A long-term partnership between LinkSafe and Lactalis Australia resulted in an evolution of the dairy giant’s contractor management system. Kim Berry spoke to the team that delivered the changes. This article first appeared in the August 2021 issue of Food and Drink Business.
LinkSafe began working with Lactalis about five years ago when it was operating as Parmalat. The dairy company approached LinkSafe with a contractor management system which was manual, paper-based, and cumbersome. Since then, the companies have worked together on systems to streamline operations.
LinkSafe general manager David Erczmann told Food & Drink Business the first step was a thorough scoping exercise on Lactalis’ processes to see how they could be automated.
“Stage one was an online contractor pre-qualification system, which allowed Lactalis to invite contractors to submit their ABN, relevant insurances and key policies, as well as answer a series of questions.
“That information goes to the Lactalis team to approve or reject, depending on whether the submitted materials meets their criteria. Contractors then go through an online video induction already developed by Lactalis that we have built a module around,” Erczmann says.
The second stage was developing site-specific induction materials, with each site allocated its own QR code. After induction, when the contractor visits a site, they scan the code with their mobile device and enter their LinkSafe PIN ID. That confirms they work for a pre-qualified contractor, insurances are valid, online Lactalis and site-specific induction processes have been completed, and their individual licences and credentials are up to date.
“We also work closely with a solicitor who specialises in safety law who has recently been working with Lactalis to make the contractor pre-qualification form more robust. They are also delivering chain of responsibility (COR) training for Lactalis employees around their legal responsibilities and requirements,” Erczmann says.
Lactalis Australia head of Health Safety Environment Rodney Hall joined the company two years into the project.
More than 4000 contractors are now registered in the Lactalis’ LinkSafe system and there have been more than 19,000 inductions completed on the platform.
Hall says that at that stage the company’s engagement with LinkSafe was still focused on contractor registration and compliance.
“Even so, LinkSafe had freed a massive number of employee hours that would have been needed to manually process contractors. The last two years have seen extra components added, including the site specific requirements, COR inductions, and the QR code system. An unexpected benefit of this was when COVID-19 hit we already had a QR code check-in system in place,” Hall says.
The peace of mind that provides with global corporate organisations as clients is vital, he adds.
Lactalis has 15 factories and four distribution centres. More than 4000 contractors are now registered in the company’s LinkSafe system and there have been more than 19,000 inductions completed on the platform.
Hall says, “You can imagine the number of employee hours that would take if it had to be done manually.
“The system has visual dashboards we can log into, providing quick and easy information at a glance. The time and therefore cost savings for us have been huge.”
It is also beneficial for contractors by saving them time when they arrive on site and providing the capability to have authentication across multiple Lactalis sites and even interstate facilities.
LinkSafe and Lactalis have developed a system that provides peace of mind and highly efficient processes, achievements even more valuable during the pandemic.