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Episode 4: Interview with Donato Pompo, CEO, Ceramic Tile and Stone Consulting, LLC (Transcript)

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Announcer: SyberWorks Podcast. Learn any time, any place.

Mary Kay Lofurno: Welcome to the second edition of the SyberWorks LMS e-Learning Implementation Podcast Series. We take a look at actual Learning Management Systems (LMS) and e-learning program rollout. My name is Mary Kay Lofurno and I am the Marketing Director here at SyberWorks. I'm your host today.

In this edition we are going to be talking to Donato Pompo, CEO of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants LLC, CTASC.com, about their use of the SyberWorks web based learning management system to provide training for ceramic and stone tile installation and service, marketing research and sales training and forensic failure and investigation consulting in the ceramic, tile and stone industry.

Good afternoon, Donato. Thanks for coming today to talk with us. How are you?

Donato Pompo: I'm fine, thank you.

Mary Kay: Great. Can you tell me about your company? It sounds kind of neat. When I first looked at your website it sounded like it was a pretty interesting company doing some pretty fascinating stuff.

Donato: Well, we are basically consultants who focus on the ceramic, tile and stone industry in several different areas that somewhat tie together. We do forensic investigations of failures within the industry nationwide. We also perform as an expert witness in litigation when there are problems. We do the forensic investigation and then testify as an expert witness. We also do training, which is a big part of our business. We do live training as well as the asynchronous training, as provided through the SyberWorks Learning Management System. Then we also do some marketing services within the industry as well.

Mary Kay: That sounds great. Can you tell me about the types of courses that you offer through your e-learning?

Donato: The courses are primarily on ceramic tile and stone. Right now we have basics of ceramic tile and we're just finalizing the basics of stone, which is basically a sales-oriented course directed to various people within the industry and various levels. The goal is to learn, not only the very basic understanding of the tile and stone industry in terms of the products, the applications, how to choose, how it's installed, but also from a sales point of view in terms of working with clients, understanding how to be an effective consultant and also how to avoid problems that can arise within the process of working with clients. Then it also covers the basics of good customer service techniques.

Mary Kay: Who would you say the audience is for your training? Obviously, consultants, people who work in the tile industry, is there anyone else in the tile industry?

Donato: It really is more on a basic level. We customized a course for a major distributor's association for the nation and we've named the course after them and their organization, so we have their membership. As they get new employees, whether they are in the warehouse or people in the show room or people in customer service or outside sales people, this course is beneficial to them. The more they understand about their product, and good customer service and sales techniques, the more effective they can be.

It also is used by installers, manufacturers, and anybody within the industry who has an interest in ceramic tile or stone benefits.

Mary Kay: Donato, what were some of the system requirements that are important to your company's online training program?

Donato: From the respect of features, what we felt was very important was being able to have a complete management system that was somewhat automated. What's very desirable is the asynchronous portion of the campus that allows the student to come on to the course and leave it as they choose, 24/7. It allows them to monitor their own progress of taking the course as well as being able to print out their own diploma at the end in a very professional manner. Plus, the employees and employers of these students put a lot of value in being able to monitor the progress of their students as well as the results by having access to the campus to look at those respective reports.

Also, the live portion of the website or campus has been valuable in terms of being able to have live, interactive training, whether it's from a conference or a classroom setting, that's been of value. There are many other features that we haven't actually started using yet, but that will be very important for us to use.

Mary Kay: Why did you choose the SyberWorks Learning Management System to manage your e-learning?

Donato: I went through a very thorough process of evaluating the various companies that provide learning management systems. I was interested in the flexibility of the system and also in how progressive the organization was. An important aspect was customer support and customer service, which was important as I went through the process of better understanding and learning the learning management system.

Mary Kay: Well that sounds great. Thanks for joining us today. Talk with you next month. Have a great day.


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