Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Trucking Firm’s Troubles Reflected in IT

The 2003 merger which combined two major trucking firms, Yellow and Roadway, should have created a monster of the highway. Instead, as is often the case with large deals, the $1.05 billion merger turned into a monster headache that took years to finalize, partly because of a difficult combination of IT systems and staff. That headache continued on Friday as the company asked its creditors to help it stave off bankruptcy by amending the terms of a 2011 loan agreement. The company also skirted a bankruptcy filing in 2009.

In fact, YRC didn’t seriously get down to merging the IT systems of the two companies until 2009, allowing the two company IT staffs to work in parallel. Yellow was the leading trucking company in the niche that combines shipments of less than a full load; Roadway was No.2. George Kather, the CIO of YRC Worldwide, says new leadership in place since July 2011 forced the IT teams to merge, and worked to sweep away the remaining vestiges of cultural clashes, including conflicts over which applications, such as billing or freight management, were best. The company replaced its board of directors and CEO in July, with 30-year trucking industry veteran James Welch replacing William Zollars as CEO. Now, “there’s no more tolerance for any parochialism about the past,” says Kather, who has been CIO since 2007. Defensiveness among members of formerly separate IT staffs “is completely squelched now.”  Full Story.............

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