HBR: Your Sales Training Is Probably Lackluster. Here’s How to Fix It

Have you ever used NRLA’s Learning Management System (LMS) for online technology training? Do you have your Certified Building Materials Specialist (CBMS) designation? If not, your company may be missing out. Below is a blog from the Harvard Business Review by Frank V. Cespedes and Yuchun Lee:

Your Sales Training Is Probably Lackluster. Here’s How to Fix It

U.S. companies spend over $70 billion annually on training, and an average of $1,459 per salesperson — almost 20 percent more than they spend on workers in all other functions. Yet, when it comes to equipping sales teams with relevant knowledge and skills, the ROI of sales training is disappointing. Studies indicate that participants in traditional curriculum-based training forget more than 80 percent of the information they were taught within 90 days.

As alarming as those numbers are, they shouldn’t come as a surprise if you consider how sales training is usually conducted. On-boarding, for example, is usually a one-off session in which reps are expected to absorb large amounts of information in a limited amount of time. Then, further training is usually limited to new production introductions or annual “kick-off” meetings to set quotas, where reps are flown in, given information and marching orders, and “fired-up” by a motivational speaker or exercise (more hot coals, anyone?). Further, on the off-chance that training is consistent and continuous, reps aren’t usually provided with coaching or given serious performance evaluations during which development (not only compensation) is discussed.

Although curriculum-based training — classroom-type courses typically focused on a selling methodology and activities like time management — has its place, it should only be treated as a foundation.

To increase retention and effectiveness, companies should offer reps additional training at times of need, provide them with access to supplemental material that reinforces what they’ve already been taught, and allow them opportunities to practice their skills in time frames connected to actual buying processes. They can do so by using the same technologies that are “disrupting” their customer-contact activities: videos and mobile apps that reps can view on their devices before, during, and after training initiatives.

In addition to providing reps with easier and timelier access to information, videos and apps improve comprehension when someone hears information, they remember about 10% of it three days later, but, when a picture is added, retention increases to 65%.

Here are some ways to incorporate better technology into training:

Before. Salespeople must learn about strategy and sales tasks at your firm, not only a generic sales methodology. They must learn how other functions affect, and are affected by, selling activities: for example, product management, marketing, pre-sale application support, and post-sale service. They don’t need to know how to do those jobs. But increasingly they do need to know what those jobs are and how they affect customers.

Because of this, on-boarding should be treated as an on-going process, not a one-off event. This can be achieved through a smart combination of on-site and on-demand videos that can be used anytime and anywhere while delivering consistent messages to your reps.

Consider Salesforce Commerce Cloud. To supplement their quarterly “boot camps” for new hires, the company uses a mobile platform to give sales reps access to the most relevant content, product positioning, and messaging. As one new rep testified, the videos quickly brought her up to speed on company messaging and customer stories. As a result, she felt more connected to Sales Commerce Cloud and confident in her corporate knowledge and relevant sales tasks before her start date.

During: In order for reps to develop new behavioral skills, they must practice a behavior multiple times before it becomes comfortable and effective. And it has to be related to a relevant task. If salespeople are motivated by a deal, they’ll be more incentivized to learn. In other words, in order for training to be effective, you’ll need to deliver the content at a time of need.

Technology can help make this happen, allowing reps to continuously learn from mobile content that is customized to their needs. When combined with traditional training, this approach helps reps turn product, market, and selling factoids into coherent narratives and behavioral models.

For example, Pacific Life Insurance Company, which sells insurance, retirement products, and mutual funds to financial advisors via its field wholesalers, uses video coaching. This allows its wholesalers to record their practice pitches and share them with their regional sales managers (RSMs), who give feedback from their mobile devices when and where reps need it. This helps Pacific Life leverage its scarcest resource: face time with advisers.

Additionally, each wholesaler must articulate a positioning statement for a particular investment product via a five-minute video. Regional sales managers then select the best videos and use them as examples of engaging sales presentations. This helps the wholesalers refine, rather than improvise, their presentations, established best practices, and creates consistency. It also builds confidence in reps, increases their competency, and establishes continuous improvement process.

