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It's not often that you can get 12 of the industry's most respected CEOs to set aside their competitive differences...

It’s not often that you can get 12 of the industry’s most respected CEOs to set aside their competitive differences and share their strategies for success.

But that’s exactly what the OTA recently orchestrated with its first executive forum. And over the next few days we will bringing you their insights and advice on some of the industry’s thorniest issues.

We begin with five CEOs explaining the keys to success:

Don Streuber, Bison Transport: Recognize and treat your drivers as your most valuable assets. Understand what is quality revenue for your business model and don’t be afraid to fire bad pieces of revenue. Know your costs inside and out.

Rick Gaetz, Vitran Corp.: Know what you market is and don’t allow your customers to push you into markets and areas you don’t want to be in. Do what you say you are going to do for your customer but remember that’s a two-way street. Make sure the customer also does what he said he was going to doI think sometimes we become consumed with trying to differentiate ourselves. We shouldn’t be so focused on how we can be different. Be as good as you can be in the market that you are in and remember it’s a big, big market. The LTL market in North America is $40B and the TL market is significantly bigger than that. The reality is also this is a consolidating (carrier) market and this may be the best period in many years to drive price and better returns in our business.

Stan Dunford, Laidlaw Carriers: We have a focus on quality of revenue. I’m a firm believer that the quality of revenue that you go after has a proportionate impact on every other operating cost that you have. Start with quality of revenue and you will find out that your CVOR improves, your driver retention improves, every operating aspect improves in direct correlation to the quality of revenue. If a new customer tells me I can have the business as long as I want it until I ask for a rate increase and at that time the business is thrown up for tender, the first thing I say is thanks very much for your time but I don’t see a future with you. If you think I’m going to go out and make an investment in this business and be worried day in and day out that he is going to put up my business for tender every time I come to him asking to be kept whole and asking him to at least be interested enough in my financial viability to want me around, what am I doing there? The industry is full of customers like that. Learn to say no and learn to find customers that are interested in your long-term viability. If they are not, get out of there.

Mark Seymour, Kriska Transportation: Alignment of staff and customers that are committed to the success of your organization. If you don’t have staff or customers that are committed to your success, then you can have a bigger problem than you are able to overcome.

Gary King, TST Solutions Inc: Higher the best people possible and treat them the way you would like to be treated. Look for the business that fits the assets you employ. Good fit increases margins.

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Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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