How Keller Logistics Successfully Implemented Online Training into Their Safety Program
Beth Woodbury, Director of Safety and Wellness for Keller Logistics Group, was the client speaker at our Engage Evaluation Program November 7th and 8th in Irving, Texas. Beth spoke about the Infinit-I Workforce System and how her company deployed it successfully, saving both time and resources across the company.
Watch the complete interview
About the Infinit-I Workforce System
Online Training Q&A with Beth Woodburry at Keller Logistics Group
Before you started using the Infint-I Workforce System, did you have any perceptions about online training, or any concerns about it?
I really didn’t know anything about online training before. I guess probably one of the concerns we had was how many people had access to online, to Wi-Fi mobile devices. We found that most of our drivers have access in one way, shape, or form, whether it’s in the office, mobile hotspot, tablet, or cell phone. We do required trainings every month, and we get 100 percent compliance.
What’s the primary use of the Infinit-I Workforce System? Is it just safety training, or orientation, or other things?
We use it for everything. We start out with driver orientation, as well as orientation with our general laborers and our forklift drivers, as well as our temps. We run a lot of temps through our repack business, probably 30 or 40 a week. This makes it a lot easier to get that training done, that OSHA required training for the temporary employees.
How did your drivers react to the Infinit-I Workforce System when you first introduced online training?
We did it softly, so we kind of left it optional. We didn’t put any penalties for not watching their videos, but then we started incorporating it with their safety bonus program. And we really haven’t had any issues. They like it in the fact that we use Vertical Alliance now as our primary means for getting the message out to drivers for whatever we want to get the message out to them for.
It was only a portion of the people reading the newsletter, only a portion of the people that have e-mail, not everybody text messages, but we know that 100 percent of our drivers get on to watch these videos.
We just implemented a policy that said you have to turn in your bills of lading or you won’t get paid. We wanted to make sure everybody got that message before we put that down, and 100 percent of our drivers did. And it’s time stamped. There is no disputing whether they knew about it or not. It is 100% communicated.
Do you have company drivers or contract drivers?
They’re all company. Local, regional, over-the-road. Some are based in Illinois. Some are based in Wisconsin or Texas. We have drivers we don’t see regularly, but they’re all company drivers.
As you were implementing the Infinit-I Workforce System, were there any challenges you had to overcome?
I don’t really think there were. Erin is our customer client representatives. She does a real great job as far as getting the custom content uploaded and working with us to get the questions we want put on there.
How long did it take to get everyone using the Infinit-I Workforce System?
I think it was a two-year process. It’s some time commitment too for monitoring. There are reports you can run to see who’s in compliance and not in compliance.
We run a little bit different of a business, having general laborers, and forklift drivers, and drivers, so that was more of a challenge coordinating that training. I have Sara now, and she helps me get that done. She’s our training coordinator, so she’s taken that over. But with Vertical Alliance, it makes it very easy to get it done.
Do you manage the Infinit-I Workforce System, or does Sara?
We do it jointly. We discuss what training topics we want to have monthly. We have monthly training topics. Our warehouses have weekly “Take Ten for Safety.” We use it for our mechanic training that we do, our safety training that we do weekly.
If we’ve had a work comp incident, we try and get the message out through Vertical Alliance, “You know we had this happen. We want to prevent it from happening again.” We get the training out that way.
Do you make your own assignments, or does Client Services do that for you?
We do our own assignments.
How is Client Services working out for you?
She’s great. Erin’s a big help. We were having some issues with a little bit of push back from our HR and driver manager staff that orientation was taking too long because the drivers are having to re-watch the videos. We talked to Erin about it, and she introduced us to the total clicks, and that made everybody happy. She’s been a great asset for problem solving some different things that we’ve had.
Can you share with us a little bit more about the custom content you are creating?
One of the biggest ones we did was a couple of months ago when we were seeing a lot of DriveCam videos where drivers were using cell phones. We realized we needed to put a policy down right now. So, the owner, Brian Keller, put out a custom video that was direct from him that basically laid out our policy that says, “We’ll give you one time we see you with a phone. The second time, you’re terminated.” That had a really good effect on the fleet. I mean we did have an incident not long ago, but the number of events dramatically went down.
Has the Infinit-I Workforce System training impacted your accidents or incidents?
I don’t have anything concrete with that. We’ve done a lot in the last 12 to 24 months to try and reduce accidents as well as worker’s comp accidents.
We do a lot of communication through Vertical Alliance. If there’s something we want people to know, we put it up on the Infinit-I Workforce System. It’s just the most surefire way to know that they got the message and the most economical.
Our H.R. department emailed out our 401k required notices this last week, and it was a thick book of you know the annual notification. I said, “We should have just put that on Vertical Alliance. It would have saved a lot of postage, a lot of time, a lot of people stuffing envelopes. And it’s guaranteed that they got it. You know.”
How would you say the Infinit-I Workforce System has impacted your job?
I think it’s made it easier. Initially, with any program it’s going to have its learning curve. But I think it’s made it easier. An easier way to get messages out.