After. Like other professionals, salespeople improve by identifying specific areas where they must improve and then receiving clear feedback on performance. Feedback is crucial to getting people to practice the right things, eliminate bad or outdated habits, set priorities, and clarify accountabilities owned by the rep versus the manager or the firm — all keys to effective sales leadership.

Technology can help extend the reach of good sales managers. Pacific Life, for example, faces an increasingly common challenge: How can sales managers effectively coach a geographically-dispersed salesforce while minimizing time taken out of the field for training? Mobile video coaching has allowed RSMs to coach wholesalers without the need to be in the same time zone. It also enables managers to identify potential weaknesses and improve wholesalers’ message delivery, rather than have them practice on advisers.

 

Unlike many today, we do not intend to oversell the power of technology. Selling is not reducible to a two-minute YouTube video or a 17-minute TED talk, and managers who can’t or won’t do coaching and performance reviews will be ineffective regardless of the technologies they employ. Since companies already spend a ton on sales training, the leverage resides in how you spend that time and money, not how much.

 

 

Original Page: https://hbr.org/2017/06/your-sales-training-is-probably-lackluster-heres-how-to-fix-it

 

HBR: How One Fast-Food Chain Keeps Its Turnover Rates Absurdly Low

In this blog post Bill Taylor explains why Pal’s Sudden Service has a low turnover. They hire for attitude and train for skill. New employees get 120 hours of training before they work on their own. This one is my favorite: employees are given pop quizzes on the specific job they perform. Does your company spend time training, teaching, and coaching? What are your thoughts on pop quizzes from your employer? Is your personal growth keeping up with your company’s pace of growth? Below is a blog from the Harvard Business Review by Bill Taylor.

How One Fast-Food Chain Keeps Its Turnover Rates Absurdly Low

Many of us who are hungry for the latest dispatches from the war for talent look to to Silicon Valley. We want to know Google’s secret to hiring the best people or Mark Zuckerberg’s one tip for hiring employees. But in a world where most companies don’t operate on the frontiers of digital transformation, and most employees aren’t tech geeks or app developers, our appetite for unconventional talent strategies should probably extend to more conventional parts of the economy. Like, say, an amazing fast-food chain called Pal’s Sudden Service.

At first blush, there’s nothing all that amazing about Pal’s. It has 26 locations in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, all within an 80-mile radius of its home base in Kingsport, Tennessee. It sells burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, shakes—standard fast-food fare, although the taste and quality have a well-deserved reputation for excellence.

Dig deeper, though, and you see that nothing about Pal’s is standard for its business, or any business. The most obvious difference is its fanatical devotion to speed and accuracy. Pal’s does not offer sit-down service inside its restaurants. Instead, customers pull up to a window, place their orders face-to-face with an employee, pull around to the other side of the facility, take their bag and drive off. All this happens at a lightning pace—an average of 18 seconds at the drive-up window, an average of 12 seconds at the handout window to receive the order. That’s four times faster than the second-fastest quick-serve restaurant in the country

But Pal’s is not just absurdly fast. It is also staggeringly accurate. You can imagine the opportunities for error as cars filled with bickering families or frazzled salespeople zip through in under 20 seconds. Yet Pal’s makes a mistake only once in every 3,600 orders. That’s ten times better the average fast-food joint, a level of excellence that creates unprecedented levels of customer loyalty, as well as loud acclaim from management experts. Indeed, back in 2001, Pal’s became the first restaurant company of any kind to win the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award—an award that’s gone, over the years, to the likes of Cadillac, FedEx, and Ritz-Carlton.

Ultimately, what’s truly intriguing about Pal’s, what allows this small company to cast such a large shadow, is the level of intelligence and intensity with which it approaches the human side of its business—how it hires, trains, and links its identity in the marketplace to its approach in the workplace. “If you watch professional athletes, everything they do looks so smooth and fluid,” says CEO Thomas Crosby. “But eventually you realize how much work went into that performance, all the training, all the skill-building, all the hours. It’s the same for us.”

