Many times so far in my articles i touch the topics of management in a transport company. On the example of operator models in public transport (operator which is only realiese contract). I showed, on the example of operators model public transport, how important the issues of competitive advantage is. Today, a little bit more about the steps to obtain it, from the perspective of the management method in the organization.
Technology – an element of the organization
The companies we work for are mostly made up of people. They are still the pillar of its activity. Although we are witnessing the next technological revolution, called 4.0, human has still of strategy importance. The progressive replacement of workstations by modern machines and production lines is a fact. For example, at Newag Nowy Sącz, despite a 12-fold increase in turnover over the last 10 years, employment was reduced by approx. 500 people. Technology is one pillar of competitive advantage. Necessary to achieve production efficiency and minimize costs.
Human – the pillar of the organization
Same a human needs two legs to stay stable and move, a company also needs, apart from technology, efficient management as the second important pillar. We spend most of our daily activity at work, thats why is so important to us, in what environment, what kind of people surround us, what values are the people around us. Our work has a incredibly large impact on our physical condition, but above all mental. It doesn’t matter what profession we do, whether we make pancakes or software for Mars robots. The most important thing is that we do it well. In means as an employees, managers or owners, depending on the function in organization.
Working in a given company, we are a member of a certain community. During the period of our work, often for many years in one place, we create strong interpersonal relationships that are necessary to build the value of the entire organization. As well as interpersonal communication and it’s quality, trust is so important. It is this aspect that I would like to devote a little more attention today.
Leader in the organization – today
Unfortunately, in the current reality of the operation of many companies, the structure is concentrated around one leader. The problem with this type of structure is that the leader must knows on everyone aspects of the company’s operations. It is impossible to achieve. In an modern approach, the leader is elected in natural process, from the group of experts on a given topic.
The leader as a lonely player
Just like the same in the football team, even the biggest star alone can’t win the match. Also lonely leader, president, director or manager in his company. Acting in the system whitch reserves all available knowledges, technologys, news and information only for a small group of people in the organization, in this case the development of employeee’s is almost compleatly inhibitited.
Lack of trust – that’s the basis of the problem
The basic problem in today’s organizations that, as I mentioned, are created by people is the lack of trust. It cause that employees don’t have the opportunity to gain knowledge, qualifications, development, or the chance to make mistakes. They exist three models of delegating tasks to employees based on the totaly diffrent aproach principle of trust:
- order to perform a task – the necessity to prepare an action plan and it’s presentation before implementation, ongoing control at every stage of operation,
- post-execution control,
- ordering to achieve specific results, settlement not of the performed task but of the achieved results.
Of course, it istn’t that on the first day in a new company, we jump automaticly on the highest level. We have to go through all levels while showing our skills, building trust to us at the same time. This is a model situation. Unfortunately, many companies still have the so-called a farm management model, where employees are only there to perform assigned tasks. In this case, we aren’t talking about trust, and so more about development.
Building a relationship is the basis
Management a modern company (we try slowly to change this model), first of all, we build relationships. They show and build trust, so they like to implement the 3rd level of the delegation tasks model. In order to build our employees, we provide them with incentives for development and creativity, thanks to which they have a very wide field to expand their experiance and knowledge.
So what is the competitive advantage in a transport company whitch make of use it the above-mentioned rules ? By giving a simple example, I will try to explain it. Suppose we have to use with a private transport operator. It functions on the market based on won tender procedures.
Farm management model
Model 1 – farmhouses management or management focused around a leader or a very small group of employees. Commisioning tasks and checking their performance.
- All knowledge and experience are concentrated around a narrow group of people who don’t share it.
- Access to training, new technologies, the experience of others aren’t available to subordinate employees.
- Everyday experience of employee’s who have contact with drivers, technology and enviromental doesn’t flow to managers.
- The knowledge of the management is only rudimentary, selective and not very extensive knowledge resulting from the reports received.
In this model, employees are puppets who only perform assigned tasks.Currently i can compare this this to automation process of human figure. This process try to swich off the thinking. In the initial phase, fear, then indifference and at the end of dislike and hate, turn off the willingness in employees.
A farm management model in a transport company
How, then, can we require employees to be the company’s hope and to win next tenders? The world of technology is changing very fast. The requirement’s of the contracting authorities are changing (submission of a detailed offer with very specific calculations of ingredients), it is necessary to adapt to the new EU directives (electromobility). There is a reason why new vehicles, new technologies and solutions are tested. In 90%, not to use them today, but to gather experience, knowledge and later minimize the risk of error in calculating the rate per km. In order to create a competitive advantage worth at least 1 grosz of the rate. You can answer that there are people at high levels in the company who are responsible for it. Of course. But it should be remembered that the principle of open discussion and comments in an open forum is always better. In addition, it should be remembered that people who have direct contact with the product have the greatest knowledge about it.
Trust based management model
Model 2 – management by relations.
- Trust as a fundamental value in human relations.
- Building employee value through their development.
- The ability to perform tasks on your own – allowing you to broaden your knowledge and experience much more.
- Creating zone possibility of making a mistake, but also working out a method of joint drawing conclusions and fixing.
- Covering all employees with this model of operation.
Trust based management model in transport company
How does this management model in the company translate into day-to-day operations? Taking further as an example, participation and winning in tenders for the provision of transport services as the basis for the further operation of the company. Employees who mostly choose their workplace consciously, apart from the implementation of the current contract, are up to date with the progressing market.
You can test them if you don’t have electric gas buses in your fleet, which are considered green according to the EU directive. By gaining knowledge of their construction, specificity, necessary infrastructure, service requirements. In order to gain this knowledge, a conscious manager includes his employees in the tests of this vehicle. They participate in the presentation, product and service training, visit the factory and meet the people responsible for it. It is based on the trust of the managing person that such an open attitude including them in the process will increase their knowledge, competences, and activate the process of curiosity and development. The knowledge gained in this way doesn’t build an advantage over your superior, to replace / win him after some time, but in order for the organization to achieve a competitive advantage as a whole through the sum of the value of its employees.
Management through trust as the key to creating a competitive advantage
The ongoing changes in the public transport market are already forcing changes within the organization. Some of the companies have undergone profound changes, from centrally managed by absolute monarchs to those in the 20th century standard. Unfortunately, the road is still long and bumpy. Everything I described above cannot be implemented in a few weeks or months, it is a long process. It should be remembered that the growing requirements of ordering services force the operators to change internally in order to adapt and also to look ahead. It is impossible to build the company’s position without building the value of employees who will testify to its value today and in the future. It cannot be done from a position of strength and permanent control. In doing so, one should count lost opportunities and opportunities by wasting human potential. Only by building long-term relationships based on trust, it can be expected that on the basis of employees’ competences developed, it will be possible to create a competitive advantage over time. Not counted in savings achieved on employees’ remuneration, but achieved as a result of experience and skills of people who applied them in practice, made real improvements.