Ashley Dellinger is the Vice President of Sales for OneRail, a fast-growing tech company providing innovative solutions for logistics and delivery services. The company also serves several major brands in a variety of fields including “Retail, Health Care, Product Manufacturers, Grocery and Logistics Companies” and connects these brands to their “national courier ecosystem” populated by more than “4.5 million fleet drivers.”
At OneRail, Ashley Dellinger helps ensure that the company’s platform continues to provide “real-time visibility, actionable data, and data-driven optimization capabilities for its enterprise clients.” The company also uses a “cloud-based ‘delivery switch’” model that can simplify the execution of same-day and on-demand delivery, since it is able to connect the source of the demand to an ecosystem of delivery networks and drivers in real-time. OneRail’s “centralized view of disparate final mile data” allows their clients to use data to drive their optimization, which creates a positive impact on the fulfillment of deliveries on the final mile, in terms of “dependability, speed, and cost.”
Prior to OneRail, Ashley Dellinger also served as the Regional Director for North America at Locus, a global platform specializing in automating “human decisions in supply chain” to maximize “efficiency, transparency, and consistency in logistics operations.” The company also uses machine learning and algorithms to provide innovative and smart logistics solutions to its clients.
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Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Ashley Dellinger: I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2008, which if you recall, was not a great time to be entering the job market. I had degrees in Political Science and International Affairs, and the plan was to get out into the professional world and work for a couple of years before going to law school. Like so many that set out on that path, I never ended up in law school. Instead, the “sales bug” bit me after I found myself in digital media sales for a local television station in my hometown. I was promoted by the parent company a couple of times and moved to Louisville, then Savannah. From there, I entered the world of AdTech and MarTech sales and never looked back. I moved from Savannah to Milwaukee to Los Angeles and eventually settled in North Carolina… for now.
In 2019 I was approached by a recruiter for an AdTech SaaS position in the fashion retail industry. I wasn’t interested in that role, but he casually mentioned that he had an opening in Supply Chain Logistics SaaS. I jumped right on it. Coming from the AdTech world, I watched Uber, Netflix, and Amazon disrupt their industries. Considering my firsthand experience and understanding how behind the logistics world was, and now, here we are!
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
Ashley Dellinger: To delegate effectively, we need to focus on 5 key factors.
1 — Clear instructions of the task at hand.
Executives move quickly, and they tend to expect everyone to move quickly with them, without always pausing to make sure everyone is on the same page. The best way to do this is to “show” first. If I were to delegate, say, the task of creating a sales presentation — rather than saying, “Please build me a deck for Client X,” I would say, “I need you to build a presentation for Client X. Here are the key points that need to be highlighted. The structure should be similar to what we did for Client Y, and you can find that information in DropBox from May of 2020.”
2 — Be sure to set benchmarks and deadlines.
When delegating a task, always ensure the recipient understands a clear, precise deadline and check-in along the way. For example, “I’d like to see a rough draft by Wednesday at 5 pm and the final version will need to be completed by 5 pm on Friday.” That allows for several key factors. One, it allows the delegator to check in on the task to ensure that their expectation was clearly communicated before we have “surprises” on Friday at 5 pm. Two, it presents the opportunity to give feedback on the feasibility of the task. If I didn’t give a timeline, they may assume low priority of the task, accomplishing it later in the week or over prioritize, ignoring more urgent duties.
3 — Provide feedback, both positive and negative.
When an employee or coworker does a great job with the delegated task, tell them what made it great. Positive: “The new report that you included was incredibly helpful to showcase to the client how we’ve grown their business, and it had a very positive impact on the meeting.” Negative: “The new report that you included was a nice touch, but my concern is that showing that report will potentially derail the meeting into focusing on a few minor details that aren’t the goal of the meeting. In the future, please exclude reporting that isn’t directly relevant to the topic at hand.” Feedback, positive or negative, allows for continued growth and success!
4 — Share changes or re-delegate them.
For example, if only 8 of the 10 reports provided met expectations, you have two options. One, send it back, provide feedback explaining the needed changes and why. Two, if it’s a quick fix, you can make the updates yourself. However, share it back with an explanation of what you did and, why. “Reports 1–8 were perfect, but on 9 and 10, the terms you used weren’t accurate. I’ve updated the reports, but I’d also like for you to review them so you have a reference for next time.” This allows the other person to more effectively complete the task in the future, saving time for everyone.
5 — Step back.
Once you have given instructions, provided guidelines and deadlines, step back. Allow that person to do the task. It’s okay to have checkpoints and give feedback, but if you can’t give clear enough directions on an assignment and step away, don’t delegate it. You’ll end up either wasting your time trying to change everything or their time micromanaging them for something you are going to end up doing anyway.
Jerome Knyszewski: One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
Ashley Dellinger: I think there are times in which that statement is true. But is your backup plan just as or almost as good? Let’s say there is a speaking session at a conference that will have every major current and potential client in the room. As the CEO, you may feel it is imperative that you be the face of your company and control that narrative. That is perfectly acceptable. But what if you wake up with the flu that morning? If you have done your job leading up to that moment, you will have someone ready to step in for you, and you’ll still be satisfied with the results.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Ashley Dellinger: I can be followed directly on LinkedIn or at OneRail’s page.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!