Panther – “Seeing is Believing
Panther Expedited Services, Inc. views 2008 as the year of opportunities. Talking with Adam Walter, Manager of Recruiting for Panther Expedited Serviced, Inc., “These opportunities include a strong focus on customer growth and a stronger focus on fleet productively, utilization and communications with our driver and owner partners.”
“Our customer and load base is growing and there are great opportunities for drivers and owners at Panther.” Walter says, "We are recruiting all truck sizes, including cargo vans, with a heavy focus on solos and teams in all truck types.”
As it relates to driver and owner relations, he continues, "This is a great time to take a look at Panther because we've rolled out some new programs for 2008 that benefit our drivers and owners in maximizing their loads and revenue and by providing more and better data to assist them in analyzing their business and operating model. These new tools allow an owner to evaluate their opportunities, productivity and utilization as a means to improve their revenue opportunity on a daily basis on a per truck basis.
"We believe that it's the drivers and the owners who make this industry work on a daily basis and we want to continue to grow our relationships with our driver/owner partners. We feel that with these new programs, we'll not only maintain those
relationships but create new ones."
"We call these new changes "Seeing is Believing" and by that we mean that even if an owner-operator or driver has looked into the career possibilities with Panther Expedited Services before, they should take another look at us now because it gets better all the time!"
What's new at Panther
* On February 1, Panther increased the load advance, following delivery to 55% to assist its owners with the increased cost of fuel.
Walter explains, "We understand that with the ever-increasing fuel prices, it's more important than ever to have even greater cash available and we feel this is a meaningful way to help our drivers with improving their cash flow."
* Prior to February 18th, Panther will be adding a pre-delivery fuel advance program that ties the fuel only advance to the actual settlement period. Currently any pre-delivery advance is deducted the very next settlement period. With Panther’s backhaul program, this is a significant operating change focused on improving cash flow.
*On Jan 24, 2008 Panther held an owners meeting in Wadsworth and unveiled a templat for the driver and owner websites that provides truck based productivity, revenue, fuel and load data. This data will be available on a weekly basis for owners to quickly identify issues and remediate. “To assist our partners, this data will also be available in a month to date and year to date format.” Says Walter. This change will be going into production in March.
*In the past, drivers had to call into dispatch for their board positions. In January Panther moved to an automatic board positioning system where drivers can view their location, load history and their position in the truck giving drivers more information to make informed decisions. In March, Panther is adding board information to the driver and owner websites with more detail on truck, load and nearby board statistics.
"With our new program, the information is accurate and real time. This eliminates time spent on the phone trying to secure board position info from a dispatcher."
*"We are continuing to install the OmniVision satellite equipment in our contractors' trucks. This is the new version of the Qualcomm equipment which provides email and we're also testing the mapping software - a type of GPS which offers turn-by-turn navigation."
*Panther has listened to the fleet and has implemented some very successful changes related to communications. It is sharing more on the driver and owner web concerning changes and has restructured the relations group to focus on getting every call and responding to the caller within 90 minutes with the follow up resolution to their issue. Team Leaders are focused, not only on getting the calls, but on the response as well”, says Walter. He continues, “We have seen our abandoned calls drop to nearly nothing and are responding quickly and effectively to the caller with the solution to their issues.”
What’s Next at Panther
Walter says, "Our Elite Services Group continues to thrive. This includes our temperature-control straight trucks and tractors, our government business and our flatbeds and lift-gate equipped trucks This segment of our business is very healthy and continues
"Freight volume remains strong, even in the traditionally slower first quarter."
Adams states, “Our Driver Council continues to help Panther with meaningful suggestions and improvements. They are great partners and provide a real service to their constituents which is shown by the number of great improvements over the last 12 months. We have a strong relationship with them and hope to see them continue to challenge and provide solutions to fleet issues in 2008.”
Panther has a new Management Q&A program coming online Feb 18, 2008. “We are asking drivers to submit questions to email@example.com that the management team will respond to in a recorded session that will be posted on the owner and driver web.” The first call with open with a state of Panther and 2008 outlook by the CEO Andrew Clarke. This session will be held monthly or bi-monthly depending on the amount of questions received.
"I think our new slogan, "Seeing is Believing," really captures the spirit here at Panther. We are making changes to improve our operations and procedures and those changes will have a positive impact on our owner-operators and drivers and their bottom line.”
Adam announced that the company will hold an Open House/Recruiting Event on Saturday, February 23, 2008.
The event will kick off at 8:00 am in Seville, Ohio. The location is the Safety Building located on the Panther corporate campus.
He adds, "Even if a driver doesn't have a truck, he should stop by the Open House and discover the opportunities available with Panther Expedited Services."