OfficeMax New Zealand supports Retail Institute in development of new Distribution Certification

Thursday 10 November 2011, 9:47AM
By MCH Consulting

The Retail Institute this year introduced a new series of qualifications in Distribution, with the assistance of OfficeMax New Zealand.

The distribution sector supports the retail industry – one of the largest industries in New Zealand. Through the development of a set of professional qualifications, the Retail Institute is now offering industry employers an opportunity to introduce formal qualifications into their business as a performance measure and lead the way in best practice development.

OfficeMax New Zealand has a strong working relationship with the Retail Institute, with employees encouraged to undertake National Certificates in Retail at levels 2 and 3. When developing Distribution qualifications, the Retail Institute sought the advice of the OfficeMax HR team and Distribution Centre staff at OfficeMax’s Auckland Distribution Centre. This Distribution Centre is deemed to be one of the most highly technical distribution centres in New Zealand, with a culture of innovation, learning and industry leadership.

The Retail Institute initially undertook an on-site feasibility study with Auckland-based OfficeMax managers Alan Elliott, NZ Distribution Centre Manager and Performance Development Coach Adam Sands, which led to an understanding of what the industry needed at entry and supervisory level, on which to build a programme.

Adam Sands said: “It was fantastic to have input into such an innovative programme in the Distribution industry. We were happy to grant the Retail Institute full access to our large distribution service, which is considered a highly technical centre and one of the country’s leading facilities.

“As well as assisting with the development of the programme, on Monday 31st October, our first round of four staff from the Wellington Distribution Centre successfully completed The National Certificate in Distribution (Level 2). We are continuously assessing the programme internally to measure the success of the programme and initial findings are that the benefits to the OfficeMax business and its staff have been phenomenal. We are seeing Distribution Centre staff display greater confidence, show innovation and leadership, and communication between the Distribution Centre and all areas of the business has vastly improved. The expected mid- to long-term impact on business should include increased revenue through loss prevention techniques, reduced workplace error and greater staff retention.”

OfficeMax New Zealand now plans to continue to roll the programme out through its Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington Distribution Centres, with 17 staff registered to start the programme in the next three months.

The National Certificate in Distribution is available in Level 2 and Level 3. The qualifications have been designed to be completed on the job with a small classroom-based component. Those completing the qualifications need to complete a range of activities in the workplace that are then signed off by a verifier (a trained manager or supervisor) to confirm this person can competently complete the required tasks.

Issued on behalf of OfficeMax New Zealand.
For more information or for an interview with Adam Sands, please contact: Mary Hickey, MCH Consulting
 +61 414 652 442

About OfficeMax New Zealand
OfficeMax is one of the top three office products companies in the world, and whilst a global organisation, OfficeMax prides itself on a local focus. Employing 700 New Zealand staff the organisation sells education and office supplies, technology and furniture through catalogue orders, the website’s OrderMax service and one of 18 nationwide retail stores (currently only 17 are open due to the Christchurch earthquake).

The origins of OfficeMax New Zealand date back over a century from the establishment of national stationer Coulls Somerville Wilkie in 1871 and publishing company Whitcombe and Tombs in 1888. Today the company now known as OfficeMax is one of New Zealand’s biggest office products reseller with sales in New Zealand exceeding a quarter of a billion dollars each year.