Friday, May 08, 2009

Arkansas Best execs remain calm in the storm

Bob Davidson is supposed to be alarmed, concerned and dang-near worn out from the constant hand-wringing about a national trucking sector that has seen freight demand fall faster than the end-of-the-season hopes of Dallas Cowboy fans.

He’s not frayed in the least. He might be in the hot seat, but he’s careful not to let you see him sweat.

Davidson, the CEO of Fort Smith-based Arkansas Best Corp., is as non-plussed as the other executives at what is one of the nation’s largest less-than-truckload companies. The execs at the five-story corporate headquarters don’t get excited when the ledger posts black. They don’t get excited when the ledger posts red. No ups, no downs. They are the Lutherans of the trucking sector.

It’s not that they are arrogant and uncaring, or ignorant of the tough situation they face. Not at all. It’s that they’ve seen hard times before — although admittedly not this tough — and come out of each a little better than they went in.

Arkansas Best, Davidson stressed, has a management team with an average tenure of almost three decades with the company. They know the drill. You get on the bull, you get thrown off. You get up, and get back on the bull. Sometimes you last 8 seconds, sometimes not. Either way, there is always another rodeo. There is always another quarter. This too shall pass. Full Story.......

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