Chris Hummer, president of Don Hummer Trucking, says that his company was able to successfully pivot to a remote work environment in mid-March because it already had a strong technology infrastructure in place, including its partnership with companies like McLeod Software, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hummer shared his insight on how his company was able to operate and thrive during the pandemic with Heidi Boggs, director of customer care and support for McLeod Software, in a virtual technology talk at the FreightWaves Carrier Summit on Thursday.
“We’ve been a McLeod customer for well over 20 years now and that certainly set the stage for what we were able to do in a pandemic situation,” Hummer said. “I don’t know that a whole lot of us talked about it prior to March of 2020, but being a McLeod customer and being very active with the product and keeping up to date on our technology, in general, was key.”
He said that March 13 was a pivotal point where he realized that the company was going to have to switch to a remote work environment in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
By March 18, the company had transitioned nearly all of its workforce to be able to work remotely, Hummer said.
Since all of Hummer’s employees were familiar with all of the McLeod products, making sure the company had the proper infrastructure to run the software remotely and operate on a paperless system was crucial, he said.
“If you walk into your office and everyone’s desk is covered with paper, you’re probably not using DocumentPower correctly and you’re probably also not prepared to do a work-from-home scenario,” Hummer said. “As you start layering up the various pieces to support that sort of rapid response, not only do you have to purchase them, you have to build the infrastructure that they require and then you actually have to implement them and use them daily as they were intended to be used.”
“Full adoption is without question key to being able to manage the software successfully into the maximum benefit of your company,” Boggs said. “A lot of your success has to do with the fact that your employees were fully onboard and very comfortable with the use of McLeod software.”
She asked Hummer what best practices he would recommend for other companies based on the lessons he learned over the past few months.
Hummer stressed the importance of having a stable network infrastructure.
“Knowing what kind of network connection you have, is there redundancy, is it protected by appropriate firewalls, VPNs, and will your remote access support the number of users that you need to support your enterprise systems are critical,” he said.