So what can the rest of us learn from Pal’s? First, the best companies hire for attitude and train for skill. Pal’s 26 locations employ roughly 1,020 workers, 90 percent of whom are part-time, 40 percent of whom are between the ages of 16 and 18. It has developed and fine-tuned a screening system to evaluate candidates from this notoriously hard-to-manage demographic—a 60-point psychometric survey, based on the attitudes and attributes of Pal’s star performers, that does an uncanny job of predicting who is most likely to succeed. Among the agree/disagree statements: “For the most part, I am happy with myself.” “I think it is best to trust people you have just met.” “Raising your voice may be one way to get someone to accept your point of view.” Pal’s understands that character counts for as much as credentials, that who you are is as important as what you know.

Second, even great people need constant opportunities for improvement. Once Pal’s selects its candidates, it immerses them in massive amounts of training and retraining, certification and recertification. New employees get 120 hours of training before they are allowed to work on their own, and must be certified in each of the specific jobs they do. Then, every day on every shift in every restaurant, a computer randomly generates the names of two to four employees to be recertified in one of their jobs—pop quizzes, if you will. They take a quick test, see whether they pass, and if they fail, get retrained for that job before they can do it again. (The average employee gets 2 or 3 pop quizzes per month.)

“People go out of calibration just like machines go out of calibration,” CEO Crosby explains. “So we are always training, always teaching, always coaching. If you want people to succeed, you have to be willing to teach them.”

Which speaks to a third lesson: Leaders who are serious about hiring also have to be serious about teaching. Pal’s has assembled a Master Reading List for all the leaders in the company, 21 books that range from timeless classics by Machiavelli (The Prince) and Max DePree (Leadership Is an Art), to highly technical tomes on quality and lean management. Every other Monday, Crosby invites five managers from different locations to discuss one of the books on the Master List.

Meanwhile, every day, he identifies at least one subject he will teach to one person in the company. Actually, that’s a requirement for all leaders at Pal’s, who are expected to spend 10 percent of their time on teaching, and to identify a target subject and a target student every day. “All leaders are teachers, whether they realize it or not,” Crosby says. “So we have formalized a teaching culture. We teach and coach every day.”

The end result of Pal’s commitment to hiring smart and teaching continuously is that employees show the same sense of loyalty as its customers. Turnover is absurdly low. In 33 years of operation, only seven general managers (the people who run individual locations) have left the company voluntarily. Seven! Annual turnover among assistant managers is 1.4 percent, vanishingly low for a field where people jump from company to company and often exit the industry altogether. Even among front-line employees, turnover is just one-third the industry average.

“People ask me, ‘What if you spend all this time and money on training and someone leaves?’” Crosby says. “I ask them, ‘What if we don’t spend the time and money, and they stay?’”

That may be the most important lesson of all.

Do I Have an Opportunity to Do What I Do Best Every Day?

I read Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton many years ago. I was listening to a podcast about managing your directs’. The podcast talked about developing your directs’ strengths. It mentions this book, so I pulled it off the shelf. Below is excerpt from the book about opportunities.

The more you ponder the question “At work, do I have an opportunity to do what I do best every day?” the more Now Discover Your Strengthscomplex it becomes. There are many reasons that a particular employee in a particular role might say no. He might genuinely feel that he lacks the talent to do the job. Or perhaps he possesses the talent, but the organization has overlegislated the role so that he has no chance to express his talents. Perhaps he feels he has the talents and room to use them but not the necessary skills or knowledge. Perhaps objectively he is perfectly cast, but subjectively he feels he has much more to offer. Perhaps he is right, or perhaps he is deluding himself as to where his true strengths lie. Perhaps he was perfectly cast in his previous role but was promoted into the wrong role because the organization couldn’t think of any other way to reward him. Perhaps the organization sends signals that it is a “pass-through” role, and thus no self-respecting employee will ever say he is well cast in it even if he knows he is.

At first glance this complexity can be overwhelming. To address all these possibilities and thus ensure that your employees say “strongly agree” to the question, you would have to attend to many different aspects of each employee’s working life. To address his fear that he lacks the talent for the role, you would have to be careful to select people who seem to possess talents similar to your best incumbents in the role. To avoid the overlegislation problem, you would have to hold him accountable for his performance but not define, step by step, how he should achieve the desired performance. To overcome his fear that he lacks the necessary skills and knowledge, you would have to construct coaching programs that help him develop his talents into genuine strengths. To address the “delusion” issue you would have to devise a way to have every manager help each employee discover and appreciate his true strengths. To avoid the “overpromotion” problem you would have to provide him with alternative ways to grow in money and title other than simply climbing the corporate ladder. And, finally, to deal with his perception that he is in a “pass-through” role, you would have to send the message that no role is by definition a pass-through role. Any role performed at excellence is genuinely respected within the organization.

