How to work best with your driving agency: Our top tips

September 13th, 2019

The big challenge for many businesses is finding the best driving agency to work within the first place. Here we take a look at building a strong and long-lasting relationship that benefits your business and drives it forward to a prosperous future.

There are some great benefits in employing agency drivers:

Choosing the Right Driving Agency

Ideally, you want a company that is going to meet all your logistics needs and be flexible on delivery. That kind of relationship depends on developing strong two-way communication.

You might, for instance, want to make sure that your agency is able to deliver an induction programme for drivers before they start. While this means having strong policies and practices in place and making sure the agency understands these, it can take a lot of the hard work off your business.

Here few examples of the kinds of questions you may wish to ask driver agencies before you enter into a contract with them:

NN1 Personnel, for example, carries out licence checks with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and ensures that in-scope drivers are complying with the drivers’ hours rules. Working with a driving agency, however, is more than that initial due diligence, it’s an ongoing process that is continually developing.

Tips For Getting the Best Out of Your Driving Agency

Once you have decided to go with a particular driving agency, building that all-important relationship is going to take work and focus by both parties.

1. Set clear written policies

No relationship works if there isn’t a firm foundation from which to operate. That means carefully documenting your policies and procedures in the first place so that the agency has a full understanding of what is required from the drivers they supply.

This will include everything from types of vehicle driven, age restrictions and how agencies should take up references to how drivers’ hours records are handled and how costs incurred are paid. The more you can drill down into the detail, the stronger your relationship should be.

2. Work in partnership with your agency

Getting to know the people who run the agency is all about developing a partnership and that takes time and effort as we’ve already mentioned. At NN1 Personnel, we believe that trust and reliability are key when it comes to building that relationship and that includes being open and transparent about fees and how our business operates.

3. Agree terms and conditions with your agency

Most agencies will have a service level agreement that they enter into with their clients and it sets the basis for that future relationship. Make sure that this meets all your requirements and delivers the service that you are actually looking for. Also, look at what happens if you want to change your provision.

4. Does your driver agency clearly understand your requirements?

This is the one question that businesses working with driver agencies need to ask regularly. It’s a partly to do with whether your instructions are clear enough but also involves the competence and understanding of the agency itself.

Specialist agencies will have staff on board who are experienced and qualified to deliver what you need – they’ll also come back and ask the right questions if they are not completely clear.

5. Have a comprehensive driver selection process

It’s important also to work with your driver agency to ensure that the selection process is everything it should be. All the drivers we have on our books at NN1 Personnel have a minimum of 6 months experience and are properly vetted. Many of our drivers are CRB checked.

6. Focus on quality and value

We all want quality at a price we can afford and working with the right driver agency is no different. A poor service can impact on your ability to deliver your own service and can seriously damage your reputation. When working with any driver agency, it’s vital to focus on the quality of the service that you are receiving.

6. Pay a fair rate to get high-quality staff

While you need to stay competitive, paying the appropriate rate for drivers is also important. It ensures you get the quality that you are looking for van, 7.5 tonne, LGV and HGV drivers who are experienced and know what they are doing.

7. Ensure regular audits and feedback

No system works efficiently unless you review it regularly. It’s important to carry out audits that look at your provision with feedback from all those involved.

Provide agency with regular feedback

Agencies can’t improve or change their service if you don’t communicate regularly with them. At NN1 Personnel we actively seek the feedback on our drivers’ performance so that we can better tailor our provision to their needs.

Provide drivers with firm procedures

Give realistic requirements and set clear instructions for drivers so that they know what is expected of them. It’s important to treat all drivers and agency workers equally and create continuity across all your provision.

Plan ahead as much as possible

While emergencies always arise in the transportation sector, being able to plan ahead with your agency is important. This may include times of the year when the service is under pressure and more drivers are needed. Planning with your driving agency gives them the opportunity to ensure they can meet your requirements at a crucial time in your business calendar.

Obtain relevant quality marks

Whether it’s adhering to the ‘Good Lorry Code’ or building industry quality assurance standards, the relevant quality controls are important in any logistics business. Ensuring you and your driving agency have these helps to maintain standards across the board.

At NN1 Personnel, we work closely with our clients to deliver a holistic approach that ensures their needs are met. We understand that no two transportation businesses are the same and a tailored service is needed whether you have a small operation or you’re a large corporation.

 If you’d like to find out more about how we can support your business, contact our professional team today.

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