Case Studies

Trent Barton have been working with Thomas for over 23 years to improve their recruitment and staff development


Increase in value for money rating

Trent Barton at a glance

Founded in 1913, Trent Barton is a bus operator based in Derbyshire, which has grown into one of the most recognisable and respected bus companies in the UK, with a fleet of over 250 buses and 13 coaches. For more than 23 yeas, Trent Barton has used Thomas assessments as part of their commitment to providing the most customer-focused approach to their service delivery.
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The Challenge

In the late 80's, during a period of privatisation, local management teams were given the opportunity to purchase their companies. The transport industry as a whole had a poor record in terms of customer service and delivery of the routes operated. Lack of investment in new buses and more led to years of declining passenger numbers. Trent Barton invested in a major customer research program, asking customers and non-customers what they liked and disliked. The results highlighted that poor customer service was a major issue from the customers standpoint - fares were rising due to inflation but the service they received was still comparatively poor.


The Solution

Jeff Counsell, managing director decided that in order to improve, they needed to take action. "We had a fresh look at the foundation of how we recruited. We needed employees with strong people skills and those who could use their initiative, especially for our drivers".

During the discovery stage of understanding how Thomas could enhance the performance of the Trent Barton workforce, it was clear that the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) would be the most appropriate tool to use. The PPA provides an accurate insight into how people behave at work, shedding light on their strengths and limitations, communication style, what motivates them and how they behave under pressure.


"With over 1,000 people making up the Trent Barton workforce, we use the PPA not just for recruitment, but also team development and when looking at those we would like to promote". 

Trent Barton use the PPA in their team audits and complete compatibility reports to give further insight into how different members of the team are going to work together, from those in the office to drivers on the road.


The Result

Rating for value for money increased by 15% in the next customer survey.

The way Trent Barton now recruits staff has completely changed. Instead of looking to recruit people with a bus driving license, they look for those with people skills who they can train to drive, using Thomas behavioural assessments as their guide.

"Our drivers are routinely noted and recognised for their superb customer service and we have been named as the friendliest drivers in the UK in an independent UK Transport Focus Survey".

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