Mark Connell, Senior Logistics Architect for WiseTech Global, explains that profits grow hand in hand with your team. 

I’ve seen the same software implemented in different ways, leading sometimes to great success and at other times to utter failure. The factor that separates success from failure is the time spent gaining the team’s commitment to the program. The greater their commitment to a collaborative approach, the greater the benefit from the rollout. 

It amazes me how many companies spend large sums of money on software solutions only to handicap themselves by not bothering to train people in their use. Training is an investment in the future of your people and the future of your business. You wouldn’t buy a $250,000 Mack truck and allow someone to drive it without the proper training or accreditation. Nor would you set up a $1 million depot and let unlicensed storemen loose with forklifts. Then why allow your teams to implement technology without adequate technical training? Can you afford the catastrophic consequences of allowing freight to move between denied parties simply because your team has not been correctly trained in compliance functionality? Investing in software without first investing in people leads to frustration, discontent, and a decrease in productivity. So often I’ve seen the software blamed and thrown out, new software brought in (at great expense), and the same cycle of errors continue.  

There are ways to sidestep the pitfalls that can ensnare your business. Train employees first in functionality that removes paper, errors, and redundancy. Start with rating and invoicing where everyone will see the immediate benefits of automation. These functions do all the billing for all your clients with a single click of a button. The setup and training on these modules will be a game changer: they can reduce two-man days to two hours’ work. Your staff are freed to complete more skilled, productive work for the organization and build relationships with clients. Use the same approach for the deployment of the rest of the system. When should training start, in relation to the implementation schedule? If you train too early, you lose momentum because the staff won’t get to practice what they’ve learned. Have an aggressive, go-live strategy and a plan to fill all the knowledge gaps once the system is in production. Flexibility in training is also key. From individual e-learning to using a face-to-face, collaborative classroom environment, all training approaches are viable. Learning styles vary, and job requirements have vastly different levels of complexity. The better prepared we are, the better we know how to do something, the better the overall experience and outcomes will be.

With today’s self-service, e-learning ensures you can minimize the cost of ongoing training and maximize its effectiveness. For maximum skill retention, keep to small, frequent bites of training that are role-specific and relevant. Training must be seen as a process, not an end point. Too busy being busy? Don’t have time to watch a video or read an update note? Ensure that your staff has ample time to learn about the new tools available, the ones that will take the friction points out of their day, the ones that cut out error-prone, time consuming tasks. This is where your ability to communicate the benefits is vital. If the complaint arises that the system isn’t doing what it needs to do, the chances are the functionality does exist but hasn’t yet been found. Industry-specific logistics software has been developed over time from the vast, global accumulation of expertise, so just ask your provider the question. Don’t waste hours suffering; take a few minutes to find the solution. Encourage and reward your people for taking the time to look for tips and tricks.  

As a final reminder: your staff are neither enemies nor idiots. The more training you invest into your team, the more commitment they will give to their work. You’ll be promoting a culture of excellence and empowering your people to take the initiative. Have an accreditation process via which your people can benchmark their development and celebrate their milestones. Your teams will thrive and you’ll significantly increase your software ROI. Ultimately, training leads to collaboration, collaboration leads to productivity, and a productive team will have a positive effect on your bottom line. Profits will grow hand in hand with your team.

Mark Connell is Senior Logistics Architect for WiseTech Global

Media Contact: Lisa Tree, lisa.tree@wisetechglobal.com