Thursday 21st Feb 2019 - Logistics Manager Magazine

Rolling with the changes

In 1978 Crossthwaite joined the fledgling TNT after a three-month spell working on the loading bay at his local depot in Ramsbottom near Blackburn as a student worker. He was offered the opportunity to become TNT’s first ever UK management trainee. Since then, of course, the business has grown dramatically, and gone through a buyout and a name change.

The takeover of Eagle Global Logistics (EGL) has created an industry giant comprising two divisions – Ceva Contract Logistics (former TNT Logistics) and Ceva Freight Management (former EGL). With the merger, more than 11,000 EGL employees in more than 120 countries, started operating under the Ceva Logistics brand. Combining such different business cultures can be problematic, but Ceva has welcomed the change, regarding it as an opportunity to share best practice.


Ceva’s current Management Development Training Programme has been running for seven years and is directly linked to its business strategy. The course is available at several levels, with programmes for supervisory staff who want to progress, as well as for senior management wishing to develop new skills.

Joanne Griffiths, UK training and quality manager for Ceva, says after careful monitoring it decided to revamp its approach. As a result, it launched a new scheme last December – the Connections Leadership Development Programme. It is designed to give practising or aspiring supervisors and managers a solid foundation in their formal development as a manager. The programme is based on a notional credit system, with each unit worth a certain number of credits – the idea being to accumulate the enough credits to achieve one of the qualifications. Following an initial management induction, the programme is then split into three sections.

The Level 3 Award is the first qualification and comprises 34 learning hours. The units comprise: solving problems and making decisions, capability and conduct, effective appraisals (first line managers), performance management (second line managers), health and safety for both first and second line managers, fundamentals of management, and lean principles. This is mandatory for all newly appointed supervisors.

Once an employee has completed the Award level, they can continue onto the Certificate unit, which comprises 120 learning hours. Units include: understanding and planning change in the workplace, and achieving objectives through time management. The final qualification is the Diploma, which has a requirement of 220 learning hours. Units for it include: writing for business; managing creativity and innovation; analytical techniques for managing business information; managing customer service; and presentation skills.

There is also a series of optional extras, comprising modules such as: motivational techniques; succession planning; managing conflict in the workplace; recruitment and selection; diversity at work; organising and delegating; principles of project management; resource management; effective meetings; information systems in the workplace.

The courses have proved popular, and last year alone, 3,000 out of the total 7,500 UK delegates attended management soft skills, IT and operations training. Griffiths says the system also acts as a strong recruitment tool for new employees.

Joanne Griffiths

1995: became regional training officer for TNT Logistics. Transferred to Ceva’s newspaper and publishing distribution division – Newsfast -where she held the role of training and development manager.
2002: became change manager for JD Edwards for a year. Returned to Newsfast as divisional support manager for two years.
2006: field training manager in Central Training Department – management and IT training.
Jan 2008: took on current role of UK training and quality manager.