KZN Management Training Solutions Ltd

Creating value through the elimination of waste

Neovia Apprenticeship Training in Action

Here we take a look at the training that one of our consultants is currently delivering to apprentices working in a blue chip company that operates all over the world - and yet not many people have heard of!

Ray is one of our KZN consultants who specialises in helping businesses improve their operational performance through a Level 2 Apprenticeship Course.

For the past 10 months Ray has been working with a company called Neovia Logistics which is a globally renowned logistics and warehousing and supply chain company.  This facility is a supplier of spare parts for car dealerships and has to fly parts all over the world on a daily basis.

“For this particular company the apprenticeship training focusses on improving three main things - cost, quality and delivery,” says Ray. “The nature of the business means that getting the slightest thing wrong can cause problems further down the supply chain.

“Even the basics of not keeping a working area tidy can have implications.  Yet by simply arranging such an area in a more logical configuration actually results in the area becoming easier to maintain and service reducing the amount of man hours spent on “non-value added” activities. More importantly this helps to make the picking and packing operations more efficient helping to ensure customer satisfaction.

“I am currently working with 60 trainees.  The training is carried out in groups of 6-8 people over a 5 day period during which the individuals bond into an effective team. Over the following 12 months each team will work on live projects in their own work place.  This calls on their skills and knowledge of the processes used to highlight areas for further/future improvement projects. Evidence is gathered in contact or improvement days towards the end of the course to meet the standards

“Friday will see the completion of the training of yet another team of 8 apprentices who will be starting the live projects to progress the course through to completion.  The good news is that Tony Clarke, the Neovia Logistics Operations Manager, has been so impressed with what has been achieved he has now decided to put all the supervisors and team leaders through the course so another 52 people will be joining us soon. What is so great is that this is a clear indication that Neovia are committed to what can only be described as building a better, bright and more efficient future by investing not only in the facility but in the workforce”.

“The course consists of 6 units,” Ray explains. “These are:

•             Health and Safety

•             Team Working

•             Workplace Organisation

•             Continuous Improvement

•             Visual Management

•             Problem Solving Techniques

“The training is away from the workplace so we have been utilising the Neovia Centre of Excellence. This is a purpose built facility and has all of the up-to-date technology required to present our teaching materials. It also comes complete with some “old hat” methods such as whiteboards set around 2 sides of the room to allow the teams to record structured problem solving exercises and refer back to them as the week progresses to evaluate the outcomes. At the end of the week the teams present back to the full Management team on what they have learned and also show the initial ground work for the first project in which they are engaged.  The apprentices then work together and apply the learned techniques to what are known as Deliverable Measures of Quality, Cost and Delivery to a simulated production line and also live scenarios.

“I have been showing the teams how to carry out risk assessments; how to rate and prioritise risks; what appropriate language and behaviours to use for effective communications including face-to-face meetings; workplace organisation methods; data collection and analysis techniques; problem solving techniques such as root cause identification and analysis; idea prioritisation; implementation and trialling requirements; how to maintain and sustain improvements through standardised working and staff training.

“The best thing about the Business Improvement Techniques course is that it can be applied in any work environment, in any business, in any sector for the improvement of efficient working methods. Many companies have had some experience of some of the tools we use during the training but very few know how to apply them correctly. At KZN Solutions we focus on linking the different aspects and tools in a logical sequence to simplify the process and optimise the outcomes for the learner. In doing so this gives the organisations with whom we work the tangible benefit of a return on investment for the time they have dedicated to the training.

“We are also present on site after the training to guide and mentor the teams and in some cases the companies as to the best way to progress during and after the course has concluded. Learners can then progress on to Level 3 Business Improvement or Management qualifications and be well equipped with the necessary practical skills to do so.

“Also included in the course is Employee Rights and Responsibilities and Functional Skills English and Maths at Level 1.

“As the course progresses I always like to find out what the participants are getting out of training and how they are finding it personally.  I’ve been given permission to share these comments with you:”

“Very useful course, was a great experience, great team achievement”

Kurtis Samuels (Large Pack Team Leader)

“Interesting, educational well presented, had lots of fun, recommend it”

 Paul Wright (Inbound Materials Operator).

“Good learning experience, enjoyed the whole week”

Dean Richardson (Warehouse Operator).

“A chance for your natural ability to shine. Great to come out on top!”

Anthony Evans (Unite Union Convenor)

“Interesting course, the KZN team accommodated my requirements, organised, enjoyed the week” Lynn Hickinbotham (Process Trainer)

For nearly 12 years Ray Foster has been delivering and assessing the Business Improvement Techniques course with major blue chip organisations in the motor, construction and health industries as well as chemical and print facilities and a variety of other small and medium sized companies throughout the UK. Ray is also accredited to deliver Team Leading and Management to Level 3, Customer Service to Level 3 and several other training courses.  He can be contacted at the office on 01325 328 858



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