Problem Solution: Huffman Trucking
















Course: Problem Solution: Huffman Trucking

Tutor: LeShaun T. Campbell

University: University of Phoenix

Date: 04 September 2010


Problem Solution: Huffman Trucking

            Huffman Trucking is a well established transport company, regarded as the leading company in the industry. However, the company needs to create a high competitive advantage over its rivals for the sake of continuity (Kerin, et al., 2006). This paper will analyze the company’s structure and marketing approach for the identification of issues that inhibit its desired goals. This will be followed by the identification of the company’s vision jointly with the solutions needed to re-track the desired goals. An analysis of the solutions, risk assessment and mitigation plans will be performed to help in decision optimization before the optimal solution may be identified for implementation. Lastly, an implementation plan will be developed and upon its implementation, it will be monitored for success measurement by the evaluation criteria that will be discussed. Tables will be used to summarize each component that will be covered by the discussion.

Situation Analysis

Issue and Opportunity Identification

The first issue regards the absence of an effectual marketing plan in Huffman’s Trucking as identified by the CEO, Phil Huffman. This has inhibited the company’s efforts towards achieving a competitive edge over its rivals, making it lag behind its full potential of pulling at the forefront of its business rivals. Huffman further asserts that a proactive type of management focusing on the marketing concept of customer-centricity would be the optimal solution to this problem after his meeting with the Executive Leadership Council (ELC). Consequently, as the issue emanates from the marketing department, the solution thereby has to be effected from the same department. From the conversation that Huffman conducts off-line with another CEO, he firmly believes that this issue can be solved by the creation and application of a customer-centric culture. The other CEO is also quick to identify that Huffman’s Trucking being an operant in the trucking industry does not have marketing focus. This is the second issue facing the company as this has had a trickling effect on the rest of the departments due to the lack of prominent capacity in the marketing department. Huffman’s CEO counterpart on another note uses the perspective that this issue presents an opportunity for the company to create both external and internal marketing strategies that will be pioneered by the marketing department and use the trickling effect to affect the other departments towards the establishment of a strong business culture.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

Huffman’s Trucking stakeholders are made up of the employees, clients, management and shareholders. The labor component made up of the employees and management are a significant part of the organization as they require a lot of behavioral understanding for effectual asset handling. The employees just as their superiors in the management level have quite similar needs in terms of compensation and personal development. The latter aspect is managed by the Human Resource Department that ensures frequent training is given to the workers for skill development. The department has also infused frameworks in the company that ensure fair payment id given to the workers. However, in addition to this needs, workers are also interested in having job security as well as workers’ unions that act as the arbitrators in case of work-related problems. Due to lack of workers’ unions, the employees feel that their interests are not being attended to. The Human Resource Department has taken the machine approach in handling its employees where it prioritizes the company over its workers and clients (Kerin, et al., 2006). With this mechanical view, the management holds the workers as an asset as opposed to human beings.

In addition to this, the prioritization of the company over the workers creates conflicting interests between the management and the employees. The management is likely to fall into inhumane practices of overworking workers in a bid to realize its profit targets. This in turn will create an unhealthy employer-employee relationship whose long-term effects will manifest into dismal performance, affecting the company and the clients. Clients’ form the market share of the company and for long-term maintenance Huffman’s Trucking should ensure that customer satisfaction is enhanced. This will conserve the existing customers while attracting new ones. Note that, the higher the customer base and satisfaction the higher the level of sales and profits that the company will procure (Kerin, et al., 2006). An increase in sales and revenues will lead to an increment of shareholder satisfaction as the earnings per share and the returns on investment will increase. The management therefore faces conflicting rights between profit maximization and customer satisfaction.

An ethical dilemma exists in the fact that both profit maximization and customer satisfaction have to be satisfied concurrently for the company to be effective in its organization. By proper handling of the workers and the initiation of training programs that will inform the workers the need for organizational success brought about by team work, operational efficiency and customer-centricity will be instilled in the employees. Higher efficiency will ensure that cost reduction is achieved; the monetary value saved will lead to an increase in profits and ultimately shareholder satisfaction. Using this approach, all conflicting rights are compromised.

