National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Reinvention, Growth the Keys to Fleet Survival

Originally published in FleetOwner

It is always a challenge to determine how to grow your business. Speaking at a recent NationaLease webinar, Ken Davis, board-member-at-large NationaLease board of directors, said companies need to develop a strategy, make diligent plans and identify what differentiates them from their competition if they are going to continue to remain viable.

In order to develop a strategy, you first need to have a complete understanding of your market. This includes looking at current and upcoming regulatory issues, assessing the competition, understanding developing technologies, etc.

Try to determine what the upcoming trends are and look at what is driving those trends. Identify growth segments in the markets you service or in adjacent markets and determine if you are positioned to capture increased demand in those growing areas. You need to look at your current product and service offering to see how they mesh with emerging demand and then be prepared to make the necessary changes that will allow you to capitalize on that new demand. Balance this against what it will cost to acquire customers to make sure you will be profitable as you enter a new market segment.

One way you can expand your offerings is to partner with another company, or even considering merging with or acquiring a company that has expertise in the market you want to grow into.

Every company needs to determine what sets them apart from the competition — what is their point of differentiation. What do they offer that no one else does? You can differentiate your business in a number of ways, by price, services offered, location, technological competency, etc.

To continue to be successful, you must work to constantly bring value to your customers and help them solve their problems. As their problems change, so too must your solutions.

Growth can come from increasing revenue per transaction, selling associated products and services, or growing the share of business you get from your customers.

Some key changes that are on the horizon for the trucking industry include electrification, automation and artificial intelligence. Begin exploring these three areas — in addition to other changes you have identified for your specific area of operation — so that you can start to develop a strategy for dealing with each. Once you determine your strategy, put together a detailed plan of how you are going to execute it.

The trucking industry is constantly faced with changes. Today it seems as if the pace of that change is increasing. You will need to be vigilant about finding ways to improve your value proposition for your existing customers, determine how to enter new, emerging markets and how to reinvent your business as needed to maintain profitability in an ever-shifting landscape.