Toyota Zambia Human Capital used to take interest in ensuring that its staff operate and deliver a level of performance that meets international Toyota Standards and customer service levels in an effort to position the company as a preferred employer.

This was achieved through vocational training and inviting top university graduates to apply for the graduate trainee program, which would run for two (2) years rotational training period to gain experience in all facets of a multi-national brand and enable employees to work across all levels in the organization.

Todays’ article is about Mambo Phiri who had a privilege to be picked as a best student from one of the international universities by Toyota Zambia as graduate trainee.

This particular interview was conducted in an informal set-up due to the busy schedule from Mr. Mambo Phiri and the interviewer. Mr. Phiri is one of the most enthusiastic self-driven employee at Toyota Zambia employed as National Service Coordinator in service department. This is what he had to say. 

“I graduated from Belgorod State Technological University in the Russian Federation with an Honours Degree with a distinction in Economics(major) and credit in Finance (minor) in June 2016. After having worked for Entrepreneurs Financial Centre Zambia as Relationship Manager for four (4) months, I was selected to work at Toyota Zambia in May 2017 as a Graduate Management Trainee (GMT). The transition made more sense as I was exposed to more responsibilities at the same time learnt and observed from how various staff members executed their work. Change indeed came at the right time. I must make mention that my learning process has not been a curve but a constant improvement due to the meetings and workshops I have been exposed to. Many are times people will say being a graduate trainee is not as good as being called an employee. Let me take this opportunity to clarify the perceptions from the mass regarding being a GMT. As a GMT, you get to become more competitive and amass different set of skills from various colleagues and departments which automatically gives you that unique X-Factor.

Today, I can proudly proclaim that I have gained experience in all facets/departments of a multi-national brand and can easily adapt to any branch within the Toyota World working environment across the world.  At the end of the program, my performance was rated and was given an appraisal. Thus a permanent employment position was offered to me and got exposed to various business activities in Vehicle Sales, Finance and Service Department. Whilst working in Vehicle Sales, I had an opportunity to works related to actual selling of motor vehicles, stock management, tender processes, marketing related activities, sales administration, as well as product knowledge and providing quality customer service. Later on I joined Finance Department where I worked as a Credit Controller and had a privilege to have gained an overall exposure on credit and debtors related activities which is one of the integral part of the business and the department as a whole.

Furthermore, I managed various Parts Sales Consultant’s account ensuring that all cash allocations are done timely, preparing the daily trade debtors report, follow up on the outstanding payments, managing customer accounts and reconciliation, providing support on debtor’s monthly reports, clearing service and parts cash sales as well as clearing value added tax.

Notwithstanding, I joined Service Department where I was exposed to works related to service advisory, costing, bookings, allocation of jobs to technicians, post service follow up, job card audits and providing monthly reports to Service Managers.

In addition, my hard work was identified by management as a result I was placed in the National Service Office as National Service Coordinator responsible for business coordination in the department and monitoring national sales, gross profit absorption rate, preparing daily and monthly service reports. Additionally, I had an opportunity to be sent to Kenya, Nairobi by management for a management workshop on Suzuki business management and operations and I was trained in business expansion, marketing, workforce management and planning, business monthly reports, strategic planning and budgeting, product knowledge and customer service.

Besides, I was the Team Leader for Toyota Zambia Kaizen Group called “Team Hasty”, where we participated in various sessions of team work discussions, research, analyses, planning and presentations aimed at continuous improvement of internal and external business processes. Our topic was on “Aged Stock Reduction” a project which has been implemented by Parts Department in ensuring that all strategies with regards to aged stock reduction will contribute to improving management of aged stock and stimulate sales and ordering process of new parts in order to prevent future reoccurrence of aged stock accumulation.

To this effect, I have had a wonderful business exposure at Toyota Zambia and from the support and help from management and members of staff I have managed to achieve all these milestones as well as other social prevailing business environmental activities.

Let me further take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to my career growth and development and may the God Lord bless you all”.

Mr, Phiri is currently working as National Service Coordinator and remains an ever passionate employee who believes in team work and innovation. Look forward to the next piece as we will take you to our Copperbelt Branch-Kitwe.