How did a boutique transport and logistics company scale their operations, quadruple their sales team, and shave critical time off the new hire onboarding process?
We spoke with Stream Logistics’ Founder and CEO, Carson Holmquist, and Supply Chain Manager, Sean Makela, to discover what kind of impact Trainual has had on their growing business.
Can you first tell us a little about Stream Logistics?
Carson: At Stream, we help manufacturers coordinate their full truckload transportation, offering service for all trailer types including flatbed, step deck, van, intermodal, and specialty trailers. Our goal was to build a boutique logistics company able to deliver incredible customer service at a level which was previously unavailable.
So to service that market at that higher level, it sounds like you need customer service reps really well-trained on a niche knowledge-base. Where did you used to document all that core business info for your team to read and reference?
Sean: “I was using PowerPoint, Google Drive/Docs, and doing whiteboard sessions that were hard to replicate & to keep consistent, manual printouts for trailer information and competitor info – everything that wasn’t shareable or multi-user friendly.”
Why did you decide to try Trainual?
Carson: “As a high-growth company, I knew we needed to be more structured and strategic with our training going forward.”
And when did you implement Trainual as the backbone of your onboarding process?
Sean: “About a year ago this month – it was Oct/Nov of 2017 when Carson approached me with the idea of this “start-up company” (ie: Trainual) that would allow our company to help grow and scale. The hardest part of keeping consistent in our training methods was that our verbiage and techniques would be constantly evolving and it was hard to keep the material relevant across all the platforms we were utilizing at the time.”
“Documenting our experience, standards, and processes in Trainual just made sense.” – Carson Holmquist
What are some of the problems that Trainual has been able to solve for you and how has it impacted your growth?
Carson: “Before Trainual, our training process was time-consuming and the results were erratic since we primarily used on-the-job shadowing for training.”
Sean: “I also love the fact that I have the ability to hold the trainee’s accountable for reviewing and retaining the material I assign them as homework. It allows me to keep a high-level overview of their content review and their log-in activity, so I can know immediately if someone is not telling the truth, and know who is coming in the next morning prepared.”
“The library tool has also been really beneficial, as I think it helps motivate curiosity of the users who want to learn more about different modes of transportation.”
And what has that process been like since you’ve started using Trainual and how much has Stream grown?
“New hires are now fully trained and able to add value in 7 business days, compared to 15-20 days prior to Trainual.” – Carson Holmquist
Carson: Because our systems and processes are thoroughly documented in Trainual, new hires receive more thorough training in a shorter time period.
Sean: “We’ve hired at least 17-20 new people, and it wouldn’t have been possible get all of the new hires up to date at such a critical time in scaling our operations and sales teams without having Trainual. The platform allows me to train a class of 1, or a class of 5 at the same time at the same pace. I love the fact that I can pre-record videos of training content, upload them on youtube and embed them into Trainual, so I don’t have to repeat myself all day. It allows me to be so much more efficient with my time.”
What was your experience in migrating all of your old content into Trainual?
“It’s always a bit of an initial challenge of getting used to or getting into a flow with a new system, but it didn’t take me long. The system is very user-friendly.”
What were some of the key impacts Trainual had at Stream?
Sean: “I love having a tool that is always there to reference material at any given time. When trainee’s ask me about something, I tell let them to reference our Trainual material. It’s helpful in the learning curve to push to have a more proactive approach in finding the answers to questions on their own, especially when I know all of the information they need to know has already been documented in one place. Before I would (or the company would) have to take responsibility if someone didn’t know a specific process, now it’s all on them.”