Monday, November 14, 2011

“About Us” Evaluation: Schneider National Gets a C minus

Schneider, founded in 1938 and headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is the third-largest trucking and logistics company in the United States, with annual revenue of $3.7 billion. Its trucks travel 5 million miles daily, providing services to more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies. We noticed Schneider because of a fascinating Forbes article on its use of technology to plan truck routes. The main About Us page is here.


Products/Services: C

Schneider’s About Us page opens with a well-written summary of the company’s services, scope, and size. But more than half of this page is devoted to the company’s commitment to sustainability. Surely a statement about Schneider’s commitment to providing reliable, innovative service deserves at least equal time. (Regarding that, we wonder why the great tag line “Driving the wheels of commerce” appears on the History page, but not on the main About Us page.)

At Corporate we believe passionately in the value of corporate history and institutional memory, so we’re always happy to see a timeline of a company’s history included on the company’s website. But context matters. Most website visitors will be daunted by Schneider’s long timeline, which has no pictures or highlights. The company’s acquisitions in the 1930s could safely be relegated to a sub-page or to a company history.

Incidentally, according to the timeline 2010 was a record year for awards. The Awards page, however, lists nothing later than 2009. Our 10th Commandment of About Us pages is “Remember to keep holy the updates.” This sort of discrepancy suggests no one’s minding the store.

Personality: D

The History page and the Enterprise Overview both mention that the Schneider company is a family enterprise, but neither one quotes the founder to show what his vision was. The Mission and Core Values page, where one might expect such information, offers statements so vague that they could apply to any company, for example: “Safe, courteous, hustling associates creating solutions that excite our customers.”

Accessibility: C

The Contact page is a long online form. We hate online forms because they seldom allow us to track our communication with the company. We particularly hate them when they’re so long they overrun the opening screen, suggesting that it will take a long time to fill them in. At the upper left of Schneider’s page are options for sending an email or making a phone call: these should be much more prominently placed.


Schneider’s About Us pages have some potentially excellent material, but the material is not organized in a way that shows off its strengths.

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). Contact us if you’d like to have your site evaluated—there’s no charge and no obligation.

Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.