Listed back to back like this, the challenges associated with building an entire organization around the strengths of each employee appear almost incoherent, “try a bit of this, do a bit of that.” But dwell on them for a moment, and you may soon realize that all these challenges cohere around two core assumptions about people:

1. Each person’s talents are enduring and unique.

2. Each person’s greatest room for growth is in the areas of the person’s greatest strength.

As you can see, we have come full circle. We presented these assumptions earlier as insights into human nature that all great managers seem to share. What we are saying now is that as long as everything you do is founded on these two core assumptions, you will successfully address the many challenges contained in the question “At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?” You will build an entire organization around the strengths of each employee. Why? Let’s play out these two assumptions and see where they lead:

  • Since each person’s talents are enduring, you should spend a great deal of time and money selecting people properly in the first place. This will help mitigate the “I don’t think I have the right talent for the role” problem.
  • Since each person’s talents are unique, you should focus performance by legislating outcomes rather than forcing each person into a stylistic mold. This means a strong emphasis on careful measurement of the right outcomes, and less on policies, procedures, and competencies. This will address the “in my role I don’t have any room to express my talents” problem.
  • Since the greatest room for each person’s growth is in the areas of his greatest strength, you should focus your training time and money on educating him about his strengths and figuring out ways to build on these strengths rather than on remedially trying to plug his “skill gaps.” You will find that this one shift in emphasis will pay huge dividends. In one fell swoop you will sidestep three potential pitfalls to building a strengths-based organization: the “I don’t have the skills and knowledge I need” problem, the “I don’t know what I’m best at” problem, and the “my manager doesn’t know what I’m best at” problem.
  • Lastly, since the greatest room for each person’s growth lies in his areas of greatest strength, you should devise ways to help each person grow his career without necessarily promoting him up the corporate ladder and out of his areas of strength. In this organization “promotion” will mean finding ways to give prestige, respect, and financial reward to anyone who has achieved world-class performance in any role, no. matter where that role is in the hierarchy. By doing so you will overcome the remaining two obstacles to building a strengths-based organization: the “even though I’m now in the wrong role, it was the only way to grow my career” problem and the “I’m in a pass-through role that no one respects” problem.

These four steps represent a systematic process for maximizing the value locked up in your human capital. In the pages that follow we flesh out this process. We offer you a practical guide for how to use those two core assumptions to change the way you select, measure, develop, and channel the careers of your people. Needless to say the individual manager will always be a critical catalyst in transforming each employee’s talents into bona fide strengths; consequently, much of the responsibility will lie with the manager to select for talent, set clear expectations, focus on strengths, and develop each employee’s career. Taking the ideas found in First, Break All the Rules a step further, however, we have aimed this practical guide at the challenges facing larger organizations as they strive to capitalize on the strengths of every employee.

5 Golden Rules of Teaching Company Financials to Employees

Below is a blog post from The Great Game of Business. Are you helping your employees understanding their part of the financials?

5 Golden Rules of Teaching Company Financials to EmployeesNotes_to_the_financial_statements_l

If you approached an employee at your company and asked them who creates the financial numbers in your company, what would they say? Odds are, they’d probably point to the accounting department. Sure, Accounting has a lot to do with your company financials, but they don’t really create them. Your employees create the financials through the decisions they make and the actions they take. So how do you help your employees understand their part in creating the numbers and how their actions can affect those numbers? We recommend you follow the Five Golden Rules of Teaching Employees about Company Financials:

1)     Teach the numbers, not accounting. Focus on numbers that matter most to your company, not those that appear in an Accounting 101 textbook. This includes understanding how profitability is driven, how assets are used, how cash is generated, but most importantly: how employees’ day-to-day actions and decisions impact business success. Employees rarely need to know about debits and credits or how to do an adjusting entry.  But, depending on the company, they may very well need to know how production efficiency is calculated, or why receivable days matter, or how the purchase of a new computer system will affect the income statement and balance sheet. The bottom line is this: People remember what they find relevant and useful.  The purpose of financial literacy training is to give everyone in the company a common language, so they can understand the numbers that measure their performance, talk intelligently about improvements and make better, more informed decisions.

