It’s nearly six weeks now since I joined the Road Haulage Association as the new CEO.
I have to say it’s been an absolute whirlwind, and I cannot believe how many people I have met in such a short space of time. I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome.
As I begin to understand how the RHA operates, I have also started to build my network of contacts, meeting government officials, MPs, the Traffic Commissioners, other trade associations and associated lobbying groups.
I have also had the opportunity to attend two regional council meetings as well as my first board meeting and I have visited a number of members’ businesses, to see their operations at first hand. It has been great spending this time to gain a valuable insight into their perceptions of the RHA while understanding their needs.
In order to develop the vision and strategy for the RHA moving forward, bringing the organisation more in line with the current market challenges, I have engaged an external public relations agency to review both internal and external communication channels, to drive a more proactive approach to promoting the great work that the RHA is undertaking for its members. The current situation is too reactive and needs to change.
In line with this external review I have also started staff briefings to share my vision of creating ‘The trade association of choice that represents the road transport industry in the UK’. The objective of these briefings is to start involving the whole RHA team at every level in shaping the future of our organisation while at the same time gaining their ‘buy in’ and support.
The briefings also provided a platform to praise publicly some of the great work that the RHA team have undertaken recently. A good example of this is the work that the RHA’s technical services manager, Ray Engley, has completed, by creating the RHA guide to safe and secure loading. This publication was circulated with last months Roadway magazine and has received plaudits industry wide including recognition from Senior Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell at the Bakewell member briefing. The demand has been so great that an initial order for 10,000 pocket size guides has been placed with our printer for broader circulation to drivers. It can be purchased online through the RHA Shop.
Over the forthcoming months as the RHA’s leadership team works on the future strategy, I will ensure that I keep you all up to date with progress and in parallel we will continue to lobby Government on the top 3 issues identified by our membership. That being: the driver shortage, fuel duty and road congestion. We will of course develop a proactive media campaign that supports this and highlights the economic impacts and our position in the national press.
On a lighter note, I would like to close this month’s update by congratulating CEVA Logistics on winning the Environmental Improvement award, sponsored by the RHA at this year’s CILT dinner. It was an honour presenting the award, which was a real testament to the CEVA team who deliver excellence in this area.
I look forward to catching up with you all again next month.