Moving on despite the challenges

Yellowshorts Consulting may have lost a lot of profits at the time that the Movement Control Order (MCO) was announced, but it is determined to rebuild its business via online channels and in new critical areas.

Clients whose budgets may be squeezed, are still keen on training in business continuity, crisis and cashflow management, performance appraisal and industrial relations.

After investing in audio visual equipment to produce more online content and new marketing approaches, Yellowshorts is preparing companies to adjust their training and human resource policies to the new normal.

The company has retained about 70% of more than 30 clients it had prior to the MCO, and hopes to increase its reach through the new Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB) self-study programs.

There is a lot of interest in these PECB programs for International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certifications, although overall, clients are still not confident yet to send their staff for training programs.

In December last year, Yellowshorts was approached by PECB, a Canadian certification body, to be an authorized reseller, and it has since used their self-study programs that will conform to Covid-19 protocols on training.

In line with the new areas of interest, the company will also be shifting its consulting projects to a new vehicle called Rotunda Point that specialises in business continuity, crisis and asset management.

Rotunda Point is an eight-year-old New Zealand-based consulting company that Yellow Shorts founder and CEO Nicholas Chan bought in March, in the midst of the MCO.

There are also requests for anti-bribery and ISO37001 anti-bribery management system topics, following the implementation of the updated Companies Act.

To help companies manage their tight budgets for training, Yellowshorts is using effective methods on training needs and competency analyses.

“This a period of self-reflection on how we can change the way we offer our products.

“Yellowshorts under the new normal, still retains its emphasis on customer-driven training; while it has lost the human touch, it have moved online to engage with its clients,’’ said Chan.

The company will continue to use its Lego-based methodology to provide its clients with the best possible solutions, but will refocus its strategies and products to what the market really needs now.

It is also planning for hybrid versions of its courses together with interactive learning.

Yellowshorts had lost most of first quarter profits due to cancellations and refunds following the announcement of the MCO; from seven staff members, it has now scaled down to two while the rest are on freelance status.

An authorized Human Resource Development Fund training provider, Yellowshorts was formed in 2012; while Chan had been a freelance trainer for many years, he felt it was time to consolidate his clients, trainers and programs into a company.

Why did he name his company Yellowshorts?

“As a former national and active endurance athlete at that time, I used to wear a pair of yellow shorts for my workouts.

“People were looking out for the ‘kiasu’ competitive fella in the yellow shorts, that is the catalyst for the name,’’ said Chan.

Yellowshorts started with a client base of small and medium scale enterprises; that has now grown to include international companies like BNP Paribas and Sumitomo Mitsui Bank.

Chan still supports the Olympic values education program and youth development within the National Olympic Academy.

Three years ago, he joined the Rotary Club of Petaling Jaya, and as the district 3300 Interact Chair, he will take care of over 100 Interact Clubs in Malaysia.

As he strives for a global reach through his online, interactive courses, Chan will also maintain his active social contribution to youth development in Malaysia. 

By Yap Leng Kuen, Chief Story Teller, The Artisans Haven