2)     Teach business, not just the numbers. Remember, your employees aren’t learning the financials to pass a CPA exam. They’re learning so that they can understand what their company is about, how it makes money, where it’s headed and how success is ultimately measured.  Business can be exciting!  It’s where you match wits with the marketplace – and where, if you’re successful, you can create real wealth.  So convey a little of this excitement. Gather your people together and talk about the big picture.  People are curious about the company’s market, its strategy, its competitive advantages, and what it’s focusing on over the next couple of years.  They want to know what’s in store for them.  Without that context, they won’t have any reason to care about the numbers.

3)      Establish a line of sight.  Ultimately your employees want to know how they can make a difference.  It’s critical to the success of your financial literacy efforts to always make a connection between what they do every day, both individually and as a team, and the financial outcomes of the business.

4)      Support formal training with informal practices. In other words, use The Game to teach people the business.  Remember, you’re trying to educate people about your business, not create a bunch of accountants.  Make the learning events casual, interactive and impactful to them.  Continue to put things in context for people, and then reinforce the lessons in frequent engagements around the real numbers.  Ultimately, you want your business literacy efforts to become just another part of your everyday culture.  At SRC, we often use short Training Bites like this one to teach basic concepts during our weekly Huddles (staff financial meetings).

5)     Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Give your employees the opportunity to see and use numbers regularly. Eventually, they will begin to understand and remember them.

Would taking this approach help your employees to better understand your financials?

The post 5 Golden Rules of Teaching Company Financials to Employees appeared first on The Great Game of Business.

Computing Basics for Small Business

Below is my article in the Lumber Co-operator November/December Issue.

All small business should have a basic understanding of the minimum requirements for the IT infrastructure needs. The following is a simple summary for each topic that any business can utilize to help better understand basic IT requirements:

 

Desktop PCs

All existing desktop PCs should meet the following minimum requirements (PCs currently in use that don’t meet these requirements should be replaced):

  • Windows operating system XP (Service Pack 3)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Internet access capability.-10/100 network card.

New computers should contain at a minimum:

Windows Operating System 7,

  • 2-4 GB RAM
  • 7200rpm hard drive with at least 120GB
  • 100/1000 network card

Software Requirements

 Ideally, each PC should have an office productivity suite such as Microsoft Office, Open Office or Google Documents(Web based). All of these packages contain  a word processing program, spreadsheet capability and presentation software such as PowerPoint.  If you are using a cloud service provider like Google docs or a private provider then there is no need to buy this software for your PC as it is included in the web provider (often referred to as “cloud” service provider).

In order to access some of NRLA’s webinars, PC’s will need a media player program that plays music and videos. Windows Media Player is free and included with the windows operating system. Many NRLA webinars will use a plug-in program that will automatically launch in your web browser.

Every PC comes with Internet Explorer already installed but if your PC is more than 1-2 years old, the program should be upgraded to the latest version (currently, 9). There are other web browser programs that are available for free such as Firefox (version 5 or higher is recommended) or Google Chrome.

An email application is mandatory for all PC’s, either software or web based. Microsoft Outlook is the most popular software, although others such as Lotus Notes exist. Web based options include Google, Hotmail and Yahoo. Typically, a local internet provider will offer an email option that can be utilized. Web based options work well for small companies because the email files do not have to be backed up since they’re stored on the web rather than the PC’s hard-drive.  It is common for a cloud service provider to supply you with Microsoft hosted Exchange which allows you to have all the features of Exchange without any of the hardware or software capital costs; instead you pay a per user monthly fee for exactly what you need.

