Thursday, January 15, 2015

Grab a press release, c'mon get happy!

You drivers are a lot better off than you let on. I know because press releases tell me so.

I’ve read thousands (and written a few) over the last 20 years. And every single one has been happier than hell. All are about products, services or fleets that have vastly improved just about everything.

I have never seen a press release with a headline like, “Carbuncle Carrier Implements New Software; Productivity Plummets.” That just doesn’t happen.

So you see, things are obviously getting better and better.

Years ago it was super-comfortable seats and powerful drive trains that reduced driver turnover. Now technology does every task that doesn’t require opposable thumbs, and you drivers are absolutely thrilled.

Don’t try to deny it. Press releases tell us how happy you are to be monitored, evaluated and rated against your fellow drivers as you compete for toaster ovens and lube shop coupons. Own up to it. If you were any happier with your current job, you’d super-glue yourself to the driver's seat.

It’s not just products and services. Things are always looking up in personnel too. I know because the press releases are always about promotions or appointments. I've never seen one that says “Carbuncle Dumps Driver Donovan for Cursing Out OS&D Manager Jones.”

Oh sure, when corporate results tank for 12 consecutive quarters a release might mention a departing top exec, but only to explain he’s leaving to pursue new opportunities and spend more time with his family (wink, wink).

Otherwise, the release will be super positive, all about the well-groomed new president. That will be him in the slick headshot. He’ll be smiling if the fleet still has some cash in the bank or stern-looking if the prosecutor has already hauled off the office computers.

Either way, things will be looking up. They always are in press releases.

It’s true. Looking over 20 years’ worth of press releases, things have just been getting better and better.

In those 1995 press releases, technology had already pushed driver efficiency up by 15 percent! It was the dawn of the web, the very beginning of affordable GPS, and the productivity returns were astounding.

Actually, checking those press releases over the years, it’s clear to me that you drivers have it made.

Adding up the efficiency increases documented in press releases since 1995, some amazing facts become clear.

For example, the fuel efficiency gains cited in press releases for various technologies mean that trucks in 2015 actually produce fuel rather than burning it.

And it’s no wonder. All those productivity improvements reported in all those press releases clearly mean that most if not all of you reach your delivery points immediately after leaving the pickup locations – and sometimes even before.

And it just keeps getting better and better.