Training is one of the most important components to setting new brokerage employees up for success. The transportation industry is extremely nuanced and freight brokers play a very specific role; new entrants need training in everything from basic industry knowledge to day-to-day operations to industry-specific jargon…unfortunately, this training is often overlooked. While a crash course on load boards may be enough to book a truck here and there, brokerages really need comprehensive training programs to help their employees grow into their roles.
More Profitable Employees, More Quickly
The first area where training shows its value is employee ramp time. While an abbreviated training process might be a quick way to get bodies on the brokerage floor, they won’t be very productive or profitable bodies. Think of the untrained carrier rep trying to book a truck - haphazardly calling off of load boards, overpaying for questionable carriers, and taking trucks that will never make it to the shipper by the set appointment time.
Alternatively, employees who have gone through a well-thought-out training program will have a stronger foundation of industry-specific knowledge, which they will be able to apply to become more profitable, more quickly. With better training, that same carrier rep will have a more strategic approach to sourcing capacity, better-negotiating skills, and improved carrier vetting abilities to ensure trucks arrive at shippers on time. On its face, the result is a single employee ramping up more quickly, but improved training also leads to fewer problems and more profit across the entire company.
A Foundation for Long-Term Success
Next, training instills behaviors that lead to increased long-term productivity. A brokerage floor is a hotbed for bad habits that lead to short-term wins but are a long-term detriment to both the individual employee and the company as a whole. For example, look at how frequently brokers turn to load boards, rather than taking the time to source carriers correctly. It’s a common practice, but brokers that rely exclusively on the “post and pray” method of sourcing capacity soon find out that they haven’t built a reliable carrier network.
In contrast, a more thorough approach to training helps mitigate this risk and sets your employees up for long-term success. Brokers who have actually been trained on how to source carriers and the reasoning behind those procedures are much more likely to adhere to best practices. They learn about their carrier’s lanes, build better relationships, increase their carrier usage statistics, and ultimately become more successful brokers.
Consistencies That Help You Scale
Finally, a strong initial training program helps create consistent behaviors that are more easily supervised and much easier to scale. No matter your business - manufacturing, retail, service provider, etc. - standardization is a key component to growth. Without operational consistencies, companies become inefficient and plateau at a certain level.
As an example, brokerage employees should be trained on standard procedures for picking up at new locations. For instance, regardless of the information provided by a customer, the broker will call the location to confirm their address, shipping hours, contact information, reference numbers, etc., and then update that information in their TMS. This process ensures that every person touching that load has all of the information they need to do their jobs correctly. Without it, you risk having trucks go to the wrong address, show up outside shipping windows, pick up the wrong load, and a plethora of other problems that could have been avoided. Your training process is what lays the groundwork for proper operating procedures that help your company scale.
Training: The Best Investment You Might Not Be Making
Although training employees can be a time-consuming process, the time spent training and developing employees is never time wasted. The initial training received by employees lays the initial framework for how the employee is going to perform throughout their tenure at your company. Do it right and set your employees (and your company as a whole) up for success. Do it wrong and end up with an office full of bad habits and inconsistencies that inhibit your ability to scale.
To learn more about ways to set your brokerage up for success, download our latest guide.