Page 4: Opportunities
Opportunities occur in the marketplace outside the business. A business uses its strengths to take advantage of them. One such opportunity that Hewden identified was the use of social media to improve its communication channels, helping to raise the company’s profile amongst key stakeholders. Hewden uses LinkedIn, a social media site for business professionals. This new communication channel has improved HR processes and helps Hewden to connect directly with customers. It also strengthens recruitment processes through promoting available positions as well as allowing Hewden graduates to use a LinkedIn forum to ask the CEO questions. This forum is private so, in line with the culture of the business, it creates an open and honest channel for communication.
Other uses of new media include a Hewden Smartphone app designed to make plant hire easier. In addition, PDA handsets are being trialled for delivering and collecting assets from customers. This means that drivers can update the main operating system from wherever they are. For instance, they can get customer signatures and note damage whilst with the customer, so improving efficiency. Introducing a new core operating system has created many opportunities. The new system provides key data on demand for plant and its availability covering all depots. This helps Hewden deliver its core fleet guarantee.
Training and development
Hewden’s culture actively encourages employees to take opportunities as they arise. This in turn creates growth opportunities for the business. For example, Danielle, a 24 year old graduate, is now running her own function after just 18 months with Hewden. She says:
‘An opportunity came up within the customer training function to help turn it into a profitable department for Hewden. My background in training, working for the NHS, helped me grasp the concept of industry training and allowed me to hit the ground running. Since being appointed as the Customer Training Manager in 2011, I have lead the team to achieve higher revenue figures year on year, gained the first ever training only contract for Hewden and trained over 500 crew regarding plant and access equipment for the 2012 Olympics.’