Firewall Software helps protect the PC from intruders, viruses and malware. Most PC’s come with a basic firewall, but it must be turned on. Also, it’s recommended that the user downloads a program called Window Defender from Microsoft. This firewall software will enhance the computer’s firewall decreasing outside threats that can harm your computer. Microsoft provides this software free of charge but subscription based software such asNortonor Trend Micro can be used. Some subscription-based firewalls have a tendency to slow the computer down so make sure you weigh your options before deciding.

Point of Sale software is used to record sales, purchase orders, inventory and accounts receivable and some packages include the general ledger. It’s important to make sure that your existing PC’s  meet the minimum requirements stated above for the POS software to work optimally.

Printers

There are two popular types of printers: USB connected or networked. The USB connected printers are typically used as personal printers, but may be shared. A networked printer is used by a group of people. The pages per minute (PPM) listed for printers lets you know the general speed. I recommend printers be above 20 ppm.  Network printers are the best option for simplicity and speed as they do not depend on a users PC to be on and allow anyone to print to it at anytime.

Network

A computer network serves three purposes: facilitates communications; permits sharing of files (data and other types of information); shares network and computer resources.

A network facilitates communication by enabling employees to communicate efficiently, i.e. email, telephone, video telephone calls, video conference, and webinars. A network environment that permits data and file sharing can authorize users to access data and information stored on other computers in your network. Lastly, a shared network allows users to share networked devices such as printers, and scanners.

Network Security

A firewall plays a vital role in your network security by prevent stealing/corrupting data, viruses, and malware on your server or computer.

User level ID’s and passwords should be assigned to allow access to the information and programs on your server or PC. An ID prevents and monitors access to the network files and resources. Administrator ID’s are even more important than user-level ID’s since this user has access to all PC’s and networks at a given location. The administrator ID and password should be highly “secure” with letters and numbers that do not spell a dictionary word.  This password should only be distributed to the business’s owner and head of IT systems (or other trusted and qualified individuals) as it enables full authorization to any file on the network. A secure password should have more than eight characters and should include at least one upper and lower case letter, one number, and one special character (%,&). Let your employees know that passwords should not be shared.

Server

A server is a computer that performs many roles such as network management, file security, computer resource sharing, and printer management and generally interconnects all computers and devices on your network. The server may be as simple as a network server which hosts shared files, or sophisticated enough to host a databases, connect printers, access the web, allow fax functions. If you have more than eight PCs networked you should invest in a server. Consult an IT professional for configuration and requirements.

Backup

Multiple options are available for individuals PCs or small networks including web-based options like Google Docs, Dropbox, Box.net. Some of these options allow file collaboration and sharing. For PCs without internet access, you can backup files using USB memory sticks, CD’s, or DVD’s. It’s important to backup your data on regular basis. Files should be backed up at least once a week.

Network servers should be backed up daily. The administrator can schedule the backup after hours and backup information may be stored on tapes or hard drives. There are two types of backup rotations: incremental or full.

Incremental backup only backs up the files that have changed for that day. You should have six tapes or hard drives which are labeled Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The sixth tape or hard drive is used to perform one full weekly back up. Remember to keep your backup tapes or drives off-site. The rotation should include the days of the week with a full backup one day during that week.

A full backup includes all files each day utilizing five or six medias. A full backup should take less than two hours.

Budget

Generally, the life of PCs or servers range between three and five years. All PCs and network servers should be evaluated on a yearly basis. It’s important to plan for replacement of computers that will reach the end of their expected life during the year by budgeting the estimated replacement cost for equipment expected to be retired. Also, the annual budget should include normal maintenance such as software, backup, and printers. Some businesses find it may be more economical to outsource their needs. Options range from an on-call request service to total network administration.

Cargo Securement for Lumberyards

In the September Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association newsletter, they have a good tip & advice on Cargo Securement for Lumberyards. Below is the article or a PDF can be downloaded by clicking on the title.

Cargo Securement for Lumberyards

Recently in Cape Cod, there was a large accident involving a lumber truck which caused Route 6 to be closed for several hours. This is just one current example of several accidents involving lumber trucks across the country in 2011. A Google search for “lumber truck accidents” returns over 2.5 million results, with some involving log trucks and many involving trucks carrying packages of lumber boards. These losses are usually accompanied by negative news headlines such as “huge delays,” “major headaches,” “closes Interstate,” or worse, “serious injuries.” As a result, Acadia Insurance has several recommendations that can help you avoid these accidents and the negative publicity that unfortunately follows these events.

