One thing that makes Bennett stand out from other transportation companies is the fact that the company truly cares about its owner-operators and wants them to succeed. That sentiment begins with the company’s leadership and runs throughout the entire organization.
In fact, Bennett Motor Express has a Driver Care Team that offers one-on-one help and support to BME owner operators at Bennett. The team is comprised of Noah Foulks and Linda Bruce.
Foulks said that when he goes into a driver orientation training class, he explains to new contractors that Bennett is a one-stop shop for drivers.
“We try to create a place where they (owner operators) can call in and ask questions,” he said. “Or if they have any issues, we are here to fix the problem or guide them to the right person or department.”
The team can be especially helpful for new owner operators who are still trying to learn Bennett’s processes.
“Anytime you come into a new system like Bennett, there can definitely be some hiccups in learning the process,” Foulks added.
The Driver Care Team helps keep those hiccups at a minimum. Bruce explained that initially the team started more than 20 years ago when a retired, veteran driver took on a supportive role called contractor relations – a liaison between the drivers and other members of the company staff in supporting departments such as dispatch and settlements. Since then that role has evolved into what is now called The Driver Care Team. Bruce and Foulks have both served on the team a couple of years now.
Foulks said common inquiries include those in technology and settlements.
He also said that for things to flow smoothly, it’s important for a driver’s paperwork to be completed correctly. For example, when it comes to Bill of Ladings, load numbers and addresses must be correct. Since this information is trackable, the team takes on a proactive role. Foulks said by monitoring reports, they can quickly see potential flags in the paperwork and can be proactive in rectifying any potential problems before they escalate and cause difficulties for the owner operator.
In addition, a care team member contacts Bennett’s new owner-operators at the 30-day mark and the 90-day mark for feedback, and that feedback is very important to the company.
The 30-day contact includes a series of questions that pertain things like safety, technology, and the overall operations of the company. At 90 days the questions are more specific to operations and to get a feel for how things are going for owner operator. Driver pay is always a big concern, and the company sets revenue goals and tracks those goals to ensure the owner operator will meet his or her targeted amount.
Bruce said customer care has always been number one at Bennett – both internal and external.
“This is customer care with our drivers,” Bruce said. “It’s all about keeping the drivers happy. If it weren’t for the drivers we wouldn’t be here.”