Sometimes tough decisions have to be made to ensure business survival in uncertain times. PAM’s President and CEO Dan Cushman recently shared his thoughts on making these critical decisions to keep the company moving forward in the current Coronavirus-induced recession.
Uncertain Times Call for Tough, Definitive Decisions
I was interviewed recently for the Arkansas Trucking Association magazine and I was asked the question, “Worst day in your career?”
My answer was easy and came quickly… the Friday I had to lay off several of my teammates at PAM. It made me sick. I will work hard to get things back to where they were and to get my coworkers and friends back to work. I know I have an army with me to see that gets done.
The thing about the #Coronavirus impact is that it has all come so suddenly. I’ve been thinking about this: From the beginning, in one 12-hour stretch, we got word that the “Big Three” automakers were closing all plants. An hour later it was announced, “No, we are not closing.” An hour later, all plants closed. That all happened in 12 hours time. Such an emotional roller coaster.
I have seen days where we have picked up a great new piece of business and within the same hour been advised one of our long-term customers was ceasing shipping for the time being. This hasn’t been happening week by week. Not day by day… it’s been hour by hour.
The layoff was very difficult. But it was the right thing to do. We are doing everything we can to keep every employee safe – our office employees, our maintenance employees, and our driving professionals. We also want PAM Transport to be in a position to thrive, always. So many customers and employees depend on us. With the loss of automotive production, about 45% of our revenue and miles went off like a light switch. We have worked very hard to get new business to keep our drivers rolling. We’re positioning the company for success as things eventually get back to as close to normal as possible.
As heartbreaking as so many things related to the Coronavirus crisis have been, I’ve also seen some wonderful things. I have seen trucking companies collaborate like never before. My friends from the Arkansas Trucking Association have been in contact with me, asking how we can work together to serve our customers and keep every employee healthy and gainfully employed.
FedEx, Walmart, USA Truck, Morris Transportation Services, LLC, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., @ArcBestCorp… they have all been in contact with me, giving us visibility to loads that may present us with an opportunity to keep our people productive. Friends outside of Arkansas Trucking Association like The Dart Network, U.S. Xpress, and Werner Enterprises have given us opportunities.
Thank you all. I’ve learned a lesson… be a friend and when you need a friend they will be there!
I have a lot of things in my prayers. I pray for this virus to be controlled and for life to get back to normal. I pray that we all continue to be considerate of one another. I pray that the world continues, not just during this crisis, but to see, understand, and value the daily contribution to all of our lives that the trucking industry provides. It shouldn’t take a crisis to get our attention and to value these things. Drivers are the lifeblood of every community.
Those of you that know me know that I attempt to look in my “crystal ball” and tell you what I see in the future. My crystal call is cloudy! But it’s going to get better. Within 10 days the automotive companies are looking to begin production again. We’ve done a great job replacing the lost revenue, but we still need and want that valued auto production. We want to do more than “tread water.” We will thrive. We will remain steady for the next ten days an then begin to see some of our choice jobs come back for our drivers. PAM Transport will be as strong as ever!
Thank you all for your understanding and for your hard work. I love my #Pamily!
#TruckerSideChat #Pamily #leadership #wewillthrive #strongasever
PAM Will Still be Here When the Dust Settles
Dan Cushman walks the talk when it comes to serving PAM’s customers and doing what it takes to keep our wheels moving. At PAM, our slogan is “Our Service Makes the Difference.” This isn’t just something we say; it’s what we do. And it’s the amazing people both behind the wheel and behind the scenes who make this promise a reality. Ultimately, we’re here to serve our employees so they can do the same for our customers – even during uncertain times.