Problem Statement

Huffman Trucking will enhance its placement in the Transport Industry by focusing on affiliation expansion with regard to clients, operational overheads cutbacks, and enhancing productivity.

End-State Vision

Huffman Trucking will work towards becoming the most excellent trucking company by enhancing sales levels and profitability margin against its business rivals by 15% and 25% respectively. To achieve sales efficacy and rivalry advantage, the company will develop enhanced customer associations by using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) techniques. This will aid the company to a successful implementation of a customer-centric approach in the organization that will consequently lead to the creation of a higher market share.

Alternative Solutions

With reference to the preceding discussion, the first issue facing Huffman Trucking is the absence of an effectual marketing plan in the company. The opportunity related to this lies in the fact that it employs the marketing department in the investigation and execution of innovative stratagem towards the achievement of customer-centricity. The problem statement asserts that the company will enhance its placement in the Transport Industry by focusing on affiliation expansion with regard to clients, operational overheads cutbacks, and enhancing productivity. With the advent of the customer-centric approach, it is quite evident that all business transactions that are devoid of such an approach do not stand a competitive chance when compared with the relevant industrial rivals. Globalization and liberalization of most domestic and international markets has enabled the consumer have easy access to a variety of substitution products at an affordable rate (Luther, 2001). Due to this, once a consumer tries out a product and is not satisfied, the easiest solution is to replace it with another similar product. It is therefore imperative to ensure that products serve the deemed purposes to avoid market share reduction.

Customer satisfaction leads to more sales as consumers have the habit of sharing products information that is readily adopted by the receiver as a referee technique. With an increase in the number of sales, the organization’s goal of profit maximization is realized for the development of the shareholders needs. Organizational expansion can be easily supported by the extra funds. Employees serve as the other beneficiaries in terms of better compensation packages in wages awards. Wages can be hinged on the performance level of the employees as a working incentive; when employees utilize higher efforts in the organization leading to labor efficiency, company revenues and profitability is realized through cost reduction. Higher wage rates can then be afforded to motivate the employees towards better performance and better compensation. The management team benefits in compensation terms too as well as creating a competitive edge over their business rivals in a long-term perspective. The optimal alternative solution for this issue would therefore be the development of a marketing plan which is integrative of customer needs; customer-centric marketing plan.

The second issue facing Huffman Trucking is the lack of internal and external marketing structures needed to infuse authority on the rest of the departments. However, this issue can inversely be used as an opportunity for the company to create a superior company structure in a bid to create a customer-centric strategy which will help the company acquire a larger market share by focusing on the new as well as the old clients. Relating this to the problem statement, a company structure is imperative to the creation of a healthy business culture which unites and governs the various departments into a unified body making goal realization easier. Company structures encompass internal and external elements which need to be fulfilled for business continuity (Luther, 2001). The internal and external environment consists of the consumers, employees, suppliers, stockholders and business rivals. Amongst these, consumers are the most important players in today’s trade environment and meeting their needs is the basis of the production process.

Market expansion is also realized through the employees since upon leaving the work place, they become potential users of the company’s products. The company should therefore use probable strategies as offering discounts to its workers when they use the company’s trucks to carry out their personal projects. In addition of need satisfaction, customers look for quality products to match their attached utility. The company should therefore ensure that the suppliers meet the level of quality desired by Huffman Trucking customers. Quality is maintained by operational potential; a quality engine is that which is operationally sound. By ensuring that all components are of quality, the company is able to avert avoidable breakdowns that constitute an extra cost to the company (Luther, 2001). The need for quality services ensures that frequent checks and maintenance is afforded to the vehicles. Stockholders do play a major role in the financing of the company as they evaluate and authenticate budgets. With operational efficacy and enhanced customer satisfaction, profits increase and consequently the stockholders investments value. To meet this, the company’s alternative solution for this issue would be the integration of external and internal company structures into the overall marketing plan.

