Complex compliance

To ensure compliance when rostering staff, CentrePort’s operational managers need to know which of their 155 operational team members have the correct and current certifications and skills to carry out port-specific tasks (for example, operating the forklifts or cranes) on any shift. They’re also responsible for identifying skill gaps, planning and requesting further employee training, and sharing training progress, outcomes and records with the port’s learning and development team.

However, despite the requirement to ensure appropriate training, a reliance on spreadsheets and dispersed data meant that it was difficult for the port’s operational managers to stay up to date with their team’s current and expired certifications.

In addition, workers had zero visibility of their training plans. To top it off, many employees aren’t IT savvy, so it was difficult to share training plans and schedules electronically. For those who did use email or SMS, official requests to attend training simply advised ‘training’ — and a date and time — with no further detail.

The dreaded training register spreadsheets

CentrePort’s reliance on spreadsheets to capture and manage data made the learning and training process for workers as complex as delivering the learning itself.

The Excel-based training register required continual maintenance, and any changes or updates were sent by managers to the register ‘owners’ (the learning and development team) via email. Unsurprisingly, the need for manual data sharing and input resulted in missing and incomplete training records, which were time-consuming to resolve.

Natasha Bennett, CentrePort’s Learning and Development Consultant, says that their inability to attach individual worker certifications to the spreadsheet made the compliance trail doubly hard to follow. And on top of the inherent risks of entering and maintaining data by hand, generating accurate, on-demand reports from the spreadsheet was a major challenge.

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“The integration has dramatically reduced the opportunity for data entry errors, it saves us time and money, as well as reducing compliance risks.”

Natasha Bennett, Learning and Development Consultant, CentrePort

Paper logbooks, dispersed data

Over time, the port’s historical use of physical logbooks to record workers’ progress through training courses had created a physical data silo. The learning and development team couldn’t always find or access the logbooks, so it added to the stress of maintaining an up-to-date master training register.

In addition, the port’s training content, including their standard operating procedures (SOPs), was spread across SharePoint, iDrive, and Excel. As SOPs must be marked as read and understood by every operational employee, tracking them down posed another time-wasting administrative problem.

Time to move on

By 2021, it was clear to CentrePort that they needed to implement a learning management system (LMS) to reduce the administrative burden of the small learning and development team, minimise the risk of non-compliance or skills shortages, centralise data, and enable the port’s managers to take ownership of and manage training their respective teams.

The DnA of a new solution

To get the ball rolling, CentrePort engaged the Jemini team to undertake a ‘Discovery and Advisory’ journey to establish the requirements of both the business and its employees, and transform them into a tailored LMS.

So that the Jemini team could identify and expand on the port’s existing pain points, they engaged with CentrePort’s learning and development, people and capability, and operations teams. Through a series of discovery workshops, technical meetings, and quantitative surveys, they prepared a collective wish list of solution deliverables.

“Over the course of the discovery phase we went through all of our requirements and challenges,” says Bennett. “I tabled my own giant list of everything that I wanted our LMS to do, and we went through what was and wasn’t possible. By the end of discovery, we had a clear view of what the solution needed to do to meet our business expectations.”

Jemini LMS in action

Jemini’s LMS has enabled CentrePort to meet its key objectives of tracking upskilling, achieving data transparency, and delivering the business a single, centralised source of the truth.

Both the port’s operational managers and learning and development team can now follow the step-by-step progress of their employees’ training through to completion in one place. Additionally, the LMS holds the dates of all training courses started, stalled, failed, or finished, as well as a digital copy of each certification attained. With certificates against workers’ names and roles, it’s easy to report on qualifications held and those due to expire by individual or role.

Gone are the days of filling in physical training logbooks. Logbooks are now online and updated directly in Jemini.

Jemini has also solved one of the most common complaints made by new dock workers at their first four-monthly review — the lack of visibility of training plans. Now, CentrePort introduces recruits to the LMS within days of starting, so they can see everything they need to plan ahead.

All port employees can view the training requirements for their role via a highly graphical and easy-to-use interface or app. And they’re provided with a breakdown of the skills they need to learn to be eligible to perform their tasks at CentrePort.

The joy of Jade integration

By integrating Jemini with the port’s Jade Star payroll solution, the administrative burden of manually updating employee and role information in several systems has been removed. The data only needs to be entered into Jade Star, and it then flows through to Jemini.

“The integration has dramatically reduced the opportunity for data entry errors,” says Bennett. “It saves us time and money, as well as reducing compliance risks.”

Go-live

Following extensive staff training, CentrePort’s Jemini LMS went live in late 2021.

The port has provided operational workers with access to dedicated laptops. To upskill those who had never used a computer before, Bennett organised small, focused workshops to deliver both basic computer skills and Jemini training.

“While there was some initial hesitation, overall adoption has been very successful, with 50% of our operational workers using it already,” says a delighted Bennett. “Given that many of our dock workers hadn’t even turned on a work computer before, their uptake has exceeded all our expectations.”

The LMS holds links to all the port’s SOPs, making it simple to track and report on worker compliance.

Jemini has also enabled the port to introduce e-learning, and they’re already reaping benefits. “We’re no longer bound by trainer availability,” says Bennett. “Instead, we can make videos and share them on Jemini so they can be viewed on demand. It’s helped us speed up our training and support our move into the digital age.”

What next

High on Bennett’s ‘what next list’ for Jemini is integrating the LMS with their rostering system (JAS). This will ensure that JAS always reflects any training sessions that workers are booked in for, and make sure they are marked as unavailable for rostered work.

As each cargo handler can only do specific tasks if they have the right certifications, automated alerts will be fed through to JAS three months before their current certification expires. This will provide both the worker and manager ample time to plan ahead.

The Jemini experience

“Jemini takes a lot of the administrative burden off of us in the learning and development space. As we don’t have to focus so intently on data entry and pulling reports, we can concentrate on other ways to add value. Our operational workers and managers now know what’s expected of them, and by when. Jemini’s really helped everybody across the business.”

Natasha Bennett | L&D Consultant, CentrePort

Bennett is more than happy to recommend the Jemini experience, from the DnA process to delivery. In fact, she’s been so happy with the project outcome that she presented Jemini at a recent meeting with the Ports Industry Association.

“I think the product is really good,” she says. “But in all honesty, it’s the Jemini team, and their willingness to go above and beyond, that has made the project so successful for CentrePort. Jemini’s definitely not just another piece of software that you've signed up to and never use!”

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