I am not sure when this word became part of the jargon in the transportation world, or in business in general, but I have always liked the sound of it for some reason. Kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Vetting.
Vetting is a service that Trinity Logistics provides to our customers to make sure the carriers we use to transport their freight are the very best we can find. We go to great pains to determine their worthiness to carry our customers’ freight. It is a process that requires the greatest of diligence, since not only our customers, but Trinity has a lot riding on the outcome.
I know how seriously we take this carrier vetting process, but I have often wondered how diligent our customers are about vetting the people that provide their transportation services. How much do they know about us and those like us to whom they are trusting to get their freight to their customers? Oh sure, there are the normal processes like Dun and Bradstreet, or the Better Business Bureau, which would tell them about the financial and ethical strengths and weaknesses. But what about the people within the company on whom they are depending upon every day? How much do they know about us and what makes us tick?
As individuals who work for Trinity, we highly value relationships and we eagerly reach out for those relationships. We genuinely like people and we like to do business with friends, so we make every effort to become friends with our customers. If we did not, we would not be employed here, as it is part of our being as a company – our DNA, if you will.
Everyone is busy. We are busy serving hundreds of customers every day and our customers are busy serving their customers every day, but we are never too busy to take time to really find out about the folks with whom we are dealing every day. We ask questions about family, sports and many other “personal” things because we want to get to know you and understand you better. We know a lot about our customers because we take the time to engage them, not for any gain, but because it is a lot more pleasant to do business with friends than it is with strangers. We friend you on Facebook, connect with you on LinkedIn, tweet at you, and share Youtube videos of our family just to get to know you better.
So I often wonder if our customers share the same philosophy and are really “vetting” us. Really finding out about what makes us tick so they better understand the person on the other end of the phone, fax, or keyboard. I really hope they are, because what they will find are some really great people who have done and are doing some really great and interesting things in their home, community, and workplace. They will find people who are serious about their reputation in the transportation industry and whose only purpose here is to serve our customers with the excellence they deserve.
I sincerely hope that our customers take some time from working “in” their businesses each day and start working “on” their relationships just as hard. You make friends with your providers, or vendors, or whatever you call us, and I think you will see the wisdom of our ways when it comes to interacting with you. When all other things are equal (and sometimes when they are not), people like doing business with people they like.