As part of a new initiative operations staff and Trader Representatives are getting together monthly on a Friday morning to discuss current operational matters around our market. The early signs are that this is a very effective way of cutting through red tape, predicting problems before they become an issue, and generally improving the communication chain between management and traders.
The catch-ups are the brainchild of Operations Manager Matt Ryan and Trader Representative Ivano Guseli and came about with the realisation that many issues facing traders and management can be made a lot simpler by early discussion and a common understanding.
A number of issues have already been resolved through this process with Trader Representatives from different market precincts taking part in joint discussions with Market Officers and operations staff. A recent example concerned late cancellation of storage boxes in an emergency. Traders who do not cancel their storage boxes by the cut-off time are subject to removal fees which can be substantial. If the reason for the late notification is a genuine emergency (vehicle break-down or sudden illness for example) then all parties, including box hire operators realise that there needs to be a special arrangement with either no fee or a minimum fee. Details are currently being worked through but we can expect a formal procedure shortly.
Another example concerns contact telephone numbers. One of our Trader Representatives raised the problem of traders not knowing what telephone numbers to call on different issues. All traders will have now received an SMS giving them appropriate contact numbers.
It is great to see grass roots initiatives like this working for the benefit of all participants at QVM.