We do our post-accident countermeasure all through Vertical Alliance, whether it’s a video or upload PDF.
My insurance company, when they do our captive audit every year, they always ask for what was my current reaction to this accident or this accident. And I can just print a report out of Vertical Alliance and show that that it was done through there. It’s an easy means to get the corrective action done. In less serious accidents, I can do it remotely. Just have them login. “Hey it’s up online. Go in and look at it, and let me know when you have it done.
Recently we’ve just started doing DriveCam coaching through there. Drivers can log into DriveCam through that portal. But putting them up on Vertical Alliance, it gives them a single point of access. They don’t have to remember multiple user IDs and passwords. So, they can log in. “Hey, you have an event to look at. Let me know when you’ve looked at it, and then call me, and we can talk about it.” And then we are coaching them right through Vertical Alliance.
How do they know they have an event?
Through PeopleNet message. We send out a fleet message. We usually try and get it up the first week of the month, and they have until the end of the month to get them done.
We work with all our fleet managers every week. We have a meeting, and we let them know who’s outstanding. Once we get down to the last couple days of the month, there might be two or three stragglers, and we really hit them hard. Because our safety department is motivated to get these done, so they’re making calls there. “What do we need to do? Do we need to get you to someplace to watch them, or what can we do to help you?”
The fleet managers are also making calls because they are vested in having that done as well.
What percentage of hours does a driver spend doing online training in orientation vs. your entire orientation?
I would say 10 or 20 percent. We still like to have that one-on-one experience. We have put up drug and alcohol videos. We put some wellness videos on there. We’re very, very big into wellness. We have a wellness coordinator. We also own our own clinic, so we’ve done a custom video that tours our clinic and talks about our services that our clinic provides to our employees at no charge. That’s helped increase our clinic usage as well.
A lot of what we do is custom. How we want to do a pre-trip inspection. How the state teaches it and how we want you to do it are a little bit different, and this is what we want you to look at. I would have to say it’s usually about three hours of videos, and it’s all videos.
We don’t do any HR paperwork. We still are having that one-on-one contact with them. So online training is about three hours of the orientation process.
When you started using the system, was there anything you found that you weren’t expecting?
I think all the time we come up with things like “We should put that on Vertical Alliance, why didn’t we do that? Why didn’t we put these 401K things up?”
Right now, we are using a process driven system for all of our departments to where we’ve taken every job task, whether it’s auditing logs or doing payroll, and we’ve actually written processes for every task, everything that people do.
Take auditing logs. We’ve went through what we do when we audit a log. If my log auditor is sick for a week, or two weeks, or goes on vacation, and I need somebody to come and fill in, they can reference this process.
We pay a separate service right now, but we’re looking at transitioning it all over to a Vertical Alliance, so that we have all our processes documented within a click. People can come in, and we reduce our downtime. We still get our logs audited, and we have a documented process. If we ever get audited by the DOT, or we’re involved in litigation, we have that process documented, and we trained our people on that process.
What do you like best about working with Vertical Alliance Group?
I like the tracking and traceability of the training. We used to do monthly trainings, accident countermeasures, all via paper. We’d mail it out, put it in their paycheck stubs. They’d send it back, and I’d have this big stack of paper that we’d have to go through and monitor and manage. And then somebody forgot to put their name on it or you couldn’t read it. This is just all right there at my finger. You can run a report and literally in 30 seconds you can see who has done it and who hasn’t done it. Nothing to scan and file. It’s all right there.
How did you implement this into your safety bonus program?
Well the fleet managers are incentivized via a bonus. They have a safety portion built into their quarterly or annual bonus. Drivers get a weekly safety bonus. We give them the deadline that they have to watch it by the last day of the month. If they don’t, they lose their weekly safety bonus until they get it watched. We pay 3 cents a mile safety bonus every week, it’s about $75. So, if you don’t watch it for one week, you’ve lost 75 bucks averaging 2500 miles. You don’t watch it for two weeks, that $150. They watch it.
We haven’t seen an issue once we started. You’re really putting some teeth in it, and we tie it to the safety bonus. They watch it. We call them. It should never be a surprise when somebody doesn’t get their safety bonus. They should know that it’s coming because we tell them. That last week leading up to the end of the month, we’re calling them. We’re reminding them. Their fleet managers are calling them. Again, it should never be a surprise that they’re not getting that in their check.
Is there anything new that you’re planning in the future?
Wellness is huge for us, so we are probably going to start using it more. I have a full-time wellness coordinator that works under me. I’m doing more videos, cooking videos. We give every driver a crockpot when they hire on, so we’re probably going to put some cooking videos out online. We’ll probably do some in-truck exercises. We hear a lot how drivers can’t exercise. We’ve run functional capacity exams, and we have a physical therapist as well on staff, and so he does a lot with rehabbing drivers. So probably doing some of that kind of stuff, but more working in the driver wellness. We’re doing a lot of communication right now for Sleep Apnea as well. So probably more rolling it into wellness, trying to capitalize on that piece now.