“…the effort is worth it,” says a report at the beginning of the year. This refers to the onboarding process, which we have redesigned and digitized throughout the company. We attach the greatest importance to the training and further education of our employees, because a comprehensive technical understanding of the structure and functionality of our software is essential for an LIS project consultant.
Innovative concept for the induction of new colleagues
One of the first to benefit from the new concept is Timo Kneilmann. Born in Greven, Timo Kneilmann held a position of responsibility in a forwarding agency and in logistics, and in April he took up a position as project consultant at LIS in Greven.
“My main task is to implement WinSped for our customers. This includes many subtasks, from the actual process recording to the “go-live” with subsequent transfer to the support. In order to be able to fulfill this task in the best possible way, intensive familiarization is the basic prerequisite,” says Kneilmann.
First things first
He started off with an introductory day on which he not only got to know his contacts and the structures in our company, but also learned where to get fresh fruit and hot coffee. At the same time, the induction plan with its five phases was presented:
- orientation, basics, hotline, technology, documentation
- Customer support for premium customers
- Customer appointments
- SQL training, Smart-Test-Team
Phase 1: After the base through the hard school of customer support
The basis is a one-week LIS Certified Professional course in which the Grevener learned how to handle WinSped and the individual modules safely. This was followed by active participation in our hotline, during which he was confronted for the first time directly with customer enquiries for four weeks under the guidance of experienced colleagues. “Since these are received in writing with the help of a ticket system, I had sufficient time to prepare the content before I got in touch with the customer by telephone,” says Kneilmann. During this phase, he also learned how to document his activities and how to pass tasks on to other departments. Markus Berkemeier – Head of Project Management, explains: “In view of the complexity and scope of the systems, it is extremely important that everyone who works on them can track all adjustments and changes at any time.
Gain technical know-how – and apply it
Also on Kneilmann’s program was a stay in the technical department, where he spent a week setting up servers and virtual environments in order to be able to install WinSped under changing conditions. “A very intensive and instructive week” for Timo Kneilmann, “because many error scenarios were simulated and different solutions were developed and demonstrated”.
In addition, he took part in study days created by LIS, during which he dealt with special problems and was then able to present his solutions in a presentation.
Phases 2 and 3: It goes to the customer
The support of premium customers – scheduled in phase 2 of the induction plan – offered the opportunity to apply what had been learned so far from the hotline and technology in part, which had the effect of consolidating the content.
Phase 3 ran parallel to all phases. During the entire 6 months, Kneilmann accompanied experienced colleagues to their first customer meetings, in which he was able to participate both passively and actively.
“I would like to highlight the mix of methods within the induction training: theoretical questions, collaboration in various departments, simulation of customer requirements or concrete customer appointments. This mix offers enormous efficiency in the learning process,” summarized the project consultant.
Phases 4 and 5: The deeper in the topic, the more possibilities
The program of phase 4 consisted of trainings in the programming language SQL as well as a one-week stay in the Smart-Test-Team, which is responsible for immediate solutions of special tasks. “In this phase one benefits strongly from the previous familiarization, because without basic WinSped knowledge the added value would be manageable.
The focus of the fifth and final phase of Kneilmann’s training was finally on the topic of interfaces, via which the LIS software communicates with other systems. This phase “ideally rounds off the entire induction process both chronologically and in terms of content”, because interfaces are elementary for software solutions but offer a high degree of individuality. The basic structure in WinSped and an overview of different standards were conveyed.
You never finished learning
“It has proven to be particularly practical that the status of the induction training can be viewed online by all participants at any time,” says Kneilmann about the digital form of the plan. Embedded in this form, Kneilmann took six months to become an LIS project consultant. Nevertheless, it will still take some time before he will work completely independently as such. He is currently assigned to major customer projects, which he handles together with long-standing colleagues.
“LIS AG really is a Great Place To Work for me.” The onboarding process is well thought-out and professionally set up, but by no means static. The team is extremely competent and helpful and the software is more and more fun. There are also additional services, such as department trips or meals, which I don’t take for granted. So far the effort has been completely worth it”, Kneilmann summarizes his experiences from the last 8 1/2 months.