Get to Know Our Director of Operations, Chris Stomps
What’s your title and what do you do here on a daily basis at TOTAL?
My name is Chris Stomps, and I am the Director of Operations. On a daily basis, our department’s goal is to make sure our drivers are safe, they run their maximum miles within the rules and regulations of the DOT, and the customers get their product on time. I directly manage the Terminal Managers and Fleet Managers, they are the driver’s first level of contact for any need they may have.
What do you want the drivers to know about what you do?
With every decision I make, I have the drivers best interests in mind. We are constantly trying to grow and expand our network, but without our current drivers running the miles they need that is not possible. I also want them to know that I am here to help them. If they have issues, I want them to feel comfortable contacting me so I can address them.
How long have you been with TOTAL and how did you come to work here?
In July, I will have been with TOTAL for 12 years. I joined TOTAL in July 2007, first as a guard shack employee for a summer job. From there I started my career in Operations moving through different positions. I guess you could say I learned the business from the ground up. After the guard shack, I moved to Local Dispatcher, then Fleet Manager, XD Manager, Load Planner, Ops Manager, Terminal Manager and now Director of Operations. I use the knowledge learned from each of those positions daily to help make TOTAL and our drivers as successful as possible.
How many people fall under the Operations umbrella?
I have 4 Terminal managers who directly report to me. Those TM’s have 47 Fleet Managers, night dispatchers and weekend dispatchers who report to them. We are probably the largest support department here.
What is your objective for the next year and how do you facilitate that?
One of my main objectives is building more dedicated loops and relays for our drivers in order to increase the amount of time they spend at home, while also getting the most miles they can. We work closely with Ken Reimer’s Dedicated team in this regard.
What is your department’s greatest challenge?
We have two challenges that are a constant battle to improve upon. The first is keeping our drivers safe to make sure they can return to their families after each tour. Obviously we can’t be in the truck with our drivers at all times, so we try reinforce the safety practices our drivers learn here in training every time we speak to them. We do all we can to keep safety fresh on their minds. The next challenge is driver retention. We are constantly trying new things to help with this. We’ve just started working with WorkHound, which is a retention program. Basically, it’s a weekly survey that is sent to our drivers cell phones where they can express how they feel anonymously. Once completed it is uploaded to a site where we can review the responses. Drivers who choose to can identify themselves so we can help with any problems. Please be sure to give honest feedback so we can handle any issues.
What do you think is TOTAL’s greatest strength?
While many companies use it as a marketing phrase, we truly mean it when we say that as a driver you are not just another face in the crowd here at TOTAL. We are very family oriented and have open door policies to address issues as they come up. Drivers can come talk to me at any time.