Foodstuffs North Island - the company behind every picnic date, dinner party, and school lunchbox - works alongside ecoPortal health and safety software to ensure that their focus on safety remains at the core of the business and all its systems.
The grocery co-operative is no stranger to the relentless pursuit of creating safer working environments for their people. As one of New Zealand’s biggest employers, Foodstuffs North Island’s numerous teams orchestrate an essential service for all Kiwis - no easy feat, in the past two years of the pandemic.
From headquarters staff to frontline staff, Foodstuffs North Island’s team has to adapt to constantly-evolving challenges every week - everything from supply chain challenges to new government regulations.
Despite the difficulties, Foodstuffs humbly attributes their ongoing success to their seamless systems and excellent cohort of employees. Certainly, a culture of excellence helps too. “We strive for the best,” explains Senior Safety & Wellbeing Advisor, Mitchell Horan. “We don’t take risks where we can avoid them.”
Safety risk is no exception, and Head of Safety and Wellbeing, Michelle Cooper, enthusiastically credits ecoPortal as a key contributor to the company’s ability to manage safety through particularly difficult times.
“When I first arrived, there was a lot of frustration about the safety management system we were already using,” recalls Michelle.
Any business leader knows that an organisation is a living, breathing entity with multiple moving parts. Any implemented system that tries a one-size-fits-all approach will, by definition, miss the mark. When it comes to health and safety, Foodstuffs North Island’s old digital safety system did not account for the nuanced complexity of the organisation and its existing health and safety culture. Instead, the original digital safety system was trying to ‘shoehorn the company into its way of being.
The safety and wellbeing team at Foodstuffs North Island appreciate that the ecoPortal safety software can be configured to match their business needs. Safety systems have many moving parts - especially when you’re collaborating with a major organisation that employs 24,000 people.
“Safety systems cannot be generic - they’re built to the site, to the company, to the way it operates.” Mitchell adds.
ecoPortal is known for its simple, user-friendly interface that cuts the chaos out of compliance. At the end of the day, organisations can’t operate with a safety ‘glass ceiling’, where the systems are too complex for every single person to understand and use effectively.
Health and Safety Coordinator, Jazzlyn Prasad, is most excited about how user-friendly ecoPortal is. “The great thing about ecoPortal software is that it’s simple, and it matches our health and safety management system.”
If a system cannot be easily understood and used day-to-day by your frontline workers, it’s an ineffective system that’s not fulfilling its ultimate purpose of keeping people safe. The beauty of a configured system that’s constructed around your organisational processes is that it’s immediately familiar.
“If you can use Google, you can use ecoPortal”, adds Jazzlyn.
From a top-down perspective, the software’s live updates and tailored permissions keep the safety and wellbeing team in the know, at any given moment. All the relevant weekly metrics are available digitally on beautiful graphs and charts, or can be exported into easy-to-read spreadsheets ready to be shared with various teams as needed, keeping everyone in the loop.
Like a well-oiled machine, the team at Foodstuffs North Island have their priorities in order to keep the wheels turning. When it comes to safety, they cut no corners and prefer to give their people the best resources to mitigate risks and work safely.
For a leading Kiwi company, keeping people safe means the croissants are baked, the shelves stocked and most importantly, the staff are happy.