The Challenge

The BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) represents 49 maritime employers, including marine terminal operators, ocean carriers and ship agents, across Canada’s west coast, extending from Victoria north to the Alaska border. Historically known for labour relations and collective bargain, BCMEA are also experts in recruitment and training waterfront workers for the future, investing over $28 million in training and development programs for 6,000 workers in 36 unique waterfront jobs every year. BC’s maritime industry and BCMEA have experienced rapid growth in recent years with the Port of Vancouver alone trading approximately $200 billion in goods with more than 170 trading economies. Propel Solutions was engaged by BCMEA to lead a Business Process Review to identify areas of opportunity within its Training, Safety and Recruitment (TSR) department. The focus on the project was improving internal capacity, training quality, and delivery so that BCMEA can better meet the growing needs of its membership.

The Objectives

Process Review: Propel completed a detailed review of BCMEA’s training delivery, training design, administrative and inventory management processes. A comprehensive analysis of training data was conducted to find the baselines for team capacities and ability to meet training plans. Through stakeholder interviews, process observations, value stream mapping, and activity analyses, Propel developed a process improvement framework aimed to streamline processes so that they are scalable, quality oriented and responsive to BCMEA’s customer members.

Implementation of Method Changes: Propel worked with BCMEA’s leaders to refine and implement over 30 method changes that would improve the quality of training through structured training supervision, improve resource utilization through proactive scheduling, reduce manual work, and increase the integrity training records. A variety of management tools were developed to support the new processes, including a centralized training calendar and a program dashboard that serves as a one-stop shop of all information related to BCMEA’s 200+ programs. Lean training was provided to BCMEA managers through a Process Improvement Training Workshop, educating leaders to recognize non-value-added time in their processes and sustaining improvements moving forward.

The Results

Through the TSR Process Review, BCMEA saw an improvement in training delivery, training quality, and administrative capacity. To ensure the Process Review goes beyond one-time process improvement, Propel implemented Daily Huddles, developed KPI’s that provided teams clear expectations and a unified goal, and installed structured problem-solving behaviour that empowered team members to share ideas for improvement. This created a culture of continuous improvement at BCMEA.

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