up without much commotion.

We set three standard meetings a day. First at 7:50am our standard “AM Scrum” where we go over yesterday’s numbers, if we hit our daily goals, and what each team had set in the day ahead. This is followed by our newly established midmorning (11am) and mid-afternoon (2:30pm) meetings which are intended as a check in or to get help for tasks at hand.

The consistency of these meetings helps to build and maintain both trust and stability. Once trust started being built, I noticed an increased sense of purpose and teamwork. Our compassion for each other grew as everything was stripped down to where there was nothing but the team and the work. A bond was formed with the realization that the people on our team were ones on whom we could really depend.

I am proud of what each team has accomplished. They are working hard with a plan, and they are working together. The driving factor in all this was to be sure, that in a time of uncertainty, we were there for each other. I wanted everyone to be sure not only that their livelihood was secure but that we were strong as a team.

We will get through this and we will do it together.

Greg Finnerty,  Vice President of Operations