Maintaining Professional Standards through Staff Development

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In 2009, TNT Express recorded 20 percent growth. Indeed, the success achieved by this express courier and cargo company is a paradox since many local and global companies in the same field have not experienced much progress due to the 2008 global financial crisis. In contrast, amid the unstable economy, TNT has reaped profits, while for 2010 its management has targeted a business growth of more than 20 percent.  

“Using the correct management strategy, we have managed to make a profit during the crisis,” said TNT Indonesia country director of sales and marketing Andry Adiwinarso. TNT Indonesia is part of the TNT global network with headquarters in Amsterdam. The Indonesian outfit was established in 1979 under the name PT Skypak International.  

According to Andry, competition is becoming tougher in today’s era of globalization. Only those who grab the right opportunities will come out as winners. The success of a company depends on the quality of its management system and products. “Since our company’s early days, TNT has focused on a business strategy that includes competitive advantage. We always strive to create products of premium quality and we always try to be one step ahead of our competitors,” he said.  

One of its breakthrough products is a service for mining, oil and gas companies in Balikpapan for the importation of heavy equipment from Europe through TNT’s Europe-Singapore-Balikpapan network. This service was launched in the middle of 2009. “Previously, no other courier and cargo company provided this type of service,” he said.

Supported by its complete facilities, such as B747-400ER cargo aircraft and land transportation, TNT is able to provide premium services to its clients, including one-day document delivery to Singapore. Due to its highly integrated services, TNT was recently awarded ISO 28000 for its high standard of service.  

Besides excellent service or products for clients, TNT also applies a business strategy that is based on operational excellence. Andry said the most important thing is to build an effective and efficient business process in order to be competitive. “Our business network is the key strength, that is why we are supported by a strong network to create efficiency,” said Andry, whose hobbies are photography and bicycling.

Today, TNT’s network covers 200 countries. In Indonesia, its operational network covers 90 percent of the country spread throughout 33 major cities and is supported by 18 branches. The current number of its employees is 700.  

During the financial crisis, Andry had a unique experience. Before the 2008 financial crisis, many courier companies focused their business on major cities and underestimated the smaller ones. They regarded companies in large cities as more bona fide. However, when the financial crisis spread, many courier companies in the large cities collapsed while those in smaller cities survived. TNT in Indonesia has thousands of clients, including Mandiri, Nokia, Telkom, United Tractor, HSBC, United Tractor and Komatsu.  

“Since we also concentrated on the smaller cities, TNT not only survived but reaped profit amid the financial crisis. A company has to be smart enough to grab the right opportunities in order to be successful,” he said. To lure customers or to promote the company, he said TNT prefers to use the business-to-business (B2B) strategy rather than advertising in the media, which is far more costly.  

TNT also develops customer relations to gain customer loyalty. Indeed, the company’s employees are a vital component in this matter. So they have to be competent in order to develop good relations with customers. “For the company, human resources are everything and are its most vital asset. The management not only focuses on the company’s target, but also on how to create loyal employees,” said Andry. Among the various employee programs is the annual gathering to which employees’ families are also invited.  

The management always opens opportunities for employees to convey their aspirations for the progress of the company. To ensure employee satisfaction, TNT pays good salaries, provides medical care and various incentives related to employee productivity. Training is not only for technical skills, but also to cultivate the corporate culture so that they give their best to the company.  

The management is also proactive in the matter of employees facing problems. Therefore, the Human Resources Development (HRD) division makes an approach using heart rather than formality, so it is truly a human relation. “A company that cannot build good human relations will surely collapse as many employees will eventually resign and thus productivity will decrease,” said Andry.  

As a matter of fact, there are two aspects related to an employee, as an object and as a subject. As an object his or her competency must be enhanced, while as a subject the employee must enhance his/her performance to achieve the company’s target.

“The talent and leadership of every employee at all levels are important aspects to be developed further. This will result in a professional standard of the company and at the same time provide added value to the customer to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction, which is the company’s mission,” he emphasized. (Reyhan Fabiano)  

The Jakarta Post, January 13, 2010

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