Meeting WDS’ unique training needs
Established in 1993, Warehouse Demo Services (WDS) provides every single one of Costco’s UK and Iceland product demonstrations and sampling campaigns – over 75,000 per year, across 30 different locations. With the majority of their campaigns centred around food and drink brands, WDS requires that every single one of their food handlers is qualified to Level 2 standard, and has – before Covid-19 struck – attended a classroom course. However, this isn’t a simple task.
Providing the same training to all WDS employees when needed is a mammoth task. With a large and fluid team of around 800 (a mix of both long-term team members and new starters), distributed right across both the UK and Iceland, training can be a challenge – not only logistically, but in terms of the administration and amount of time involved.
However, ensuring that this training happens is vital to meet WDS Service Level Agreements – and those SLAs can only be met when this training is delivered as classroom courses. With the work that WDS carry out in Costco warehouses highly visible to the public, even the smallest of errors could be easily spotted. What’s more, WDS is a unique business that has a number of very niche requirements when it comes to food safety.
All of this meant that a comprehensive, well-considered solution was needed – and one that could meet WDS’ unique demands.
What WDS needed was a training supplier with experience in dealing with large teams, with the ability to work nationally, and with a great deal of flexibility. And we were able to meet all of these requirements.
We offered the team the ability to schedule training courses right across the UK. In addition to offering industry-standard, core course content that would ensure every WDS employee is trained to the correct standard, we also let the client know that we could tailor their courses to include both content and tasks specific to their own unique needs. These courses were to be delivered by our UK-wide network of trainers, meaning that course content could be delivered in-person, meeting the client’s SLAs.
“We also included back-office support in our offering to WDS.”
Knowing just what a logistical challenge organising training for such a diverse workforce can be, we also included back-office support in our offering to WDS. In order to remove as much client stress as possible, we took on the task of identifying those team members – both new and existing – that were in need of either new or refresher training courses. This back-office support also included the scheduling and communication of upcoming courses, and delegating this to all of the relevant parties.
Since we first started working with WDS in 2018, we have run a total of 132 courses. While the majority of these have been Level 2 Food Safety courses, we have also run Level 3 Food Safety, Level 2 Health & Safety, and Level 2 Risk Assessment courses.
In total, we have welcomed 891 delegates, 857 of whom have passed the course they took. This gives us a pass rate of 96.1%, which both we and the client are incredibly happy with.
Since we began working with WDS, we have been pleased with the feedback we have received – both from team leaders and from individuals who have completed the Level 2 or 3 course.
Craig Kenworthy, Head of Field Operations at WDS, says, “Fizz Training Academy has allowed us to take back control of our training with minimal impact on our core business; ensuring we continue delivering beyond our clients’ expectations while keeping members of the public safe when it comes to delivering food samples in-store”.
Meanwhile, Zachary Panton-Blair, Level 2 Food Safety Delegate, says, “The course was taught well. Simple and easy to understand. I also liked the use of the questionnaire cards.”
Harriett Slater, Level 3 Food Safety Delegate, was equally impressed. She says, “To be honest I was very nervous and not looking forward to the course at all, but the minute I got there the trainer, Terry, was very welcoming and made me feel confident that I would pass. I really enjoyed the course, it was really interactive and I learned a lot. I would highly recommend anybody to attend.”
“We have been able to ensure that WDS are meeting their SLAs.”
With their 800-strong team spread across such a wide geographical area, and with significant variation in training needs from person to person, WDS needed a training provider who was not only equipped to handle their unique needs, but who could also reduce the logistical stress involved in co-ordinating training requirements. With our ability to provide UK-wide classroom training and our extensive back-office support, we have been able to ensure that WDS are meeting their SLAs when it comes to their essential food safety training needs.
To find out more about our online food safety courses, ensuring you can keep training up-to-date throughout Covid-19, click here.