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Drivers need ongoing support and training

With more than 5 500 permanently employed drivers on its books, Innovative Staffing Solutions (iSS) has developed comprehensive training, as well as systems and procedures to ensure its drivers are properly prepared to negotiate South African roads with skill and confidence.

Arnoux Maré, MD of Innovative Staffing Solutions – the largest subsidiary of Innovative Solutions Group – says the business outsources employees to clients in the transport, mining, industrial and security industries.

“Our large contingent of drivers has necessitated the development of several transport management techniques to ensure they are fit to take to the road.

“Having outsourced drivers to our clients in various industries since 2011, we are acutely aware of the numerous challenges they face on South African roads. To address these, we introduced a combination of regular driver evaluation and corrective training, as well as fleet technology monitoring systems and the close management of driver schedules.

“All these measures are aimed at supporting our drivers, preventing fatigue, reducing the chance of accidents and ensuring the trucks and their cargo get to their destinations timeously,” says Maré.

ISS employs dedicated controllers, who each oversee approximately 40 trucks and their drivers. They constantly provide feedback on driver behaviour, while highlighting potential issues that could affect operations.

One of the greatest issues facing truck drivers is fatigue. “In addition to confirming routes and collection and drop-off points with drivers, our controllers are expected to communicate with them on a regular basis to check their well-being and levels of fatigue,” says Maré.

Every ISS client has an on-site driver trainer. “They are expected to provide ongoing training and instil the importance of safety regulations. They also accompany drivers on trips on an ad-hoc basis to observe their driving and make sure they conform to safety and road regulations,” Maré explains.

In addition, the company recently acquired a Renault Kerax truck to conduct training for its own and its clients’ drivers.

“The on-site truck benefits our clients by significantly reducing downtime for their trucks. It also ensures all drivers are properly trained in safety regulations and provided with the necessary skills to guarantee their safety and that of others on the roads,” adds Maré.

“The outsourcing model works well for clients,” says Maré, who started the multi-million rand company seven years ago with a mere R500 in his pocket. “When a company outsources certain business processes – such as driving, guarding, cleaning, administration and accounting – its personnel become full-time employees of Innovative Staffing Solutions.

“These employees are then placed on contract to our clients, allowing their management teams to focus on value-adding business operations while we take care of their non-core business functions. This provides substantial cost savings for clients, because we absorb the cost of training, skills development and competency licencing requirements.”

ISS also deals with the day-to-day human resources issues such as hiring and terminations. “These are areas in which we excel. We reduce the pressure on organisations by allowing them to focus on growing their operations and boosting their bottom line,” concludes Maré.

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.

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