With employees based around the world – and bold ambitions to have an operational presence on every continent – international towage and maritime company KOTUG understands how important people are to the company’s success.
Nurturing them, developing them and enabling them to remain safe while working in a challenging environment is a top priority for the Dutch-headquartered company. So, when it needed to update its learning management system (LMS), ensuring that it had a full insight into the development of its people was key in selecting a new provider.
KOTUG found the solution in Trainingportal – an LMS used by thousands of organisations working in safety-critical industries – and can now access a snapshot of competencies, skills gaps and training requirements at the click of a button.
Marijn Cox, Corporate HSEQ Manager, is responsible for the KOTUG Academy – a centralised online platform that stores the learning and development materials for all roles across the organisation.
One of the features KOTUG was looking for in a new LMS was the ability to add content to the Academy that had been created in-house.
Another requirement was for the platform to engage and communicate with employees directly.
“We take our responsibility around training very seriously,” explained Mr Cox. “And in a fast-growing company like ours, it is important to stay in control of the learning and development of our staff.
“It is important to us that a new LMS allows us to have both our own content and third-party content in one place. Essentially, if we have any material relating to learning and development, then it has to go onto one platform.”
KOTUG also wanted to be sure that the LMS satisfied the standards for training laid down by its customers in the energy sector. After entering a tendering process with six providers, Mintra and its Trainingportal solution was identified as the stand-out contender.
Marijn Cox, corporate HSEQ manager
Trainingportal is a cloud-based system that allows efficient delivery, management and reporting of workforce training and competence. It combines an LMS with a competency management system (CMS) and it can be easily integrated with existing platforms. While many organisations use both elements to bring their training and competency requirements together in a streamlined environment, the systems can also be used separately.
Some 1.5 million workers from 3,600 companies are registered on Trainingportal, and can access thousands of technical, compliance, awareness and soft skills online learning courses to build their professional development.
Mr Cox said: “We found Mintra helpful right from the outset. The conversations never pressured us into buying, they were always based around what Mintra could do to help us and make sure this product was right for us.
“They also arranged three or four demonstrations for different groups within KOTUG. We needed to make the right decision because this system has to live with the next group of HSEQ and HR people, so the management of change was really important.
Marijn Cox, corporate HSEQ manager
“When there is change, people will ask: ‘what’s in it for me?’ You find that 40% are excited for change and are in favour, that 40% are reluctant and 20% will reject any change. We focused on the 40% who were reluctant and after the demonstrations of Trainingportal, they all agreed that we should go ahead with it.”
Trainingportal allows KOTUG, which has 250 staff and dozens of managed vessels, to share content created in-house, easily converting PowerPoint presentations into training materials, and also gives access to an extensive range of over 230 maritime-specific elearning courses that allow crews to become compliant and grow competency.
In addition to providing KOTUG with user management control and an overview of competence across the organisation, Mr Cox believes that it will help staff become much more connected to the learning process. Receiving personalised emails with instructions about the training that needs to be undertaken will demonstrate that employees need to be accountable to themselves as well as the company.
He said: “In shipping, we hire professionals. We want to hire people who are able to think for themselves and be able to make split-second decisions without having to turn the boat around so they can connect with the shore and ask us what to do.
“We trust our people with vessels that we own that are worth millions and, when they attach a tow line, vessels that belong to our customers. What Trainingportal allows us to do is to hand over ownership of their training as well and tell them that we trust them to keep their knowledge up to date.
“If we can use Trainingportal to make people more connected to their learning and development, I hope that we can then add even more courses to the portal that people are not required to do but choose to do voluntarily because they enjoy the process.
“I have a very good feeling about Mintra and believe that KOTUG will be a valuable partner in terms of development and continually improving the system. IT hiccups are always to be expected – if you can’t deal with that then you should stick to using pen and paper – but there is always a very open dialogue with the Mintra team. I have put my trust in the system.”
Jorunn Eldøy, Sales Director Maritime at Mintra, said: “It is incredibly important for any organisation to have an overview of the skills of its people, but even more so for an organisation operating in an industry where the safety of people, assets and the environment is paramount.
“Trainingportal gives clients that overview so they know where the gaps are and how they need to be addressed. It gives them high-level assurance that their people are compliant with regulations and have the skills and knowledge to conduct safe operations.”