1st Edition

Improving Productivity and Service in Depot Businesses How Haulage, 3PL, and Service Companies Can Increase Quality and Customer Satisfaction

By Colin Woodland Copyright 2023
    218 Pages 65 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    218 Pages 65 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    218 Pages 65 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    This book is specifically for working operations managers across the broad range of business types that deploy fleet and product via a myriad of service types. It is applicable to businesses with small medium to large fleets in haulage, 3PL, and any service business operating a depot structure. The book is less about theoretical concepts – although specific references point to theories including Lean, continuous improvement, net promoter score, and balanced scorecard – but is essentially a practical guide applying worked examples and generic templates regarding the core ten activities that are critical to achieving service and profit expectation in any depot, route-based business deploying fleet. Every working manager – front-line to COO – will identify with and grasp that these are fundamental areas and that, if improvement can be sustained, will deliver better service to customers and enhanced profit in both local and business levels. The key areas examined are:

    • People management
    • Fleet management
    • Route scheduling
    • Optimisation of non-productive (on-depot) time
    • Driver debrief
    • Customer service and complaint management and measurement
    • Key performance indicators
    • The operating rhythm
    • Continuous improvement

    Chapter 1 People management

    Chapter 2 Fleet management

    Chapter 3 Route scheduling

    Chapter 4 Minimising non-productive hours

    Chapter 5 Driver De-brief

    Chapter 6 Service

    Chapter 7 Complaint management

    Chapter 8 KPIs, the Balance Scorecard and basic financial models

    Chapter 9 Operating rhythm (Drumbeat)

    Chapter 10 Operational Health & Safety

    Chapter 11 Continuous Improvement

    Chapter 12 The Depot Management Cadre



    Following graduation in 1986 from Cranfield with a Master of Science in Logistics, Colin Woodland has developed his career in FMCG logistics from middle to senior management. Since 2000 he has held four Board positions in Secure Logistics businesses within the UK and Sweden. As Operations Director with Cash UK (4.5 years) he was responsible for 6,500 employees and 2,200 Fleet of specialist vehicles across 50 locations driving efficiency improvements of £30m. Since 2009 Colin has held International roles regarding Security & Operations across 69 businesses spanning five continents.

    Colin's previous positions include:

    -- Managing DirectorManaging Director, SECURE LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS LTD

    -- Chief Operating OfficerChief Operating Officer, phs Group

    -- Group Operations & Integration DirectorGroup Operations & Integration Director, VPS, The Vacant Property Specialists

    This practical guide to Improving Productivity and Service in Depot Businesses is a must read for any operations manager wanting to improve their professional skills. Colin is undoubtedly the most accomplished operations leader I have ever worked with, and his guide is full of practical tips and tools to help hone and enhance operational management expertise.

    -- David Taylor-Smith, MBE, FRGS, Portfolio Chairman, and former FTSE 100 Board Director


    The author enables you to clearly understand straightforward methodologies that can be applied piecemeal or holistically, and which will improve operational efficiency. Having applied some of the techniques referenced in the book, I recommend this book and the content.

    -- Warren Edmondson, CEO, The Safegroup Ltd. UK


    I worked with Colin on a successful business turnaround implementing some of the principles included in this book; the project was a success, and the business continues to perform well.

    -- Aiden Harper. BA. M.MUS. MD Ireland


    Improving productivity and service in depot businesses, provides invaluable tried and tested methodologies and practical tools and techniques. Applied correctly they have the ability to transform the performance of a business. The benefits gained from managing non-productive hours were transformational for the business I managed. The techniques described in the operating rhythm (drumbeat) chapter are applicable in any business and is something I still utilise at an executive level.

    -- Kevin O'Connor MBA, CEO


    I had the opportunity to work with Colin on an important operational project in Colombia, we applied some of the principles presented in the book and achieved strong results. This book is a must for any professional or student working in ​​operations.

    -- Claudio Enrique Pita Garcia. University of Politecnico Grancolumbiano. Columbia