Now is the perfect time to evaluate if your fleet is on track.
Setting goals at the start of each year is important for any growing company. However, it’s not just setting the goals that bring your company growth — it’s a combination of following the steps outlined, reviewing your progress and making adjustments along the way that help you succeed.
Halfway through the year is the perfect time to see if your business is on track for reaching its goals. Take a step back to see if you’re on target, analyze your progress and make adjustments for what is and isn’t working. Not sure where to get started? Follow the simple steps on our handy mid-year review checklist.
Step 1: Celebrate the Successes
You set goals to excel in 2019, made plans to reach them and have been working hard for the past 6 months. So what’s gone well?
It’s important to stop and take a look at what you’re doing right and celebrate the wins you’ve accomplished so far. In doing so, you can easily see what areas you may need to invest more time or resources to and adjust accordingly.
Some successes to celebrate could include:
- Meeting monthly sales goals
- Increase in excellent customer reviews
- Implementing a new fleet management system
- Initiating a successful training program
- Cutting costs in fuel or labor
- Increasing productivity and streamlining tasks
Paying attention to what is working is also a smart way to see what your customers’ needs are and how you can better serve them. If you’re still wondering whether it’s worth taking the time to celebrate? According to Inc.com, celebrating your accomplishments may actually be the key to your success.
Step 2: Identify & Analyze Issues
You’ve celebrated the successes — now it’s time to ask yourself, “What’s not working?” Though it may sound negative, investigating why you’re not meeting some of your goals is an important step towards adjusting your plans to get you back on track. With that in mind, you and your team will need to review your progress over the past 6 months and compare it against the goals you set at the beginning of the year.
Without the ability to measure and review your progress, you can’t solve the issues that are crippling your growth. According to organizational improvement expert H James Harrington, “Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it.”
Just like in goal setting, start at the end and work backward. Begin by examining the overarching problems and what’s not heading in the right direction. Is your business lagging in productivity, or have you seen your fuel costs go up? What other issues came up during the last 6 months that impacted your business? Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions and dig into the numbers.
From this list of issues, you should be able to get a clear picture of the key things you need to work on in order to ensure you keep your business on track.
Step 3: Decide What Needs to Change
Based on the results of your analysis, take a deeper look into why those overarching problems could be happening. Smaller issues can likely be the cause, but can add up to problems that impact both your business and your bottom line.
Here’s an example: let’s say you’re seeing a decrease in your rates of productivity. Now what factors can cause that? Some of your list might include:
- Employees showing up late for work, taking undocumented breaks or not appropriately accounting for their time.
- Your drivers aren’t taking the most efficient routes, leading to increased time on the road and/or late deliveries.
- You keep having to make expensive, unexpected repairs to your fleet because you’re not keeping up with routine maintenance, resulting in less vehicles at your disposal.
- You’re compiling reports by hand, which takes up valuable hours and eats into your budget.
Try to identify as many smaller issues that are leading up to the whole. By breaking down the larger issues into their key elements, you can easily create a new plan of attack to meet your goals by the end of the year.
Step 4: Create a Plan of Action
As the old saying goes, “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.”
Now that you’re encouraged from celebrating your success, relieved from pinpointing areas of improvement and feeling determined from your decision to make changes, you can create a plan of action. Essentially, you’re creating a plan of action — a “How To” guide for your business to achieve its goals by the end of the year.
Going back to the previous example of identifying a decrease in productivity, think about how could you better track employee time and driver routes. Would implementing a system that tracks timecards and monitors vehicle use be helpful?
Studies like the Hawthorne effect suggest that “when people knew their work was being measured, productivity improved.” You can’t physically be in multiple places at once, but there is software available to give you a bird’s eye view of your organization and monitor your entire fleet for you.
How about ways to improve your customer service? Would your fleet benefit from scheduled stops and the ability to offer accurate ETAs? Perhaps a system that monitors your fleet’s location and optimizes routing would help you understand what’s really going on in your driver’s day and enable you to better control delivery timelines.
Evaluating your successes and areas that need improvement is the best way to ensure you’re on the right track towards reaching your goals, and mid-year is the perfect time to do it. How are your business goals going this year? What are your pain points? Get social with us and join the discussion!