Analysis of Alternative Solutions

            The first goal for Huffman Trucking is working towards becoming the most excellent trucking company by enhancing sales levels and profitability margin against its business rivals by 15% and 25% respectively. This was assigned the relative importance of four with relation to its market expansion scheme that meets stockholder needs through the enhancement of profit margins. Shareholders may be termed as consumers whose needs are in the continuity of the company for the sake of investment growth. The CEO was also very expressive in noting that the company had hardworking employees yet their lacked a competitive edge over their rivals. Increasing this by 25% is bound to push the company to the best in the transport industry. The second goal is that, the company will aim at becoming the foremost trucking company in the trucking industry by employing superior marketing stratagems whose significance emanates from clientele needs. The relative importance accorded to this is four. Today’s business environment places the consumers’ as the most significant players for trade success. Phil Huffman believes that this component lacks in the company and that its institution will enhance market expansion. The third goal is the enhancement of consumer reliability use with 5% in a bid to realize an increased market share of at least 45%. The relative importance awarded to this is three since its realization is only by the establishment of the second and first goals in the given order. The second and third goals are best realized by the first alternative as they both have their weights as four. A customer-centric plan will ensure that customer needs are first identified before the production process and in turn the needs are ultimately met. The same measure translates to a proportionate increase in brand loyalty and market size. The second alternative best realizes the first goal with the weight of four. External and internal structures cause an overall development in departments of the company. This would translate to an organizational expansion as opposed to a single expansion as identified by the second goal as the clients needs.

Risk Assessment and Mitigation Techniques

            The first alternative secondary solution proposes revising the existing marketing plan to fit the set goals suffer from the risk of intentional representation of marketing data from its competitors (Lehmann, & Winer, 2005). The probability attached to this is low since the legal framework advocates for transparency with the firms mandated to disclose their financial positions for taxation purposes. During annual general meetings held between the company and the stockholders, marketing data is revealed for assessment of company’s positioning. The second risk is the introduction of unknown product innovations during the piloting period of a given firm. If the new innovation has superior elements, then the company is likely to lose a considerable amount of its market share to its business rivals. The probability of this risk is high as companies operate under high secrecy in production with the aim of achieving a competitive edge over their rivals. The severity of the second risk is higher that the first risk. When data misrepresentation occurs, the generated plan has to be wholly revised; an added cost to the company, yet its costs are lower than those of losing customers (Lehmann, & Winer, 2005). In depth market research is required to overcome data misrepresentation and technological refinements are a necessity to aid the company in the production of superior items at all times.

The second secondary solution proposes the use of cost analysis for the purpose of cost reduction. The risk of hidden costs poses a high probability since they tend to arise in the least expected time frame and situations. This is likely to push the company into further outsourcing increasing the cost of capital and investment. The second risk is the amendment of proposed budgets due to market realignment as imposed by business cycles. This leads to funds shortages which in turn strains the existing finances. The severity attached to both risks is mild since financial institutions are easily accessible for monetary aid. To mitigate this, budget allocations should be properly evaluated to prevent monetary shortage. As accounting maxims indicate, a provisional account should be provided for contingencies. Risk assessment does not narrow the choices reached at earlier since both secondary solutions had low weights attached to them.

Optimal Solution

            The company is faced with two primary alternatives that best suit the three goals as identified in the analysis of alternative solutions. The development of a customer-centric marketing plan will enable the company to focus on a customer’s needs before the production process. In this way, the company will be able to customize its products to fit the current consumer wants that consequently enhance the utility derived form the products. On the other hand, the company lacks a comprehensive internal and external marketing structure that is a prerequisite for the success of the customer-centric marketing plan. This fact was clearly noted by Huffman’s CEO friend. Internal and external marketing structures will enable the company to achieve the targeted 15% sales increase as promotional activities are a duty of the marketing department and whose success depends on the marketing structure. Increased sales will automatically lead to an increase in profit levels to the projected 25% or more. Note that, the promotional activities have to be merged with the customer-centricity approach for better results. This is done by focusing the advertisements into relaying to the customers the benefits they stand upon the utilization of the company’s product. This is just but a single example of integration of customer-centricity in the marketing plan. Brand and customer loyalty as proposed at 5% is therefore possible with the prioritization of consumer needs. Combining both solutions therefore acts as the optimal decision.

