Metro has been providing internal and external training since inception, but never in such challenging circumstances.
Traditional training in the current climate has simply not been possible and while the benefits that follow learning for the individual and the organisation make the effort of finding alternative methods a worthwhile investment, the Metro training team have overcome significant challenges in continuing to train, inform and educate at a critical time.
Freight System Migration
The rollout of Metro’s new operating platform coincided with the start of the pandemic and the first tranche of the business has successfully transitioned to the new freight platform, training through the lockdown period.
The latest software introduced is a powerful, deeply integrated global logistics execution platform, that executes highly complex shipping transactions across multiple users, functions, offices, countries, currencies and languages, which is why it is the first choice for the world’s largest forwarders.
Metro’s training team condensed Cargowise training down to six modules, which it delivered by Microsoft Teams to staff working from home, in various disciplines from bookings for sea and air freight, managing haulage and generating and transmitting documents and data within our supply chains.
By adapting the training to action end-user acceptance testing, the team kept implementation on target and at the same time provided valuable problem solving experience for our learners…double duty training!!
Supplier and Agent Support
Microsoft Teams again proved invaluable in supporting Metro’s MVT supplier and agent users in Dubai (manufacturing garments) and Tunisia (food stuffs).
MVT enables Metro customers to manage their supply chain to SKU level, managing global inventory and and maintaining effective stock levels.
Metro are creating a dedicated brokerage team to handle the massive increases in import and export declarations to the EU, that begins in less than 90 days.
The Metro training team has developed a bespoke three week induction programme to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills required to deliver this new service to customers trading with the EU.
As this is a new team, we are increasing the people skills elements (team building, relationships, problem solving, engagement) to aid their integration across the business.
The induction will also include a newly updated version of our Cyber Security Awareness training, to meet increasing cyber-threats, by enhancing Metro’s human firewall.
As this is one course we have to do face-to-face we have adapted an open plan area of our HQ that will allow the new starters to maintain social distancing, whilst allowing us to provide practical exercises and team-working exercises, while keeping our people safe.
Externally Accredited Training
Our role in the supply chain means that we have staff who need to be accredited to fulfil their daily role. Throughout lockdown we have been working with providers to put staff through Dangerous Goods by Air, Air Cargo Security, ISO 14001 as well as the office based accredited training for Fire Marshal, First Aid and AED. The challenge has been to make the most of this window of opportunity before a second lockdown.
Reallocation of People
As some industries cut back as a result of Covid-19 others increased their freight movements and volumes, which meant that Metro had to reallocate our human resources across the business to maintain customer service levels and keep up with demand.
For some of our people this meant that they had to quickly develop new skill-sets, such as evolving from importing focus to exporting.
This change of skill set meant that the staff and managers needed support from our Training & Career Development Manager, to help them negotiate the change transition and enable the departments to maintain service delivery. So far so good.
2020 has been a year when learning & development has taken a big hit but like all aspects of Metro’s business, it has adapted to new ways of working, to be there when our people need us.
Metro is recognised within the logistics industry as one of the most progressive and pro-active businesses to focus on training and improving colleagues knowledge.