Lisa Dolan

Human Resources & Compliance Manager

Formula Chemicals

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Tell us about yourself?
I graduated university with a Bachelor of Law in July 2013 and decided to further my studies with an MSc in Human Resource Management given my passion for working with people. After moving from Ireland to Australia in 2015, I started my first role in the transport sector as a Human Resources Advisor at Formula Chemicals, a Sydney-based company that manufactures and distributes industrial and commercial chemicals.

At the beginning, I had limited knowledge about the transport industry, but I love a challenge, so I upskilled myself by obtaining a forklift licence, Dangerous Goods licence, and completing a fatigue management course. I’ve also been lucky enough to attend conferences and seminars across Australia, furthering my knowledge of the sector. In February 2020, I was nominated as a Diversity Champion in the Australian Trucking Association & Teletrac Navman Driving Change Diversity Program. It was a great honour, and an opportunity to meet like-minded people and share ideas around how to drive greater diversity and inclusion to benefit the transport industry.

What are the top 3 trends in your transport/smart city niche that everyone should look out for in the next 5 years?

In a similar way to smart cities, the transport industry uses information and communications technology to enhance its liveability, workability, and sustainability, and this transformation is going to continue over the next five years. This will manifest in many ways, such as improving driver work conditions and increasing sustainable transport methods.

Another key trend is the move towards digitalisation and a paperless workforce. In November 2020, Formula Chemicals introduced Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) as part of the Teletrac Navman EWD Early Adopters Program, which has significantly reduced the amount of paper we use on a day-to-day basis and increased productivity across the board.  When I think of the future of the transport sector, I see everything being paperless – from tapping on to public transport to completing traditional paper-based administrative work.

At Formula Chemicals, we have also taken steps to become more diverse and inclusive. We promote our jobs in a way that encourages a diverse range of applicants. Our company also provides equal training opportunities to all staff members regardless of gender. Increasing diversity within the industry not only encourages equal job opportunities, but also brings new ideas and voices to the table. Since joining the industry, I’ve seen workforces across organisations become more diverse and I expect – and hope – this will continue over the next five years.

How do you/ your company innovate?

At Formula Chemicals we drive innovation every single day. For example, the Teletrac Navman diversity program helped us think of ways to better advertise job openings and attract a diverse range of candidates. I was able to bring the knowledge I gained from the program and implement it throughout my work at Formula Chemicals. The transport industry, particularly truck driving, can at times have an ‘old school’ mentality, particularly as a traditionally male-dominated field. At Formula Chemicals, we encourage all staff members regardless of gender to complete the same training courses and programs. We’ve always been big advocates of gender equality and strive to take down barriers when it comes to job roles.

Our best and most innovative ideas are sparked by problems. For example, in the past we spent a great deal of time working to effectively manage vehicle location and correct unsafe driving practices. To solve these issues, we introduced GPS tracking to monitor driving patterns and stay on top of vehicle location. GPS tracking provided our management staff with notifications of things like harsh braking and speeding violations, which in turn allowed us to improve safety standards. We’ve also improved driver safety by becoming early adopters of Teletrac Navman’s Electronic Work Diaries. As our company was selected for the beta phase, we were able to provide advice and share our experience with the diaries, for both drivers and administrative staff. Being part of this program not only helped with the development of the product, but also allowed us to use innovative technology to keep drivers safe and make processes more efficient for our team.

Why is encouraging innovation, new ideas, and tech important?

Without innovation, new ideas, and technology, the transport industry will remain stagnant. All industries need to progress in order to keep up with the constantly changing world we live in. Technology plays a big role in our lives and across our industry, it has made work significantly easier and more productive. I believe diversity and innovation are interlinked. Bringing in people from all walks of life encourages new ways of thinking and ideas. I am a firm believer in promoting and encouraging all levels of staff to achieve professional and personal goals, whether it is to encourage improvement through education or personal development. This in turn helps staff come up with new ideas that will help the business into the future.

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