Implementation Plan

            Plan endorsement and budgeting will be carried out on September 6th through a meeting headed by the marketing director. In this, the resources needed for the implementation phase will be deliberated upon. The accounting department will be required to work with the rest of the departments by supplying the monetary requirements (Luther, 2001). Upon the completion of this, the plan will be launched by the marketing department to the rest of the employees and the relevant duties will be distributed accordingly. Upon the implementation of the plan, a two-week period will be required before the new system may be audited for the determination of its working capacity. The departmental heads will be responsible for the auditing task with each required to audit own department. A meeting for overall report and review should take place on the 23rd and it will be headed by the company’s management team. The review outcomes will be appraised by the departmental heads, who will be responsible for analyzing the problems encountered in the implementation process and the propositions to counter the shortcomings. Lastly, feedback will be given to the employees by the marketing director and the workers will aid in problem solving. Information gathered in this process will be used for plan refinement. Proper time management is the biggest challenge during this process and the risk it poses is the opportunity cost attached to time wasting.

Evaluation of Results

            The first goal being the increase of sales levels by 15% and 25% should be the annual target. Financial metrics conducted by audits on sales and profit margins will be generated in every business quarter to assess whether the goal is able to be achieved by the end of an annual trading period. The time margin set will help with the timing aspect. The second goal shall be conducted on monthly basis with the application of marketing mix elements of advertisement, sales workforce evaluation and customer service (Lehmann, & Winer, 2005). The success of this factor will be measured against the amount of sales increase within a given month. Note that, this should align to the aims of the first goal which cannot be realized unless the given metrics are used to increase the volume of buyers. Customer service will act as the needs identification team geared towards the implementation of relevant marketing strategies towards meeting customer needs. The third goal being customer loyalty increment by 5% will use the customer-based metrics to compute semi-yearly reviews that will be able to indicate the success of the plan. To measure a market share of 45% or more, the marketing mix metric specifically dealing with product distribution will be conducted on semi-yearly terms; the higher the distribution channels and areas, the bigger the market. All measurements will be qualitative in nature to aid in comparisons. The validity and reliability of the measurements will be realized by the use of consistent computation methods that have been tested over time. Information gathered from these evaluations will aid management in calculation of goal positioning and the requirements needed to realize the set goals.


            The situation analysis was very informative as well as key to the problem identification process. From this, it was evident that the company needed a different marketing approach for it’s thriving in the transport industry. The end-state vision acted as the guiding principle for the identifying the possible alternative solutions needed to address the problems identified. To infuse a pragmatic approach, no assumptions were taken in the discussion, with weights and probabilities accorded to each alternative. These weights were used to come up with the optimal solution for the company, identified as integration of a customer-centric approach in Huffman’s Trucking Company marketing plans. To achieve this, an internal and external strategy was also identified as a key requirement. For plan monitoring process, an evaluation framework was generated. In conclusion, this problem solution discussion infused the realization that all elements discussed were needed for effectual problem solving in Huffman’s Trucking Company.







Kerin, R. A., Hartley, S. W., & Rudelius, W. (2006). Marketing: The Core with Online Learning Center Premium Content Card. Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

Lehmann, D. R., & Winer, R. S. (2005). Product management. Eugene, OR: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Luther, W. M. (2001). The marketing plan: how to prepare and implement it. New York, NY: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn


















Table 1

Issue and Opportunity Identification

Issue Opportunity Reference to Specific

Course Concept

(Include citation)

The company has failed to have a sound marketing program that will ensure that any anticipations that the management has are guided towards meeting the needs of the customer


The company has a marketing department that can be used in the analysis and implementation of new strategies aimed at customer-centricity.



Customer-centric marketing, though not openly espoused, is the ideal marketing solution for most small and large organizations seeking to generate business-to-business sales leads. (Fifield, 1998).



Huffman Trucking does not have a well formed internal and external marketing structure to enhance the marketing’s influence on other departments throughout the organization. By looking at the current employees and using them to develop an internal marketing strategy, the customer can be able to simulate the customer-centric plan and, with effect be able to provide good services to the target customers.


By recruiting the right people to begin with, Huffman Trucking can be able to provide training, coaching and leadership facilities to the employees making their marketing skills more fitted to the task.

