Dennis Wilmot President & CEO
When I did a search in both Google and Bing the first replies for both were Physicians For Social Responsibility. I doubt many who are reading this article are familiar with Physicians for Social Responsibility, but you are or soon will be familiar with Precision Schedule Railroading.
That is the new strategy for the railroad industry in North America
The late E. Hunter Harrison was the primary proponent and change agent for PSR starting with the Illinois Central, then the CN, CP and now CSXT. Most recently both Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern have indicated they are adopting the PSR strategy into their organizations, although both have also said they have a different approach for deploying the changes. Can they avoid the customer-backlash, service catastrophes, loss of business (even if somewhat temporary) and other negatives that have been the pattern of all other shifts to PSR?
Do you as a shipper have any options or choices to minimize the negatives and take advantage of the positives of this move to PSR? Consider these suggestions.
Stay in contact with your carrier representatives. The more you talk and the more you learn, the earlier you can learn about upcoming changes and prepare to manage them.
Look for ways to take advantage of what PSR purports to offer, more consistent and reliable service.
Expect the unexpected. Be prepared to be surprised; that can lesson the blow and allow a quicker and less emotional response.
Reduce your dependence on direct help from the carrier. Some things you can expect, like fewer contacts at the carrier and a push to automation, including automated help.
Research available technology and systems that can aid managing your own rail logistics. (This goes somewhat hand-in-hand with the above, to take more control of your logistics.)
Plan for less flexibility. One of the hallmarks of PSR is locking in service plans and schedules and minimizing deviations and exceptions.
PSR is coming. You can argue its value but not avoid its impact. It is better to prepare and learn how to take advantage of what it offers and to deal with its negatives than to let it take control of you and your business.
To discuss further give me a call at 330-617-4104 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.