Johnston Logistics UK: Practice with Management Mentoring
Leading UK third-party logistics provider, Johnston Logistics UK have launched an in-house Management Mentoring programme to help recently upskilled supervisors get the best from formal training.
As members of their team recently completed ILM qualifications in Leadership and Management, the Norfolk-based logistics experts have sought to embed their new skills in day-to-day operations with the support of their experienced colleagues.
“The mentoring programme is designed to support our team leaders. Our aim is to build strong foundations and impart key management skills so we continue to lead our team to deliver the very best for our colleagues and clients” says Jane Bull, Head of Business Support at Johnston Logistics UK.
“We know the importance of a great working relationship between every colleague and their line manager. It’s a powerful influence on morale and our overall company culture”.
Available to all those in a supervisory role, the mentoring programme includes coaching from senior managers on a variety of management techniques, including identifying the best solutions for many situations.
Amongst the first-line managers to benefit from the programme is Rob Sweet who has subsequently been promoted from Supervisor to Manager of the Operational Support Team.
Rob said “Jane’s mentoring has really helped me understand the importance in treating everyone equally but respecting the different ways they are motivated. It helps me get the best from others and myself. I really feel supported to become the best manager I can and build a strong team around me”
As well as one-on-one time working through real-life scenarios together, Jane also observed Rob leading team meetings including the induction and coordination of agency workers.
With some supervisors recently completing Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications supported by the firm, the programme has also been designed to help apply what they have learnt. The qualification aims to deliver effective and confident first-line managers, able to build better relationships and communication in teams.
The mentoring is intended to complement other company policies by ensuring a consistent approach throughout the business. It also includes practical guidance on areas such as managing individual development plans on the recently upgraded HR system.
As part of the initiative, the logistics firm have also revised their Employee Handbook and updated Employee Contracts to support their new Good Work Plan. This was introduced following their 2019 staff survey and includes enhanced employee benefits to reward the team for their hard work.
The 2020 staff survey reported that 83% of the team felt that the business supported them well in training, support and leadership; as well as their overall well-being.
Jane concludes “We are really encouraged by the positive response to the programme. There has been a noticeable change in the team, generating even more positivity. A company is only as good as its employees, so we will continue to identify valuable ways to invest in our great team”.
From their 700,000 square-feet operation, Johnston Logistics UK delivers warehousing, logistics and fulfilment services for businesses throughout the UK, including major retailers, leading brands and manufacturers.
The management mentoring plan is one of the various investments being made by the company in their team as they continue to report positive growth.
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.