Trucking company drives toward a brighter future
Alfredo Tumacder III is CEO of Acro Transport Logistics Network Inc., one of the country’s fastest-growing trucking companies that was inspired by the computerized operations of airports. From the time he founded Acro in 2008, he has grown the organization to a team of 500 with 200 trucks and eight logistics facilities. Here, he talks about what the company did to survive 2020.
Q: What new major strategy issues did you suddenly had to address during the COVID-19 crisis?
A: We strengthened our safety management policies and strictly monitored fast compliance to the safety measures of our company. Three shifts of safety officers were deployed in all our yards to set new standards and ensure proper observance of COVID-19 protocols. Our HSSE (health, safety, security and environment) department collected data and shared information through our digital platform called Acro News. Compliance, reminders, safety violations, preventive measures, random test results were published.
We implemented sleep-at-work programs. Sleeping quarters were built to protect our employees from exposures to coronavirus. We likewise provided shuttle services for exclusive use of our employees in going home on weekends. Office spaces were redesigned to create safe compartments for the employees. By implementing these strategy issues, our employees felt comfortable, confident and safe to go to work.
Q: How did you strike a balance between the need to conserve cash and continuing to develop the market to protect revenue and profit?
A: We streamlined our operation by reducing the number of personnel in our management and administration department due to reduced transport requirements of our clients.
Employees who chose to stop working due to lockdown were not replaced. Jobs that can be done at home were allowed, resulting in reduced electric and water bills. Tractor heads that consistently needed repairs were sold. Cash resources were channeled to support customers with very good paying history, enabling our company to limit cash exposure. Transport services to our major clients were monitored closely to maximize revenue generation.
Q: What will you invest more into this 2021? What will you be spending less on?
A: Acrotrans will replace our old tractor heads with brand-new units to lower fuel consumption, repairs and maintenance cost, and avoid breakdowns on the road that delays delivery of goods.
Acrotrans will invest in more warehouse facilities and transport hubs with sleeping and rest areas. We will also invest in developing multimedia materials to document our company development and milestones; create training programs that will enable us to execute excellent transport and warehouse management services; and customized supply chain solutions for our clients.
We will spend less on labor and training costs by leveraging on our multimedia training materials, which we have proven to be more effective.
Q: What top three business decisions were you most proud of making during the COVID-19 crisis?
A: 1) We are proud to say that our financial obligations to banks are continuously paid on time.
2) Cost of things needed to control the spread of COVID-19 such as vitamins, alcohol, masks and random antigen testing are shouldered by our company. Free transport services extended to employees with no transport resources. Sleeping quarters and free meals are provided to employees manning our accounting and fleet departments.
3) Business expansions continue despite the pandemic. We put up an 11,500-square meter warehouse for Cemex South Sales Operation. We also started two more warehouse services for Century Pacific in Taguig City and Silang, Cavite. Fifty brand-new trailers were purchased to supplement our drop and swap transport innovation.
Q: In hindsight, if you could change one business decision you made in 2020, what would that be and why?
A: I regret extending longer payments terms to some of our principals who failed to settle their accounts. —CONTRIBUTED
Josiah Go is the chair and chief innovation strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc.
For complete Q&A, please visit www.josiahgo.com. Tumacder is part of Mansmith’s 55-video Business Model Course available online at Continuum Academy. He will also speak in the 1st Mansmith Business Model Conference on Jan. 19-20, 2021.
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