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Episode 18: Interview with Viola Hamilton-Wilkes (Transcript)

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

Mary Kay Lofurno: Welcome to the next edition of the SyberWorks LMS e-Learning Implementation Podcast Series, where we take a look at actual learning management system implementations and e-learning program roll-outs.

SyberWorks specializes in custom e-learning solutions and learning management systems for corporations, governments and non-profit institutions. My name is Mary Kay Lofurno, and I’m the Marketing Director here at SyberWorks, and your host today.

In this edition, we are talking with Viola Hamilton-Wilkes of PneuDraulics, Inc., about their use of the SyberWorks Learning Management System to train manufacturing employees.


Mary Kay: And now we will begin our interview with Viola Hamilton-Wilkes of PneuDraulics, Incorporated. Good afternoon, Viola. Thanks for coming to talk with us today.

Viola Hamilton-Wilkes: Good afternoon, Mary Kay. How are you?

Mary Kay: I'm very well, thank you. Viola, for our audience, tell us about yourself and what you do for PneuDraulics.

Viola: Well, I am the training manager for PneuDraulics, and I have been in my position for approximately one and a half years. My sole function at PneuDraulics is developing the training program.

Mary Kay: OK. That sounds great. Just for our audience, again, can you tell us about your company, PneuDraulics, and the products they make? So we have some sort of context.

Viola: Sure, sure. PneuDraulics is a manufacturer of precision hydraulic components for the aerospace industry. And for those in your listening audience who know about aircraft parts, we actually manufacture manifolds, actuators, accumulators, solenoid valves, and a lot more.

Mary Kay: OK. Well, that's really interesting. Can you tell us what were some the business factors that led your company to look for, investigate, and purchase a learning management system for your training needs?

Viola: Actually, that's a good question. Early on in my employment, or in my position here, I realized that our existing method of tracking the training was not robust enough. We're a growing company; our staff is getting larger. We work in what's called a regulatory environment. We have people that we have to answer to.

And while we were compliant with the basic requirements, it was evident that more could be done. So our company was ready for the suggestion to look at some systems that might enhance what we were currently doing.

Mary Kay: OK. Just so we know, what is that regulation body? It's probably not the FDA, but what organization is it?

Viola: The FAA for one, which is the Federal Aviation Agency.

Mary Kay: OK.

Viola: And we're also under ISO standards, the International Standards Organization. We're under AS standards, which is the Aerospace Standards.

Mary Kay: So, Viola, there's three standards: the FAA, the ISO 9000, and the one for the aerospace industry. Correct?

Viola: And others.

Mary Kay: And others.

Viola: Yeah. We're also accountable to EASA, that's the European version of the FAA. So we have global accountable.

Mary Kay: Wow. Boy, that's a lot of regulation. That's intense. OK. Can you kind of give me a brief overview of who is actually using the SyberWorks Learning Management System at your company?

Viola: We use SyberWorks primarily for tracking purposes. That said, I am the system's sole administrator. We do have support from out IT team on the backend, in terms of system needs that come up. But I take care of user functions, things like setting up courses and classes and general data entry.

Mary Kay: OK. Now I understand that your company is using the SyberWorks Survey Competency Management and Schedule Simulator Modules. Did you have any special training constraints that were taken into account for your system configuration?

Viola: On the Survey Module and the Competency Module, we haven't really started to use them yet. They're available to us. They were part of our initial purchase. But we've been more focused on posting results.

However, your company has actually been working on a custom schedule simulator for us. I've asked for a customized solution, and Dave Boggs has been working diligently on making that happen. So we are actually looking forward to its completion.

Mary Kay: That sounds great. I know you're not doing traditional e-learning, but can you tell me about some of the courses that you're configuring and tracking in the system?

Viola: Interestingly enough, we are tracking both OJT, which is on-the-job training, as well as classroom training.

Mary Kay: OK.

Viola: We have our supervisory staff responsible for basically indicating every single piece of training that occurs out there in our shop. And then I take that data and convert into a course that I can then post results in SyberWorks.

And we also have quite a bit of live classroom training as well. The types of training, for instance, that we would use our classroom for, we have some equipment that of course you learn on the job, but to understand some of the fundamentals of the equipment, we actually have to have classroom training.

And we're able to work with subject matter experts here at our company who assist me in developing the modules that will be taught to the employees. We will teach them how to work on oscilloscopes, for example. We're working on some training for hysteresis. We have human factors training.

Again, I mentioned earlier some of the regulatory elements that we answer to, and they like to make sure that our employees have received human factors training. And what that is, basically, is the acknowledgement that people make parts and sometimes people need additional training on being careful in what they're doing. It's the human things that happen in the day-to-day work environment.

Mary Kay: Well, that sounds really interesting. Can you tell us about your customer experience working with SyberWorks?

Viola: You know, actually that's a good question, because when we initially purchased this system it was a very unusual experience for me in that — remember when computers came out? When computers first came into the workplace, everybody was like, “Oh, my goodness, how are we going to learn all this. This is so different, so foreign.”

We were so attached to our typewriters and our other little technology that was prevalent then. And that's how I felt when I got the SyberWorks Learning Management System. I said, “Oh, this is going to be a lot of new stuff to learn, and a whole new way of thinking and looking at what we do.”

So, initially, there was a slight struggle, but because of your crew there, John Donaghue and Mary Polley-Berte were incredible in helping us to the path of proficiency. So it's been a good learning experience and a good experience working with your company, because they really did make sure that we had the opportunity and the time to gain the understanding that we needed to have in order to work with the system.

I am very thankful for that, and have thanked them on a number of occasions for their patience.

Mary Kay: Well, we thank you. Is there anything else you'd like to share before we wrap this up, in terms of working with SyberWorks. I know you're a really busy lady, so is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

Viola: It's been a good experience, and I especially appreciate the fact that we've been able to take the data from SyberWorks and upload the data into the state's — we have a contract with the state of California. And through this contract — it's ETP, Employment Training Panel — we have to report the training that we've done.

Well, it's really burdensome to have to enter data into SyberWorks and then to have to also enter data into the state site. Working together with your team and our IT team here, we were able to get everything that the state needed into SyberWorks and simply update that data. So that's one-stop shopping, you enter it one place and you're done.

That's a great benefit to us, so I wanted to share that with you as well.

Mary Kay: Oh, that sounds great. Well, listen, thanks for your time. I know you're a really busy lady, so I'm going to let you go.

Viola: OK. And thank you for the interview. I appreciate you taking the time to ask about our experience.

Mary Kay: Sure, sure. This is Mary Kay Lofurno, Marketing Director at SyberWorks. I wish to thank you for listening to our interview with Viola Hamilton-Wilkes of PneuDraulics on the SyberWorks LMS e-Learning Implementation Podcast Series. Talk with you next month!


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