With a new online platform, the Truckload Carriers Association is introducing members to the benefits of benchmarking as a way to capture industry data and boost their profitability.
While it’s not unusual for associations to offer benchmarking products to their members, the Truckload Carriers Association is taking a tiered approach to its program offerings.
TCA inGauge allows members to get involved with benchmarking without the commitment of joining a specific group or sharing your data with specific group members.
The TCA Profitability Program, run using the inGauge online platform, is an outgrowth of the organization’s Best Practice Groups, which were established in 2002 to connect eight to 14 peer companies and allow them to share their successes and challenges to help each other improve. But, as the program’s growth stalled in recent years, TCA saw an opportunity to try something new.
“One of the ways that TCA considered to really boost up the growth was to build an online platform that basically leveraged the data, as well as some of the qualitative knowledge that they built up since 2002 with those groups,” TCA inGauge Program Manager Chris Henry said. “… From a big-picture point of view, TCA inGauge allows members to get involved with benchmarking without the commitment of joining a specific group or sharing your data with specific group members.”
The ultimate goal of the new program is for members to become comfortable with sharing their company’s data in an anonymous peer group, so that they will eventually move up the tiers and become part of a Best Practice Group. “The online platform is the compromise that will allow them to acclimate to the process and get motivated to take it another step,” Henry said.
In tier one, Digital Composite Lite, members can input a limited amount of their own data and receive basic data points on the industry—creating a comparative, anonymous peer group. Results can be filtered based on geography, operations, and other factors.
In tier two, FastStart, members input a greater amount of information to receive more detailed, but still anonymous, industry data. They can also access a forecasting tool and project management platform to track, predict, and create action plans around certain metrics.
In the third tier, members receive all benefits of the FastStart program, but they also become part of a specific Best Practice Group, which meets in-person several times each year and is set based on the carrier type. At this level, the benchmarking program eliminates anonymity.
“It’s a very dynamic atmosphere,” Henry said. “People that you would think would be ultra-competitive with each other are actually telling each other how to improve on any one of a million different processes and buying behavior and those kinds of things.”
The cost of joining the program depends on the tier members choose as well as the size of the company’s truck fleet.
“The TPP is going to be the catalyst for truckload carriers who seek to be the very best,” President John Lyboldt said in a press release. “The trucking industry is constantly changing, so the more certainty that carriers can maintain during times of major change, the easier it is for them not only to get through these times unscathed, but to remain highly profitable.”