An integral business tool for Marshalls

16 May 2022

The problem

Probably now more than ever companies are faced with dispersed workforces. It’s estimated that around 80% of the global workforce is now ‘deskless’. It’s a concept that has been truly tested over the last couple of years and has proved to be popular for some, less so for others.

However, in the transport and logistics world the idea of a dispersed workforce is nothing new. Drivers are often always miles from a depot or office; work long hours completely alone and are likely to have limited opportunity to connect with their colleagues or employer. Face-to-face encounters with drivers can be fleeting, with meaningful communication opportunities few and far between.

Marshalls, the UK’s leading hard landscaping and building products supplier, has quarries and manufacturing sites through the UK with a fleet of over 300 HGVs at locations from Scotland to St. Ives.

With a strong company ethos of personal contact and collaborative relationships, in 2019 Marshalls was looking for a solution to better engage with its driving workforce, to make sure drivers were able to access not only the essential information related to driving, but also to be fully aware of broader business communications, that they might not otherwise receive in a timely manner.

The solution

In early 2020, The Driver Handbook mobile app was deployed to 300 Marshalls drivers to provide three core communications aims:

  1. An HGV driver handbook
  2. Toolbox talks and other driving for work information
  3. Company updates from Marshalls
  1. Marshalls provides all drivers, via The Driver Handbook mobile app, access to The Driver Handbook’s standard HGV content. They supplement this information with their own company-specific content, including a complete set of FORS policies and procedures; safety alerts, risk assessments and much more
  2. Previously Marshalls delivered all driver toolbox talks on a one-to-one, face-to-face basis; now whilst certain toolbox talks are still delivered in-person, all are loaded into the drivers’ apps so they can be accessed at any time. Aside from the obvious time-saving benefits for both managers and drivers, Marshalls’ use of The Driver Handbook has created additional advantages in terms of standardisation in communications and ways of working across all depots. It has also contributed to the business’ sustainability goals by using electronic signatures instead of paper and ink, meaning waste and storage/filing is minimised across the business
  3. The internal communications team at Marshalls also has access to The Driver Handbook’s TDHConnect content management system. This web-based tool allows the team to load and send out broader company updates direct to drivers’ devices. So, in addition to receiving regular driving information, drivers are also kept informed of company updates ranging from information on the organisational culture and working practices, through to employee benefits and even Christmas hours.

The results  

Gary Shaw, Logistics MI & Data Analyst, Marshalls said:

“We’re proud to say our drivers now feel like they’re integral to our company and are kept well informed. Previously it was reported that drivers felt like they were missing out on updates by being remote from our depots. This has now all changed, thanks in part to the functionality provided by The Driver Handbook.

Using the solution across the business has brought standardisation throughout all our depots. Our Site Logistics Managers (SLMs) are communicating with drivers in the same way, with the same information. There’s also a steady and easy flow of data to and from the drivers. The Driver Handbook has really helped bridge the gap and means that drivers are now much better informed in all aspects of working for Marshalls. All and any information that’s driver related is processed, shared and reported on via The Driver Handbook.

Whilst there are the obvious benefits in keeping our drivers well informed, The Driver Handbook is also helping to minimise our environmental impact – previously we’d be printing tens of multiple page documents per driver, every year. Now we hardly need to print anything as it’s all distributed via and stored in TDHConnect.

It’s also a massive time saving tool for both managers and drivers. Our SLMs no longer have to spend time on paperwork to communicate to drivers, or wait for drivers to come in to a depot to pass on information or obtain signatures; drivers can access all information at the point of need, at a time that suits them; they can also easily refer back to it at any point in time. Drivers now provide us with digital ‘signatures’ and we are able to access a whole host of other reporting information that previously wasn’t available.

The Driver Handbook has also helped us with our FORS accreditation. It’s ticked a box in terms of our internal communications and made it easy to evidence what we’ve shared, who’s read what and when. The Driver Handbook has become an integral business tool for Marshalls”.