Strategy and Implementation Summary
Timely Trucking will focus its strategy on the following areas:
- Establishing a strong software/Web component to its business to drive adoption of its preferred client services
- Building and maintaining its on-time reputation to command revenue per mile slightly over the industry average
- Targeting manufacturers in Oregon and Washington in the first wave of marketing as the segment most in need of Timely Trucking’s services
Timely Trucking will establish a competitive edge through its dogged focus on on-time deliveries for its specific target market. Software systems, communication systems, operational choices and marketing materials will all be oriented around this goal. By making customers more assured of on-time delivery with Timely Trucking than with competitors, they will be more likely to use the business overall, as they can never be sure when a few hours can make an incredible difference to their potential revenues or expenses.
Timely Trucking will attempt to rapidly achieve awareness in Oregon and Washington states about its business in the first year, followed with awareness in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana in future years. It will seek to position itself not as the most inexpensive carrier, but as a carrier with the best on-time record coupled with advanced systems to help clients manage their logistics better. Smaller businesses may feel more comfortable working with a smaller carrier as they fear being lost in the shuffle by bigger carriers who also handle huge accounts.
- Building a website with visibility on search engines and in databases of trucking companies (see Web plan)
- Creating a compelling brochure of Timely Trucking services which will be distributed through direct mail, and kept in stock for networking events
- Exhibiting at Northwestern business service conferences, especially for sectors of the manufacturing industry
- Advertisements in trade publications
- Public relations efforts including press releases related to the business launch and its unique preferred client account management package
Jim Kerrigan will manage sales for the business, making appointments with and traveling to client businesses in the region when necessary to establish relationships based on an understanding of the client’s needs for shipping. Kerrigan will prospect from a list of manufacturer businesses in the region, starting with small and new businesses which may not have established a long-term relationship with a carrier yet.
The cost of sales listed here for per-mile shipping is approximately 25% for fuel based on the estimated 10 mpg for loaded trucks, and another 25% for truck driver labor hours that can be assigned to the jobs based on $16/hour rate. Cost of sales for preferred accounts is much smaller as it consists only of set-up and maintenance labor for hourly operators.
Preferred client accounts are paid for once a year and a 90% retention rate is projected.
The milestones table covers the early marketing activities described in the marketing strategy summary. The first two milestones (website and brochure) are budgeted under start-up expenses and the remainder are budgeted under the first year marketing budget for operations.