Made to measure

Scania Parts Logistics is the logistical heart of the Swedish Scania Group. Heavy trucks, buses and touring cars, industrial- and marine engines… From the 125.000 m2 warehouse spare parts are delivered to the rest of the world; either directly to a garage, to one of the seven regional warehouses spread around Europe, or to other spare part centers in the world. “We operate with fixed lead times”, says Mieke Pareyn. “A repairer who orders spare parts before 18.00, knows that he will receive them the next day. Quick delivery puts pressure on our organisation and employees. Our capacity fluctuates daily. Over the last couple of months the number of orders has risen steeply. We now work with 570 people on the payroll, topped up with 25 percent extra interim jobs. On an average day, we employ more or less 750 people, working over three shifts.”

Mieke Pareyn Scania Parts Logistics StreetwiZe

It was our former HR Manager who brought StreetwiZe and Scania together. “She had seen Arnoud at work and was very impressed”, says Mieke Pareyn.  “At least once a quarter, we gather all 40 directors. We invited Arnoud to speak at one of our events. It was crystal clear to all of them that the ‘Mobile School’-story, together with the four street skills; positive focus, agility and resilience, pro-active creativity and cooperative competition, was a perfect fit with the Scania-culture and our three core values: clients first, respect for individuals and eliminate waste.”

The story triggers movement

All directors started their StreetwiZe-training in April 2016. “The journey is still ongoing. The workshops are always with groups of about 25 participants”, says Mieke. All employees, including interims, get a chance to listen to Arnoud’s story about the survival skills of street kids.” “How do people react?”. “Reactions are very diverse”, says Mieke “A lot of employees are moved by the story. Some of them just like it. You cannot expect everybody to be extremely positive. However we do notice that some people recognise themselves in the story. Personally, I find that if you listen to the stories of the street children, you tend to relate them to your own problems. A lot of people want to learn more about Mobile School. That’s why we have available some copies of Arnoud’s book “StreetwiZe”. Some people even asked Arnoud if they can volunteer.”

Readily applicable

“What I appreciate about the StreetwiZe-training… it really connects with the daily jobs of our employees”, says Mieke. “In the workshops, our people learn how they can bring to life our core values. The coaches, Hans and Eric, spent an entire day observing how we work here.  They listened to our values and how we apply them and, during the training, the street skills are always translated to our environment. That helps us to observe our work differently. The techniques employees learn can be applied directly to their job, as well as in their private lives.”

HR Team Leader Mieke Pareyn: "The StreetwiZe training really connects with the daily jobs of our employees."

Tools for change

“Is one of the street skills more relevant than the others at this point in time?” “‘Agility and resilience, Mieke answers without hesitation. “We will definitely need that one. In the coming months we will totally change the layout of our warehouse. Simultaneously, we will implement SAP in our process. That’s a lot. The StreetwiZe-training is well-timed. Our way of working will change completely for our employees. We want to prepare them for this change and collaborate with them. Leadership is an important aspect in this change journey. On that level we would like to offer more tools. Leaders should be even better prepared.”

Mieke does not really like to put one street skill above another. “Look at ’positive focus’. At Scania, everything is about social aspects and caring for our employees. A happy employee makes for a happy customer. But the pressure of short lead times is high, resulting in a stressful working environment. We often notice that people get stuck on a problem and start complaining. During the session on ‘positive focus’, you receive tools to look at a problem from a different angle, to focus more on opportunities, and to learn step by step how to be more positive at work.”

“Insisting on constantly improving what we do is an essential element in the Scania Production System (SPS)”, says Mieke. “…and we want the ideas to flow, starting from the work floor.  Ideas should never stop coming. Refining a competency like ‘proactive creativity’, is always a good thing.” You will find SPS-signs everywhere within the company. Employees can write down their idea for improvement and share it with other teams. Once a week during the shift meeting, teams discuss which idea should be given priority…

“Having an idea is not enough though. You have to convince the rest of the organisation. We have noticed that some people are better than others in defending an idea. It can be because of a lack of competencies that an idea will fade away, or will simply not be accepted. What’s very important for a competency like ‘Cooperative competition’ for example, is choosing the right moment, creating space for other ideas to make sure yours will be accepted and convincing others by connecting on the right subjects.”

Learn how to look and think differently

“The StreetwiZe-training teaches you how to look and think differently, from another angle. Consequently, you relate to it more and you can see other possibilities”, Mieke adds. “The StreetwiZe coaches really listen to the needs and concerns of the company and the employees. The employees’ gut feeling has to be right, too. After the first two sessions, StreetwiZe wanted to meet again with us to evaluate how things were going, and check if certain aspects needed to be adapted.”