First, truck drivers hauling lumber should be well-trained on the rules for securing dressed lumber or similar building products. You can find the complete rules on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. Additionally, it’s important to note the specific requirements for securement of unitized bundles[1] of wooden lumber, panel and board products, in the complete rules of FMCSR 393.118. Gypsum board is also included in this commodity. A basic summary of these rules are as follows:

[1] Lumber of building products that are not bundled or packaged should be treated as loose items and transported in accordance with the general cargo securement requirements. However, these rules can be used as additional guidance on securing lumber loads.

Bundles One or Two Tiers High:

  •  Bundles must be secured with tiedowns over the top tier.

Bundles Three Tiers High:

Bundles require tiedowns over the top tier, plus one of the following:

  • Stakes on vehicle sides to prevent lateral movement;
  • Blocking or friction devices between tiers to prevent lateral movement;
  • Tiedowns over the middle tier;
  • Tiedowns over each tier;
  • Loaded in a sided vehicle or container of adequate strength (does not include curtain vans or tautliners).

Please note that at least two tiedowns are required for bundles two or more tiers high and longer than five feet. All tiedowns required for each tier must be secured under the WEIGHT and LENGTH requirements in FMCSR 393.106 and 393.110.

Next, Acadia suggests that those hauling lumber should review the “General Cargo Securement Requirements” (Chapter Two), and the specific securement requirements for “Dressed Lumber and Similar Building Materials” (Chapter Four), contained in the Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement. For these requirements, it’s essential to recognize the driver’s inspection responsibilities, which we have reproduced below:

Inspection Requirements (Section 2.3.2)

Driver inspection checklist

Pre-Trip

  •  Make sure that cargo is properly distributed and adequately secured according to the

FMCSA Standard.

  • Make sure that all securement equipment and vehicle structures are in good working order and used consistent with their capability.
  • Stow vehicle equipment.
  • Make sure that nothing obscures front and side views or interferes with the ability to drive the vehicle or respond in an emergency.
  • Inform carrier if packaging is not adequate. For example:

o Banding is loose or not symmetrical on package.

o Banding attachment device(s) are inefficient.

o Wrapping is broken or ineffective.

o Pallets are broken.

Periodic inspections during transit

  • Inspect cargo and securing devices.
  • Adjust cargo or load securement devices as necessary to ensure that cargo cannot shift on or within, or fall from, the commercial motor vehicle.
  • As necessary, add more securing devices.

Your drivers’ strict adherence to Department of Transportation protocols and their continuous attention to the status and condition of their load will go a long way toward preventing accidents.

This means safety for your driver and the traveling public as well as preventing negative publicity and unwanted headlines.

For more information, please visit:

FMSCA’s Educational Materials for Cargo Securement:

Background and explanation of the current rules:

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/truck/vehicle/cs-policy.htm

Rules & Regulations, Subpart I, Protection against shifting and falling cargo, 393.100 through 393.136:

*This material is for informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness. Recipients of this material must utilize their own individual professional judgment in implementing sound risk management practices and procedures.

About Acadia Insurance

Acadia Insurance Group is a regional company offering commercial and specialty property casualty insurance coverages through independent insurance agents with local offices in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, Acadia Insurance is a subsidiary of W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB), one of the nation’s premier commercial lines property casualty insurance providers, and one of the 50 largest diversified financial companies in the United States. Please visit www.acadiainsurance.com

Very Funny Team Building Cartoon

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This post is from Teamworkandleadership Blog.

Here is a little lite Friday humor. I thought you might enjoy this team building cartoon from ThingsBearsLove.com

Watch for a post next week on the reason why such team building activities often fail and the three things you can do to improve your team building.

Here are 3 Funny Teamwork Videos that you might also like from past posts.

Do your team projects sometimes mirror the work of this team? Very Funny Teamwork Video.

Can you relate to this type of Teamwork? Funny Teamwork Video

Team Building Gone Bad Video – Ever seen bad team building?

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From www.thingsbearslove.com