On-the-job training strategy provides continuous improvement for Sistema

October 19, 2020

Competenz has been delivering apprenticeship qualification and training programmes to plastics manufacturer Sistema for the past eight years.

While more than 30 Competenz apprentices have trained with the company across its two sites in Penrose and Auckland Airport, there are currently 11 apprentices studying toward a range of qualifications including Toolmaking, General Engineering, Fitting and Machining, and Injection Moulding.

In 2019, Competenz also introduced Competitive Systems and Practices (CSP) training to Sistema.

Competenz Training Advisor Phil Jones works closely with the team at Sistema, visiting each apprentice at least four times a year.

He says Sistema has always had a proactive approach to training. “The company is always exploring new opportunities for its team to develop their skill sets and is very supportive of Competenz and the training programmes we offer.”

Drew Muirhead, the Chief Executive of Sistema says on-the-job training provides opportunities for personal and professional growth for employees, which contributes to higher levels of job satisfaction and staff retention.

“We create world-class products and feel it is just as important for us to put time and effort into developing our staff as it is developing our products.”

The CSP programme, developed by Competenz, provides staff with the knowledge, skills and tools to establish systems and work practices that improve the way a business operates.

“As a company, our key drivers are creating and maintaining a continuous improvement culture and developing our people’s skills to identify and eliminate waste. The CSP programme provides a systematic framework with a large range of tools designed to target improvements in cost, efficiency, waste reduction, as well as boosting employee morale,” says Drew.

CSP at Sistema is arranged by Competenz and delivered by Jeff Tuffnell, an external training consultant from Jupiter Training and Resources. Jeff works alongside the Competenz team and Sistema’s senior team to ensure the programme has support from senior management to identify specific, targeted and measureable outcomes, and at last count there were 35 participants.

He says he has seen significant changes within the company as a result of the CSP programme.

“We have seen cost savings and waste reduction already. And many of the ideas implemented have come from the shop floor, which is fantastic.”

A recent Leaders Benchmarking visit to Fonterra to observe how that company uses its CSP elements, including scorecards and other problem-solving tools was part of the programme.  

“A unique part of a CSP programme is that for many qualifications, leaders need to produce evidence of leadership and coaching so we employ CSP elements such as KPI reviews across multiple areas: safety, quality, delivery, costs, productivity and people. We also look for evidence of team problem solving and commitment to waste reduction,” says Jeff.  

Sistema has developed its own Continuous Improvement model STACK (Systems, Teamwork, Actions, Culture, Knowledge), which forms the basis of its CSP programme.

“I would recommend taking the time to meet with your Competenz representative for an initial discussion about your business and a training strategy for the future. There are so many options available and it is helpful to be able to talk through these options with a knowledgeable advisor,” says Drew.