Operational Review / Audit
Ahern & Associates has a track record of successfully assisting trucking and logistics companies with their operational challenges. When a company is not cash flowing their debt service: they can’t pay their bills on a timely basis, and the lack of cash is impeding their survival, they call on Ahern to assist them in restructuring their operations. All of Ahern’s auditors are ex-Presidents and CEO’s of major trucking and logistics companies;
- They retired early;
- They received their “Golden Parachutes”;
- They don't have to work, but they want to work. This type of talent is invaluable when companies are facing bankruptcy or liquidation.
Due to Ahern’s vast transportation experience, we have determined that;
- For many trucking companies, the single largest challenge is sustaining growth;
- Most owners of transportation companies have no definite long-term plans in effect;
- Most have no short to mid-range plans in effect; and
- Many neither have goals or objectives, or they fail to effectively communicate them to their employees.
Companies that are troubled, in many instances;
- Don’t capture their cost properly;
- Can’t determine if they make money or not on each dispatch;
- Their trucks are not treated as profit centers;
- Their drivers are not treated as profit centers; and
- Their truck utilization is not tracked effectively or consistently.
Ahern’s job is to:
- Assess the problems;
- Provide suggestions to immediately stop the hemorrhaging; and
- Demonstrate to our clients how to restore themselves to profitability.
One of the things that Ahern has noticed is that many owners of trucking companies who are not profitable:
- Do not hold their people accountable for their actions;
- They do not set specific goals and objectives to achieve;
- Time frames to achieve those goals and objectives; and
- In many instances, they have “sacred cows”: employees that are there, just because, even though those individuals are not tied to productivity.
All employees should be treated as profit centers; all employees should have some type of bonus system to achieve, based upon results . All managers should have specific time frames to accomplish specific tasks.
In order to achieve and compete in the marketplace today, trucking companies need to implement a growth strategy.
Unfortunately, when some trucking companies do that, they end up getting themselves in trouble. In Ahern’s processes;
- Ahern identifies the challenges;
- Ahern assesses the immediate problems; and
- Ahern develops a path to restore the company to profitability.
Ahern & Associates has an exclusive program, designed around visiting a client, on-site, for three (3) days;
- Ahern charges a flat fee; and
- All travel expenses incurred by our auditors are reimbursed, prior to leaving the terminal facility.
During Ahern’s initial visit, we review, dispatch procedures, Marketing, Sales, Traffic lanes, Computer systems in use, Maintenance, etc.
Additionally, Ahern reviews operational and statistical data, including;
- Loads per week;
- Revenue per load;
- Revenue per mile – loaded;
- Revenue per mile – all miles;
- Empty mile ratio;
- Customer profitability;
- Recruitment and training;
- Driver pay scale;
- Key personnel;
- Internal purchasing;
- Growth strategies;
- Maintenance programs; and
- Sales and marketing programs.
When Ahern’s consultants are on site, we utilize our analytical software to track each dispatch for each customer to determine whether each dispatch has been profitable or not.
- If the customer likes the results;
- We can develop the software as a “pricing tool” within 30 to 45 days; and
- We can install it on the customer’s computers at a very nominal cost.
Ahern’s software will analyze revenue per mile, revenue per load, per customer, operating ratio per load, per customer per dispatch, fuel surcharge revenue per load and per customer. In fact, the software also provides a “What If” scenario to test future variables that can affect the business.
When completing an operational assessment, we examine every facet of a client’s business, from Operations, productivity, Marketing, Sales, to customer service. We analyze;
- Financial data;
- Gather and review reporting procedures;
- We review accounting systems;
- Computer programs; and
- We provide a special assessment of the competency of the staff that supports the business.
Ahern’s review is designed to seek out and identify all possible savings of time and money, as well as opportunities for revenue and capital enhancement. In our processes, we teach our clients that people are either assets or liabilities. If they are liabilities, we find a way to turn them into assets. Accountability is a major portion of our training. People make companies grow, or people make companies fail. You have two types of problems in a business: system problems and people problems.
- System problems can be defined and easily corrected;
- People problems are another matter.
In essence, Ahern focuses on the entire operation and the people, and we work to bring immediate results in the shortest amount of time so the company can continue to survive and grow.
Arkansas Transit Home, Inc. (ATH) was founded in 1958 by my late father, Wendell Chandler. In fact, to Illustrate how long that is got most trucking companies, our DOT number only has five numbers.
I would like to thank you Andy for making this very important and life changing event possible. It was a great experience.
Arkansas Transit Homes, Inc.
We have worked with you and your colleagues at Ahern Associates for some time now. We find your expertise in the area of logistics (be it in consulting or based on being hired for acquisition analysis) to be out standing. We value the relationship and are very happy to give you this letter of reference..
You should feel free to have any party call us to discuss our experience.
Benesch Attorneys at Law
England has been formally associated with Andy Ahern and his colleagues for approximately the past three years primarily in the area of acquisitions. During that period, we have experienced a professionalism that is refreshing. Andy offers in-depth expertise as well as industry knowledge born from extensive experience, a combination which adds material value well beyond a normal business relationship.
We anticipate a long – term, mutually beneficial association. It was a great experience.
Very truly yours,
Keith c. Wallace,Jr.
Senior Vice President / Chief Financial Officer
C.R. England, Ind
Century Carriers, Inc. and its subsidiaries are family owned businesses that was started 1998. When the Transportation business was booming, times were great but, like other family owned businesses we didn’t prepare for the economy the past year. My wife and I lost many hours sleep and made many calls to attorneys, banks, and whom ever would listen to our story trying to figure out how we were going to save our business for our future and our children.
Andy and his team has given us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are making progress, thanks again.
Kevin Henderson, President/CEO
Century Carriers Inc. / Century Expedited Inc.
Originally, I met Andy at a Truckload Carrier`s Conference during a round table discussion on the transition of family business. Andy was very knowledgeable about the topic and expressed many ideas that we hadn`t thought of. During the down turn of our industry in 2001, We called upon Andy, as a consultant, to help us understand how to turn our business around. We hired Ahern and Associates to come in and do businesses review. By giving us a road map to success with their intial audit, they helped turn our business around within thirty days.
Andy Ahern and Ahern & Associates have always delivered exactly what they have promised.
Don Christenson, President
Christenson Transportation, Inc.
We have thought about selling our business one day, but we really didn’t know much about how to go about it. Your company contacted us a few months ago about a client of yours that was looking to buy businesses like ours. Now just a few months later, the sale is complete. Everything went very smoothly, Ahern was there to guide us through the beginning of the process. We are very happy with our whole experience with Ahern, especially Andy and Brian. They gave us personal attention any time we had questions or concerns.
John & Jennifer Rainney
I wanted to thank you for your guidance, leadership and support. The professionalism and dedication of you and your staff is outstanding. The knowledge you posses of the transportation industry and its inner workings was been a huge asset to us in our time of transition. With your assistance we have been able to make significant changes within our company to improve structure and productivity. Aherns onsite visit and detailed evaluation of our company has been a very valuable tool. The outside look at how we do business and the suggestions you've made to improve our overall performance have been very valuable. All of your advice and direction has been thoughtful and caring, I feel that you truly care about our business and success. You've done everything you said you would do and then some, working with you and your dedicated staff has been a pleasure and will improve the productivity of our company. I look forward to a long relationship with Ahern and Associates.
Specialized Business Solutions. INC