Sunday, June 30, 2013

Will Monday Morning, July 1, be Y2K All Over Again?

The fear mongering that has gone on about the hours of service (HOS) changes taking effect on Monday remind me a lot of the Y2K fear.  For those who were around then remember the TV networks showing every major city in the world as Y2K hit?  The idea was to see if the lights all turned out, the computers shut down and some sort of Mad Max - Beyond The Thunderdome scenario would start?

Well, here we are again.  The transportation industry believes the world is coming to an end when the hours of service are installed on Monday.  And, as in Y2K and in CSA, it will be a big thud as it relates to the scare tactics.  I have heard everything from 10% capacity reductions to almost 0 so even the "experts" appear to be making this up.

And, of course, all estimates assume perfect productivity today, perfect execution today and that there is no way for the transportation companies to improve productivity - through efficiency - to offset any reduction due to HOS.  They essentially assume perfection and tell the shipper to be ready to pay up.

As one example of how ridiculous this argument is, this blog claims it will mean "15 minutes of lost productivity per driver per week" as if this is a catastrophe.  Is our industry really working at such efficiency levels that we cannot possibly overcome a 15 minute loss in productivity?

I have said this before and I will continue to say it - our industry seems to have lost the desire and ability to drive productivity.  Part of this is because we blame all these external issues for our problems. Stop looking at the externalities and start looking for ways to improve.  Once we change our mindset to actually look at what we can do we may be surprised that we can actually make dramatic, 10x level changes in productivity.  

For those who still think this is a train wreck and continue to predict the ruin of civilization as we know it due to hours of service, I offer you a scene from Mad Max:

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