The Trailways Board of Directors approved formation of the Trailways Business Council, scheduled to launch this summer, which will be based on the principles of peers helping peers, to improve their respective companies’ operational performance and profits.
The Business Council will begin with a pilot group of approximately 10 to 12 non-competing Trailways stockholders in good standing, selected because of commonalities in company size, region, markets served and other factors. They will meet four times annually, once in person in mid-August and three times via video conference after that.
According to Trailways Business Council Chairman Jonathan T. Berzas, the group will discuss “financial comparisons, safety programs, business techniques, strategic marketing, problems and solutions, opportunities unique to Trailways, brand recognition, industry trends and several other topics.” Berzas, a Trailways Board member, is president/CEO of Fullington Trailways in Clearfield, Pa.
Facilitating the confidential discussions will be Jim McCann, a consultant with Spader Business Management, a management consulting firm known for its “Spader 20” peer groups of executives in the motorcoach industry and several others. Each month, participating Trailways stockholders will submit their financial data in a standard format to McCann. He will prepare a consolidated financial report with key financial analysis for each stockholder, including comparisons with peers and industry norms.
Using critical numbers from these reports, McCann will “point out efficiencies and deficiencies where the group as a whole is underperforming,” then get the group to “drill down to likely root causes and steps to take for improvement.” Group members will share “best ideas” and “benchmark their performance to the most successful operators.” They’ll also have access to McCann for one-on-one consultations specific to their individual companies.
“The Trailways Business Council, working with Spader, will allow us to correct areas where expenses are higher than they should be and to compare ourselves to the industry norms,” said pilot group participant Tom Bazow, president of Excursions Trailways of Indiana and Ohio.
Eventually, Trailways hopes to engage all of its stockholder companies in its Business Council groups. According to Berzas, participation would benefit “any stockholders wanting to improve their top and bottom lines, while focusing on best practices.”
He added that the Trailways Business Council will put into action one of the strategies in the Trailways strategic plan: “to strengthen and leverage the Team Trailways network through opportunities for collaborations, best practices exchange and the sharing of innovations.”
Application deadline for Trailways Stockholders interested in joining the pilot group is June 30. For more information, they may contact McCann at (800) 772-3377 or [email protected].