Hertfordshire based Mtec Warehousing Ltd. is an Art logistics supplier to Galleries, Museums and Art Collectors around the world. Founded almost 30 years ago by MD Dave Williams, the business now operates a fleet of 15 trucks and 15 smaller vans, as well as a employing a team of case fabricators and Art Installers to provide a complete end-to-end solution for its international clients.
As a growing business, Mtec decided to adopt the FORS standard to demonstrate it was doing things in the ‘right way’ in regard to compliance. Director and Transport Manager Chris Wells explains, “This wasn’t a decision made out of necessity, but we wanted to sharpen up our processes.” Among these was the need to provide regular training to Mtec drivers and while an ad-hoc approach initially worked, as the number of drivers increased, this became problematic. “We have drivers across Europe and the world and they all work long unsociable hours – so getting them together in one place on a regular basis is impossible,” he states.
Having previously worked with Road Skills preparing for the Mtec initial FORS audit, Chris received details of the Road Skills Online Professional Development Plan for driver and transport manager training and he immediately spotted a potential solution to his problem, “It seemed like the perfect answer and as Road Skills Online were offering a free trial we thought we’d give it a try – it was a no-brainer. Initially four of us started the trial and after a couple of months we agreed it was what we needed, so we signed up all 40 of our drivers.”
Commenting on the Road Skills Online Professional Development Plan, Chris states “It’s great for us, we can get everyone to do their training as their schedule permits and we don’t have to bring them off the road. Most of the drivers use their phones to do their training either at home or when they’re away, while sometimes you see them going through it in the canteen after I’ve had a look at the dashboard and sent them a gentle reminder!”
He explains further, “The drivers like the Toolbox Talks and the way each one is split into several learning points with a quiz at the end. The 10-15 minutes it takes to complete is just about right – it’s short enough to keep their attention, but not long enough for them to see it as a chore. The quizzes are great, they’re not so easy that you can just flick through the training and they’re not so hard that it puts people off. They make you think and on a couple of occasions people have been dubious about the answers, but that’s a good thing as it provokes a discussion between the drivers.”
During a recent FORS audit, the auditor asked to see the company’s driver training records, however using the Road Skills Online system meant this wasn’t a problem; as Chris explains, “I showed the auditor the ‘My Drivers’ dashboard and she said ‘wow that’s good’ – I even showed her when drivers had passed each Toolbox Talk.”
In summary Chris concludes by saying “Working with Road Skills has been good, their tech team has always been on hand to help out if little things go wrong – like someone’s forgotten their password, and the backup from the guys in their office is great, keeping in touch to make sure everything’s going well. The really good thing is that we know we’re spot on doing the Toolbox Talks for our FORS audit without having to try and get everybody together each month. It’s all so much easier and simpler for us.”
Mtec has recently renewed its 40 driver subscription to the Road Skills Online Professional Development Plan. The program features monthly bite-size Toolbox Talks delivered in an accessible format that is available 24/7 on mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. The solution provides management with an ‘at a glance’ dashboard of all drivers’ progress with the ability to export this information as evidence for audits.