(Ward, 2004).

Internal and external Marketing structures


Table 2

Stakeholder Perspectives

Stakeholder Perspectives

Stakeholder Groups


The Interests, Rights, and

Values of Each Group


Employees The employees within the company are employed with the hope that they will perform certain specific jobs that are assigned to them but will require some form of training in order to ensure that their performance of these tasks is to a certain standard. Huffman Trucking has devised a strategy to ensure that the employees of the company are compensated fairly, are trained to the highest standards and act as team players of the organization.
Customers The company is committed to its customers by offering efficient and reasonably priced rates as well as quick responses and competitive services with the aim of making the business environment as customer friendly as possible. The customers of the company are valued, with this value being equated to the provision of the best services possible. By the implementation of the customer-centric strategy, Huffman Trucking aims at retaining old customers and attracting new ones while at the same time improving on the quality of the products and services provided.


Stakeholders The stockholders of Huffman Trucking are made aware of every action and decision that is made by the management and marketing teams with the decisions being measured and questioned in a bid to ensure that their best interests are met.



Table 3

Analysis of Alternative Solutions



    Become a leading trucking company with increased sales of up to 15% above other competitors and profit margins of about 25 % Become the number one trucking company in the industry through the implementation of marketing strategies and their relevance to the needs of the customer Increase Customer Loyalty use by 5%: Acquire 45% or more of the market share.  







Relative Importance (Weight)







Primary Alternative Solutions

A) Develop a customer-centric marketing plan 2 4 4  
B)Integrate external and internal company structures into the overall marketing plan 4 3 3  

Secondary Alternative Solutions

Review the current marketing program to ensure that its integrative of future retaliation actions from competitors 3 2 1  
  Employ cost analysis applications too determine the financial ability of the company to finance the program and all costs thereof 3 1 1  


Table 4

Risk Assessment and Mitigation Techniques

Risk Assessment and Mitigation Techniques

Alternative Solution

Risks and Probability

Consequence and Severity

Mitigation Techniques

Review the current marketing program to ensure that its integrative of future retaliation actions from competitors
  • Intentional misrepresentation of marketing data by the competitors (low)
  • Unknown innovations by competitors aimed at differentiating the product (high)


  • Obsolete marketing program
  • Reduction of the company’s market share.


  • In depth market research adequate training of the marketing teams
  • Further investment in technological innovations to improve certain features of the product.


Employ cost analysis applications to determine the financial ability of the company to finance the program and all costs thereof
  • Hidden costs (high)
  • Future management budgets caused by unanticipated realignment of market forces (medium)


  • Constraint of available funds which may lead to further costs in outsourcing


  • Shortages of marketing funds due to their diversion to future needs caused by unanticipated market changes


  • Prior evaluation of the cost needs of the program to identify all costs involved.
  • Maintaining a provisional account for unforeseen costs caused by unanticipated market forces.




Table 5

Optimal Solution Implementation Plan



Who is Responsible

Meeting with departmental heads for the plan endorsement and budgeting Sept. 6th Marketing Director
Plan launch and implementation Sept. 8th Marketing Department
Systems Audition and Review Sept. 22nd-23rd Management and company’s departments
Outcomes Appraisal Sept. 24th Departmental Heads
Feedback and Improvements Sept. 27th Marketing Director


Table 6

Evaluation of Results

End-State Goals



Become a leading trucking company with increased sales of up to 15% above other competitors and profit margins of about 25 % Number of financial metrics Audits:

  • Sales
  • Profit margins

  • Quarterly Audits computed as from Oct. 4th
Become the number one trucking company in the industry through the implementation of marketing strategies and their relevance to the needs of the customer Frequency of Marketing Mix Metrics Appraisals:

  • Advertisements
  • Sales workforce
  • Customer service

  • Monthly Appraisals computed as from Oct. 4th
Increase Customer Loyalty use by 5%: Acquire 45% or more of the market share. Number of Customer-based metrics Reviews:

  • Loyalty

And Marketing Mix Metrics Reviews:

  • Distribution

  • Semi-yearly reviews computed as from Oct. 4th



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