Josh Christie is the VP of Marketing & Recruiting at D&L Transport
Change is something not many of us eagerly seek out. After all, there are always unknowns as you’re moving into anything new. Yet, if we don’t step up to new challenges, things will stay the same for better or, more likely, worse. Only with change can we grow.
A case-in-point is when you decided to venture out on your own as a Freight Agent. It was a big change; with the right partnerships, support, and hard work, you made it happen. That’s the forward-thinking leadership needed to take your Agency to the next level. That can mean thoroughly evaluating your current Freight Broker arrangement and, once that’s done, finding a new Freight Agent program that meets your current needs.
Once you’ve found the right Freight Agent program, you’ll need to transition your customers and business to the new Freight Brokerage. Here are the key steps we feel you’ll need to consider as you make that transition.
Step 1 — Find the Right Freight Brokerage
It would be best if you took the time to find the Freight Brokerage that fits your needs. A big part of that search should be verifying that your current customer list can access credit with the new Broker or if they may already have a relationship with the Broker. D&L will readily provide you with the needed information and keep your customer list confidential. Not only that, but you can be sure they will remain your customers if you move to D&L. You’ve put in the sweat equity to grow your business to where it is. Why should you sign over your ownership through non-competes and long-term contracts?
It’s also wise to talk to other Agents. Get their insight into what’s working for them and what they wish they had from the current Freight Broker. It’s also an opportunity to ask them about the transition process. Find out what went smoothly and what needs more of your attention to make sure it happens on-time and without problems.
For further insight, see our blog post on What to Look for in a Freight Agency Program for the six critical factors to consider before any move.
Step 2 — Identify Opportunities for Growth
As you’re exploring the potential new relationship with a Freight Brokerage, make sure you jot down all the things that are attractive, particularly those that will help grow your business. It can be all too easy when going through a transition to merely get back to the status quo. Instead, make sure you take full advantage of new opportunities and benefits. Write them down so they are not forgotten, and then make sure they happen. Think of this as a ‘pros and cons list,’ but with an actionable plan as an outcome.
Step 3 — Build a Schedule of Key Steps
Add to the list of opportunities for growth the steps you need to take to ensure the transition is successful. There may well be a few challenges encountered that you did not anticipate. But, for the most part, you should be able to plan the essential steps, outline when they should happen, list who is responsible, and consult that schedule often to ensure everything is covered and on track. Referencing this list during each customer transition allows you to evaluate ongoing process improvements impacting your customers and ultimately lead to a better customer experience.
Step 4 — Agreement Review
You’ll need to review agreements with your new Freight Broker carefully. Your attorney and tax accountant should also be a part of this review. No doubt, questions will arise as the agreement is fully vetted. Take the time to make sure you have all the answers you need to move forward into what should be a long-term relationship.
Step 5 — Contact Your Customers
This includes everyone involved within your customer’s organization. It’s essential to reach all those that could be affected by the change. This ensures they are on board with the move and paying particular attention to anything that could inadvertently fall through the cracks. Map out the transition process for them so that they feel they know everything about the change and the expected impact on their shipments.
Some customers will require new agreements with the new Freight Brokers. Make sure all of this is addressed with every one of your customers so that the transition happens without hitting any obstacles. Here at D&L Transport, staff are available to help with this review.
Also, make sure you point out the benefits of this change to your customers. That could mean access to more Carriers and capacity, higher credit lines, and better technology. After all, this is not only a win for your Agency but a big win for your customers.
Step 6 — Brief Your Staff
Make sure your staff members are all up-to-speed on the expected changes and when they will happen. Pay particular attention to how your employees will be affected. You want them fully on board for all the changes. Plus, they will need to make quite a few adjustments in their daily routine and processes. Help them map out these changes to ensure they are accomplished on time.
Still Not Sure a Change is Right for Your Agency?
Only you know when the time is right to make a change. Transitioning your customers is a critical step in moving your Agency. Having a Broker with the knowledge, expertise, and experience to walk you through each step of the process is key to avoiding any customer disruptions in the process. Learn more about our 5 Step Process to Transitioning.
We offer a free trial. That’s right. You can take us for a test drive. Try using us for a few loads a week, with no strings attached. We feel strongly that a test drive can provide the insight and confidence you need to make the transition.
We’re biased. We feel that our Freight Agency program is the best in the business. To see for yourself, look at our Agent Opportunities page. You can also hear directly from our successful Agents. Then, get in touch, and we can get started.
Call toll-free: 866.559.0203. Or complete the form at D&L Agent Requirements.
D&L Transport. Your Family in Freight.