Training Top 125 Best Practice: ArcBest’s Truckload Phase Training
To meet ArcBest’s strategic goals of increasing shipment counts across the company and improving profitability, the ArcBest Training and Development group implemented a multi-phase training program for all new employees in the Truckload division.
With this approach, new employees filling customer support specialist, truckload fulfillment coordinator, solutions coordinator, and truckload account manager positions receive training in smaller, easier-to-comprehend segments. These segments are delivered via a blended approach that includes instructor-led classes and on-the-job training that allows new employees to develop the knowledge required to succeed in their position and the positions that support their roles.
A majority of ArcBest’s new employees do not have prior experience in the transportation industry. The amount of content covered during new employee training can be overwhelming and can cause low retention rates. ArcBest’s multi-phase new employee training program aims to increase retention and speed up the time to proficiency for new employees.
- Phase 1 of the new employee training program begins with employees receiving training on company history and orientation information, basic transportation industry knowledge, transportation terminology, and the IT systems necessary for their position. Job shadowing and daily tasks for the on-the-job portion of this training include completing shipment status updates, transit tracking updates, and the communication with carriers that is required for this role.
- Phase 2 provides employees with training on fulfillment strategies, the negotiations process, and carrier relations. Job shadowing and daily tasks for the on-the-job portion of this training include making calls to carriers and securing their services for transporting shipments, negotiating rates for carrier services, and building business relationships with carriers that will result in them becoming trusted business partners with ArcBest. At the end of the second phase, employees must pass the Operational Readiness Test with a score of 90 percent or above before moving to Phase 3. Currently, employees have a 100 percent success rate on passing this test.
- Phase 3 provides employees with training on all of the solutions ArcBest offers its customers, the account development process, and pricing strategies. Job shadowing and daily tasks for the on-the-job portion of this training include speaking with customers and becoming trusted consultants on ArcBest solutions, completing customer-requested quotes, and providing account support to truckload account managers.
- Phase 4 provides employees with training on the ArcBest sales process and keys to sales success necessary for the truckload account manager role. Job shadowing and daily tasks for the on-the-job portion of this training includes planning call blocks, effective time management, prospecting and lead develoment, and completing sales calls.
As a result of this training, ArcBest saw its Truckload and Truckload – Dedicated solutions increase year-over-year shipments for January through June 30, 2017, by 17.1 percent.