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Benchmarking Best Practice Groups


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At the pinnacle of the benchmarking spectrum are TCA's Best Practice Groups. These groups are comprised of the top executives from 12-14 non-competitive companies with similar operating concerns and challenges. For example, all of the members of a certain study group may be refrigerated carriers, but each member operates in different lanes or  sub-specialties, so there’s no competitive conflict between the members of a group.

The similarities between the members of the group ensure that they share common concerns, yet the diversity of the members leads to sharing multiple skill sets and different approaches to resolving those shared concerns.

By not having competitors in the same group, members are much more comfortable sharing financial statistics and best business practices, as well as being likely to share more detailed and timely information than they would with a direct competitor in the same room.

Although the overall logistics behind the group meetings are managed by TCA and its professional meeting facilitator(s), most details including the meeting formats, locations, schedules and topics are determined by the group members themselves. Acceptance of new members is also determined by the existing group members.

Make no mistake; being part of a group is a major, long-term commitment. Membership requires a significant investment of time, effort and money. But over and over again, group participants have found the ROI to be both quick and dramatic.

“One tip learned in a group meeting has consistently saved us over $100,000 per month.
— Group member after attending his first few meetings.

To participate in a Best Practice Group, the first step is to fill out a carrier profile containing demographic information about your operations. A TCA staff member will review that information to match you with the most appropriate group, while ensuring there won’t be any competitive interests within the group. Once this is done, staff will guide the prospective member through the process of generating the financial reports used in the group meetings.

After a potential match is determined, the prospective member will attend the group’s next meeting (usually held 2-3 times per year) as a guest, enabling the existing group members to determine how well the prospect would fit within the group. Once accepted by a group, your company’s owner or senior executive is expected to be an active participant in each of the group’s meetings.

Successful involvement in a Best Practice Group isn’t a spectator event, and participation can’t be delegated.

On a continuing basis, each group member prepares and submits key financial data from a prior quarter. That data is then compiled into a scorecard report showing the performance of every member in the group, and shared within the group.

“In the history of trucking, I’ve never been to a more powerful meeting.”
— Prospective group member after attending a meeting as a guest.

To receive a sample composite scorecard, contact TCA's Sean Townsend at stownsend@truckload.org. It takes benchmarking to a higher level than the more typical anonymous benchmarks. By knowing where each group member ranks on specific performance indicators, new members and/or members with lower ranking can seek out one-on-one mentoring from the top-ranking members, in addition to what’s shared and learned in the group meetings.

Prior to each group meeting, TCA’s meeting facilitator will poll the group to gather a list of the members’ most-pressing, current concerns. Once the top concerns are identified, more detailed input on each of those concerns is collected, and then this information, along with the most recent financial reports, gets used to frame the agenda for the group meeting. 

To start participating, complete a carrier profile form

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