With branches throughout the country filled with passionate experts, Southpac is a total transport solution. The only truck distributor in New Zealand that is 100% New Zealand-owned and -operated, there is a personal, local touch to Southpac’s work crafting customised-for-purpose trucks that are built to national conditions.
Southpac believes that there is no such thing as a typical journey or standard freight task. Every driver, route, transport operator, and load is unique, and should be responded to accordingly. With such work comes many moving parts—many types of tasks, each with different levels of risk. All the little details can pile up. Without a clear and engaging system, keeping the health and safety wheels on track becomes challenging.
‘It started off with four or five people passionate about trucks, and now we have multiple branches’, Southpac Project Manager Richard Gibbons told ecoPortal. ‘But we haven't lost that value of family and working together, and obviously part of that is keeping health and safety at the core of all of that.’
Before ecoPortal, Southpac used a paper-based system. Described by Health & Safety Manager Natalie Westley as ‘onerous’, the system was highly reliant on one individual to stay on top of all the branches’ safety needs and activity at all times, leaving it at constant risk of a breakdown.
Transitioning to ecoPortal has heralded much change for the better at Southpac, especially when it comes to engagement.
For Westley, ‘the platform is about educating, training, and upskilling all of our staff here so that they take ownership for their own health and safety in their workspace and that they take a level of responsibility.’
ecoPortal has been doing just that across Southpac’s eight locations, seeing significant buy-in from staff at multiple levels.
‘People are starting to be more aware, and they're starting to articulate amongst themselves about any situation’, Westley notes.
The Southpac team has found great value in the transparency of the ecoPortal platform: ‘It's not just about putting an incident in, and that's that’, says Gibbons. ‘I like how it takes us on the journey to really dive in and work out the “what”s and the “why”s.’
Every Southpac team member is a part of the ecoPortal system, meaning that everyone can access to-the-minute work safety information. They can also follow the journey of incidents they reported, creating a feedback loop that shows users how their actions enhance the safety of everyone around them. This visibility promotes engagement and inspires a greater sense of collective responsibility.
Southpac Service Manager Andrew Potter in particular appreciates the live push notifications and alerts he receives when an incident is reported by one of his staff. He can then log in to the ecoPortal system and see exactly what’s going on in real time.
This transparency also leads to greater recognition of Southpac’s leaders as individuals who actively care about their people’s safety. ‘Staff don't just hear that we care about them,’ Southpac CEO Maarten Durent tells ecoPortal. ‘They can see it, and we've demonstrated it to them.’
Since implementation, Southpac’s ecoPortal Customer Success Managers have offered continuous aftermarket support to help the team achieve their safety goals and stay on the cutting edge of health & safety in their industry. This includes offering opportunities for Southpac to participate in user groups, working together with other companies embarking upon similar health & safety digital strategies at various stages.
ecoPortal’s high efficacy across mobile and desktop platforms, both on- and offline, was one of the things that initially drew Southpac management to the platform.
‘We needed to find a way to connect with every single employee directly because everyone's got a mobile phone, just about’, Durent observed. ‘So how do we connect with these people so that we get participation and ownership?’
ecoPortal’s availability on both mobile and desktop is another way the platform supports Southpac staff to take immediate action on safety matters.
‘Something that's developed in the last few minutes, rather than waiting for the next health and safety meeting or the next toolbox meeting, it can get dealt with by the employee right there and then’, says Durent.
ecoPortal doesn’t stop at the safety of Southpac staff and contractors. With the Visitor Management module, Southpac simplifies its site management while effectively tracking and ensuring the safety of everyone who comes onsite.
With staff, contractors, and visitors alike able to find a home on ecoPortal’s unified digital platform, even though the team is spread across cities and islands everyone is on the same page when it comes to health and safety. Instead of each department following slightly different health & safety principles, Gibbons says ‘we're just one company, one policy, one platform.’