Challenge: Stockland needed a preferred supplier for emergency response training and processes who could provide a consistently high level of service for its diverse sites and help the company attain ‘best in class’ compliance for training and processes.
Solution: In 2013, First 5 Minutes provided a tailored scope of works, including processes, manuals, diagrams and scenario-based training. First 5 Minutes also delivers transparent reporting and ongoing consultancy.
Result: First 5 Minutes proactive and flexible approach has enabled Stockland to greatly improve training compliance across its sites and ultimately continue raising the bar on performance.
Andrew Hill, National Procurement Manager - Stockland
Stockland, Australia's largest diversified property services companies, has a vast portfolio of owned and managed sites comprising retail centres, business parks, logistics centres, office buildings, retirement living and aged care facilities and more. It’s also a company that has continued to build a reputation for leadership. Other companies look to Stockland and see a company that is continually raising the bar.
Stockland engages an optimal number of tier one providers and, in order to get the best from them, never allocates all sites to one provider. Stockland refers to this as ‘operational tension’.
“We engage with top-end tier one service providers in any given industry. They can mimic our portfolio and understand our business challenges,” explains Andrew Hill, Stockland’s National Procurement Manager.
With the company’s large diversity of sites, a “one size fits all” approach will not work. However, consistency of service is paramount.
“Some contractors provide things differently across Australia – they have different systems and ways of doing things,” says Andrew Hill. “We endeavour to pick a contractor who shows they can mimic the structure that Stockland has. So if we need to focus on a particular issue, we’ve got someone in the contractor’s business who can address it.”
In early 2013, Andrew Hill identified the need for enhanced consistency across the company’s emergency response and evacuation training and processes. He was also looking for a greater degree of engagement and improved reporting, as well as emergency response planning for high-risk scenarios.
First 5 Minutes had been in a longstanding relationship with Stockland for over 20 years, working on an ad hoc basis, with individual property and facility managers. With the ability to develop a scope of works tailored to Stockland’s requirements, in July 2013, First 5 Minutes was chosen as the preferred supplier for emergency evacuation and response training.
One of the key challenges Stockland faced was “training fatigue”. The Risk Management Team was aware that staff were becoming weary of what they saw to be the ‘same old’ training. The training needed to be rejuvenated to become more engaging and relevant, to ensure they were doing more than simply meeting compliance levels.
At the same time, Stockland’s Senior Management Team was acutely aware of the heightened risk of terrorism and potential threats to personal security. It was no longer simply a matter of compliance, or even ‘ticking boxes’. There had to be a strong focus on ensuring people understood the training – which also now covered what to do in armed intruder, hostage and lockdown situations.
“We’re constantly adapting the business to the changing face of risk and the changing nature of society,” says Andrew Hill. “If someone asks the question ‘what position will Stockland be in if…’, we want to be able to answer with confidence.”
Above all, Andrew Hill’s goal was to be 'best in class' for compliance and to maintain Stockland’s reputation as a company that people look to for leadership and a progressive approach.
First 5 Minutes responded with a revised scope of works, which included scenario-based training across individual sites, as well as procedures, manuals and signage. Implementation of the training took First 5 Minutes skills in change management to encourage and gain support from the property and facilities management – who had become accustomed to a less rigorous training approach. First 5 Minutes had to be flexible with scheduling team-training sessions and worked closely with Stockland, who made it clear to staff that training was mandatory.
“Some people are not keen on re-attending training they’ve been on before,” explains Michael Rabbidge, GM Technical & Compliance – First 5 Minutes. “So we created scenario-based training, looking at numerous issues, such as armed intruder, lockdown, suicide, and so on. Our trainers visit the site and talk to the manager to find out what’s been happening in that site, so they can make the training relevant and engaging for those staff.”
In response to Stockland’s requirement for continued improvement across the mixed portfolio of sites, First 5 Minutes instigated exception reporting and made recommendations about what to do in these cases. When Stockland and First 5 Minutes meet, they can readily identify problem areas and focus on improving compliance without greatly increasing costs. The comprehensive reporting also means Stockland can easily demonstrate this to senior managers and site managers too.
Andrew Hill says, “We need to know where things aren’t happening – where training hasn’t gone ahead – and we need recommendations on what to do where sites are not acting on compliance obligations. We’re shopping centre managers, not deliverers of emergency evacuation. That’s why we work with the experts.”
The nature of the relationship is such that First 5 Minutes continually approaches Stockland with new services and ways to improve. This is key for Andrew Hill, who relies on First 5 Minutes to keep him informed of horizon issues, so he knows what he’ll need tomorrow when planning for emergency and evacuation issues.
“We need them to be proactive. We need them to tell us, ‘you should be thinking about these things’,” says Andrew Hill. “First 5 Minutes are constantly reviewing our services: are they right, are they fit for purpose, are there any other things we should be doing?”
“The thing about working with larger providers like First 5 Minutes is they invest money and resources to improve services. We’re confident that the service we have is market leading, and we can demonstrate that it’s performing.”
- Andrew Hill, National Procurement Manager - Stockland
Further to assisting Stockland with training compliance levels, First 5 Minutes continues to approach Stockland with new services and ways to improve, keeping them informed of horizon issues and supporting their planning for future emergency and evacuation issues.