The PAM operations uses an innovative internal tool called the Transportation Performance, Inc. scorecard (TPI scorecard) to improve fleet performance, better driver-driver manager relationships, and help PAM drivers enjoy greater success at PAM Transport.
Each week, PAM driver managers are required to enter information about all of their drivers — anywhere from 30–60 drivers per lane — into the TPI scorecard. This includes driver safety information, dispatch miles, paid miles, time off, on-time service, and miles per gallon.
Reciprocally, drivers get a chance to rate their managers by ranking driver managers on a scale of 1–10 when it comes to important factors such as respect, communication, trust, and appreciation.
With all this data reported on regularly, the TPI scorecard provides a centralized system where the PAM operations team can see if the fleet’s drivers are being set up for success. Meanwhile, drivers get access — through their driver managers — to statistics that can help them get more out of their careers at PAM Transport.
Ultimately, the goal of the TPI scorecard is to make information easily available in one place so everyone can get what they need, whether it’s on-time deliveries or more miles.
Getting More Miles or Home Time
With driver miles logged automatically to the TPI scorecard weekly, the tool makes it easy to identify patterns when it comes to paid miles.
For example, everyone who runs dedicated at PAM is supposed to get a certain number of miles per week, depending on their driver peer group. If a driver in a certain peer group with a dedicated lane gets relatively low miles one week, the TPI scorecard tags their record. If it happens again, their driver manager is obligated to call them to work on a solution to their low miles issue.
Or, a driver could use his or her successful TPI scorecard ratings to lobby for a shift from OTR to a dedicated lane. The idea of transferring a driver with a great track record to a dedicated route will always appeal to operations.
Developing Driver-Driver Manager Relationships
PAM driver managers are required to walk their drivers through their TPI scorecards weekly. Drivers can use these check-ins as occasions to talk about areas where they want help or that they want to work on. With a concrete list of things to focus on, it helps make the driver-driver manager relationship a lot simpler — and successful.
“It’s a tool for the driver managers to reach out to their drivers, build those relationships, and coach them on many levels, which include service, fuel, safety, and miles,” says Jon Tomandao, PAM’s project team leader and Expedited Van Services operations manager.
“I’ll sit down and talk to anyone and tell them exactly what I can do to help them because I want them to get better paychecks,” says Killian Naughton, PAM’s Ford lane manager. “And, if I don’t know, I’ll call another driver. For example, I have two drivers who are experts at everything, and I’ll call them and say, ‘Hey, can you talk to this driver? Can I give them your number or walk me through this so I can walk them through it?’ ”
Holding Driver Managers Accountable
In the event that a driver’s relationship with his or her manager isn’t ideal, the driver manager survey that’s part of the TPI scorecard is a chance for a driver to speak up and provides a strong basis for making any necessary changes.
Every week, Fred Meek, PAM’s Driver Retention Coordinator, picks a driver manager and asks 15 of their drivers to rate them using a survey. They get to score their managers on a scale of 1–10 on a series of questions, as well as register any comments about their driver manager’s performance.
If a driver feels like they aren’t getting what they need from their driver manager, they are encouraged to note that in the survey and are welcome to appeal to Fred. But even if they don’t approach him, Fred analyzes the survey information to identify driver-driver manager matches that don’t seem to be working so he can try to help.
Beyond individual driver-driver manager relationships, the TPI Scorecard also gives Fred a system for analyzing PAM’s driver managers’ performance overall. Currently, 25 out of 28 driver managers at PAM are rated “Good” or better per the TPI scorecard, which means that things are working pretty well — and that the areas that need work have been identified and are being addressed.
“We operate under the belief that you are more likely to stay at a company if you like who you work for,” says Fred. “Every driver is extremely important to us and we work very hard to ensure that no driver leaves the company due to a poor relationship with their manager.”