“Dear World, We’re running late – and it is all my fault”

“Dear World, We’re running late – and it is all my fault”

These days, I tend to play it safe when going through motorway roadworks monitored by average speed cameras. Due to the unreliability of my right foot, I set my cruise control at the appropriate speed limit and let it worry about keeping an appropriate distance from the vehicle in front. Probably its evidence I’m a cognitive miser, thinking about a problem once, as opposed to trying to think about it continuously. As many motorists will know, in such circumstances, with all vehicles travelling at a similar speed, overtaking vehicles in the inside lane can be bit of a slow process – if at all – sometimes it just ends up with 3 lanes all travelling at virtually the same speed.

Today as I gently overtook 3 nose-to-tail trucks who were on the inside lane, I had this sense of something breathing down my neck. I looked in the rear view mirror and all I could see was the grill of a large truck uncomfortably close to my rear bumper. Quite intimidating really. Can’t go left, can’t go right, can’t accelerate away. So there I sat, not able to go any faster, not able to get into a slower lane for what seemed an eternity. I was grateful for small mercies, sometimes you see it is a newly qualified driver in a Ford Ka or similar, almost impaled on the front bumper of a truck, as it is, I’m a crusty old Geezer in a rented E Class – so some consolation in the event that my stopping distance is shorter than that of a 44 tonne truck.

When I did pull over, and the truck roared ahead, evidently immune to the intention of speed limits, I read the corporate strap line along the side of the Trailer – ‘Getting the World on Time.’ Well, it was held up today, probably it was running late in the first place and trying to catch up, and I got in the way. Sorry.

But it did make me think, to what extent does our corporate culture, standards and cultural artefacts such as logo’s and straplines encourage dangerous driving behaviour. If an organisation’s slogan claims that they will absolutely get your parcel there on time no matter what, that is virtually atop down directive to any employee not to be late and any driver must feel under subconscious pressure to react if delayed. After all there is a reputation to maintain and who wants to be picked out as a failure.

So what’s the problem, why do “at-work drivers” feel pressured to speed or drive recklessly – even in roadworks! It’s all about time. Drivers are under increasing pressure to deliver on-time, no matter how unrealistic the plan is.

One thing for sure, those Company slogans cannot help. How can any driver ignore claims emblazoned on their vehicle promising and reassuring the public (in so many different ways) that the Company accepts absolute responsibility to deliver their parcel as ordered? They must feel that responsibility too.

Brake, the road safety charity research reveals that “at-work drivers” are often expected to prioritise schedules over safety, tempting them to speed: a survey of drivers in Britain, France, Germany and Spain found that 37% of those who admitted speeding said they did so due to pressure to meet schedules.

Brake goes on to recommend: “Employers should regularly review schedules and routes to allow time for delays and ensure drivers are not put under pressure to speed”.

The good news is that Maxoptra dynamic scheduling software can make this easy by:

  • Building the most efficient routes – calculating ETAs, considering traffic and time windows;
  • Managing driving times – by continually monitoring and comparing actual driving times against those scheduled, to identify any deviation and re-calculate arrival times for all orders, as necessary;
  • Monitoring work progress – employees can update the status with the help of the mobile app;
  • Keeping customers informed – if a driver’s delivery sequence is disrupted, the system automatically keeps the customers notified through updated ETA’s;
  • Enabling clear communication – all planned schedules, built routes and new orders are sent to a mobile device, so an employee can look through it when they aren’t driving.

So, there is no need to break the law. With Maxoptra, courier and delivery companies can more efficiently manage time, reduce deliver’s stress and deliver a superior customer service at less cost with fewer resources.

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