The Boral business is a major part of the Australian economy, trucks are a major part of the business and Victoria Sherwood, Boral General Manager for the Supply Chain, explained just how a major operator of trucks has to think in order to maintain a tight compliance strategy.
Tight Compliance Strategy
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Sherwood’s role is to oversee the way the building and construction materials, Boral produces, make their way from manufacture or extraction to the end user.
“It’s interesting, Boral had always thought about itself as organisation responsible for producing materials,” said Sherwood. “Today, what we realise is our main task is safety. One of the most dangerous jobs is driving and, as a result, we take our safety and compliance enormously seriously.
“When we share with others, how we manage safety and compliance, we hope we can spread what we believe we do well across a broader network. It gives others an opportunity to see how we manage it, see some of the tools we use and learn from that.
“We reckon we have a good system, but every single day we try and find ways to improve and make it better. This commitment and responsibility sits with us, as legislation on the industry evolves as well.”
Aside from compliance officers feeding information into the business, management is now accountable for what happens to the information about drivers’ behaviour. Operations and field managers have their share of responsibility for the driver’s actions. All of this data is visible throughout the organisation.
“The success of this system is the philosophy which wraps around it,” said Sherwood. “The moment the driver does something not allowed, it goes straight to their operations supervisor, goes straight to the manager and it gets on my desk.
“It’s the reaction and the response we have to that, and its administration, which means we have absolute clarity for anyone who works for us, in any capacity, around what is expected and what happens in the event they do something outside of that.”
When pulled up at a roadside check, Boral drivers are supposed to be confident the work diary is fine. Their work has been proactively managed to ensure compliance. From Boral’s point of view, this allows the driver to concentrate on the job and focus on driving the truck and delivering freight safely.
Anyone who shifts something for Boral on a dedicated basis, can get their compliance system automated. Boral will give them one of their telematics units. This can reduce the cost for the sub-contractor.
“We have an obligation to be compliant,” said Sherwood. “This legislation hasn’t been thrown at us to give us more work to do. It’s there for a purpose, and it’s a really sensible one. This is about increasing the safety for all of us, on our roads. The three things compliance focuses on are the three things that have been deemed to cause the most accidents, speed, fatigue and over loading vehicles.
“We spend a lot of time educating people about what it is, why its’s there and why it’s valuable. We also help them understand, this is a chain right from the person manufacturing the goods, all the way to the individual who consumes it, they have a role to play in this. The legislation recognises every single person in that chain, in two ways, I am recognised in that chain as the GM for Supply Chain at Boral, I’m also recognised as Victoria Sherwood and I could be found legally uncompliant in either, or both, of those roles.
“For me, personally, I want to know everybody is safe who is doing work for the benefit of the shareholders of Boral. It means I can go home at night in the knowledge, if someone is involved in an incident, they are not going to lose their house or their job, not going to get fined, because it has happened within a system where they are compliant.”