Signs of a training lapse
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
I was interested in your editorial (CM November 261 and particularly your reference to the falling-off in attendances at seminars concerned with transport subjects.
Drawing on the experience gained at the seminars I have led for the Centre for Physical Distribution Mangement all have been oversubscribed although I must point out that these have been limited to 40 delegates on each occasion. Nevertheless, although it was found necessary to make the last one held in October a two-day course it was still oversubscribed, resulting in would-be delegates being asked if they would like to transfer to the January two-day course. I think you will agree that this experience indicates that there is no lack of support for the right subjects.
My own view is that whomsoever receives a course prospectus and enrolment form. and this may be the company secretary or training officer, is apt to think that the company transport manager is not in need of training or acquiring further knowledge, and consequently I assume a good deal of course material finds its way into the waste-paper basket.
Perhaps even more pertinent is the fact that many companies have no understudy or substitute for the transport manager and therefore he cannot be spared even for one day. Here again experience tells me that to train a potential transport manager on the job is one of the most difficult exercises one can encounter as invariably the transport manager has all the facts in his head, based on the experience he has gained, whereas there is apt to be very little on paper. In the event the trainee becomes a telephone answering machine in the course of which he is only required to ascertain who is phoning and to ask that person to hold on until the TM has freed himself from his other telephones.
If there is one thing I think is required to stimulate course attendances it is in training top management to appreciate the complexities of the transport manager's job. involving as it does customer service, utilization. legislation, and last, but by no means least, cost.
I suggest that if top management attended some of the courses mounted on transport subjects — particularly those of a high calibre — they would appreciate the need for their transport managers to be given the opportunity to attend also.
R. P. BLOCK Surbiton, Surrey.