Driver/route manager councils brainstorm solutions
Improving operations support to customers
FT. MYERS, Fla. If you’ve heard anything about WM’s Service Delivery Optimization (SDO),you know it has a lot to do with good communications. New technologies like onboard computers and DriveCam are now in all WM sites and trucks. The idea is to free up managers to spend more time talking with their drivers rather than getting bogged down by paperwork.
Two new employee councils were created to do the same thing: encourage idea sharing. The Driver Council consists of 17 drivers, one from each Area, who were selected by their Area leadership using Driver of the Year criteria as a guideline. The Route Manager (RM) Council includes 13 participants also selected by their Area leadership. All represent Areas that have or are currently implementing SDO. As the implementation continues across the organization, other RMs will join this group during the year.
Each council has met once and separately this year. At the first RM Council meeting on May 6 and 7 at the WM Training Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., RMs talked about:
- Customers and the new challenges RMs face to deliver superior service
- The strong connection among safety, SDO and service
- Clarifying their job description so they can be more effective leaders
- An action plan and next steps to improve communications with dispatchers and standardize operations support
“Even though we are from different market areas, we face the same challenges in our jobs. This council will help WM in the future by redefining and standardizing the RM role across the Areas and assist in streamlining the communication between the departments,” said Greer Edwards, route manager in Rockdale, Ill.
Drivers’ voices, too, are being heard through their own council. The group first met in December 2012 with WM’s senior leadership team and has gathered several times since then. A new group of drivers was selected for 2014. Drivers have weighed in on how best to train new drivers, how DriveCam and SDO is working and how they like to receive company communications.
“Hearing directly from our employees about how the company can grow and improve is powerful. These new councils are helping WM achieve its transformation goals and align everyone’s understanding of those goals by tapping into and sharing the knowledge, ideas and experiences of our employees,” said Mark Schwartz, SVP Human Resources. “Some great ideas have already been generated by these teams.”
The second meeting of both councils is planned for this summer.
PHOTO: Driver Council in front of the WM Training Center in Fla.: (L-R) Back row, Bo Rickard, WI/MN/Dakotas; Ron Kertcherside, Southern Calif.; Roberto Garcia, Fla.; Teddy Cranford, WPA/WVA/MD/VA; Ken Divoll, New England/NY; Rick Skorupsky, Greater Mid Atlantic; Micky Webber, Northern Calif.; Bart Fivecoate, MI/OH/IN; Dennis Hicks, South Atlantic; Front row, Rory Holland, Eastern Canada; Jay Harris, ATAK; Eric Jones, Four Corners; Phil Potter, IL/MO Valley.