Bill Heming, Vice President of Safety with PTG Logistics, was the client speaker at our Engage Evaluation Program on October 17th and 18th in Irving, Texas. Bill spoke about the Infinit-I Workforce System and how his company deployed it successfully, seeing a 2/3 reduction in accidents in just two years.
Watch the complete interview
About the Infinit-I Workforce System
Online Training Q&A with Bill Heming at PTG Logistics
Before you started using Infinit-I, did you have any concerns about doing training online?
The concern I had about online training was how you were going to get the drivers to do it. Once we had tablets for our onboard logging stuff, it made it easy. So all we had to do was just add it to it because we already had service and everything going to those tablets. So we actually added Infinit-I, so the drivers can get to it.
Did your drivers adopt online training quickly?
Dependent on the driver, about 50% really bought in right off the start. The other ones need a little coaxing, but we implemented a couple of things that kind of forced them to make sure they do it. We made it part of their bonus program. So, it’s part of their quarterly bonus program that they stay up on it. They get assigned one [new training] every two weeks, and every third week I get notification on who’s behind. Then, emails go out to managers. If drivers get too far behind, they cancel fuel cards, shut them down, and make them sit in the office and do it. They don’t get paid to do that. When they’re done, we send them down the road.
What’s the primary usage of the system? Orientation? Safety Training? Corrective Action Training?
Yes, yes and yes. They get the orientation package. They do it. That’s their first assignment. Then after that, we do continue their regular training. Then, we also do it for recurrent training. If somebody is having issues, we will assign training to individuals. So we use it for pretty much all that.
Do you have company drivers or independent contractors?
Is training mandatory for your independent contractors?
What does your orientation entail?
It’s the Infinit-I orientation and then whatever the on-site driver goes through with that individual customer. We’re a dedicated fleet service, so depending on the customer, it depends on the training that they get. So they get the Infinit-I orientation and then whatever else they would get at that local facility. So each place could be different depending on what they’re doing.
Did you have to sell it to the owners of the company?
The ownership wanted it. The ownership is the one that actually went and got it. We were noticing there was an issue with keeping everybody on the same page, and because of that, we wanted something that was uniform that everybody was going to be doing the same thing. East of the Mississippi, we’ve got about 15 different locations from Florida to New York and from Alabama to Virginia. So we’re all over the place. We wanted something that was everybody was getting the same stuff, so the video training was actually the perfect way to get that.
From an accidents and compliance standpoint, what did you see prior to and after implementing?
Our accidents are down about two-thirds in two years since we’ve been using it. A lot of that also has to do with having managers buy into this. When they see something that’s good in videos, they’ll cover it in talks with the drivers. So, we got the local managers actually bought into the program which actually made it successful because they actually talk about it on top of [drivers] seeing a video. So it’s actually pretty good.
Do your drivers come to your terminal?
They show up every day. We’ve got an owner operator set out in California, the manager out there sees him about once a week. Other than that, we see the guys four and five days a week.
Do you hold traditional safety meetings, or is everything done online?
We do both. I hit every location twice a year to about every six months. I also have a director safety underneath me that hits them every six months, and then the managers catch them every week. Then, they also hold monthly safety meetings at each location. So we do the Infinit-I [online training] on top of all that.
What was the feedback you received from your drivers and owner operators when you were implementing the system?
Our owner operators actually came from one of the larger fleets in a country. They said that it’s some of the best stuff that they’ve had put in front of them. We just started showing that about three months ago to them and making them do it just like the rest of the fleet. We’ve had actually good feedback. We’ve actually talked about making it a weekly thing, doing a video every week.
Did you have any problems implementing the Infinit-I Workforce System from drivers who weren’t tech savvy?
We set up the tablet for them, so all they do is hit the button and it comes up. How we ended up making it user friendly for the drivers – because some of those individuals, the older drivers, they’ve never used a computer – to actually make it easy for them, every driver is assigned a driver’s number that controls their payroll, it controls everything. They put it on all their paperwork. Their user name is their employee number. If they have internet, or a cell phone , they have access to it.
How do you manage the program?
I get the report on who’s lacking. That’s a first thing on Monday morning at 6:00 in the morning. By 6:30 I’ve got it broken down by managers, and it goes to those locations. Then they get with the driver. The managers can also get in it, but I do it. It takes 10 minutes. It’s an Excel spreadsheet, and I can cut and paste straight into Outlook and send the e-mail. It gives name. It gives what time period because we do them every two weeks. It’s easy. It’s real simple. The people who have done it aren’t on the list.
Do you use the customized portion of the Infinit-I Workforce System?
We have a little bit. I’ve not toyed in it, but our CEO toys in it quite often. He does it all the time.
Do you make your own training videos?
You know, we’re talking about that. We’re actually talking about making a driver inspection one. I came from government, so I spent 14 years as a DOT enforcement person. I was a person you didn’t want to see. I still have buddies who are, so I’m going to snag one of them and actually tape them going through an inspection and then narrate it later. Then put it on there and send it out to everybody through Infinit-I.
Do you decide what assignments are made or do other people?
Myself and the director of safety. If he sees something, he’s got free rein to assign anything to anybody, and then I do as well.
Is the training the same for everybody?
No. If we have drivers with issues, we can individually assign, and we’ll do that. So they’ll get training on top of their normal one. We don’t change the normal one at all. There have been guys who have been mandated to watch one a day for a week or two. That’s because they need the information.
How do you notify drivers they have training?
They know! They know it’s every two weeks. When we do orientation with them, they actually get a paper that tells them that they’re every two weeks, that it’s part of their bonus program, and that they’re required to do it. It’s not kept secret. They have to go through our procedures, and they initial each procedure. They go down the page, and that’s one of them that we make them initial.
Do they get an email notifying them of new training?
Infinit-I sends an email to every e-mail address. However, they don’t have e-mail addresses put in the system, so they would if we put their e-mail address in. I get notification on all mine because in my profile I have an e-mail address, so I get notification. But because they’re being a driver they don’t have an actual e-mail address, so they just know that it’s every two weeks.
Does everyone in your company get training?
From the CEO down, makes no difference. Everybody does it.
Were there any surprises when you rolled out the system?
Any time you get stuff in front of people, I’m never surprised. I haven’t seen one
I didn’t like. That’s the funny thing. Coming from the enforcement side in knowing how important training is, anything that you can do to get something else in a different platform in front of them other than me sitting in front of them and preaching to them, it’s always better to have a different approach.