Name: Will Pinson
Title: Director of Civil Engineering
Company: H & M Company
City: Jackson, Tennessee
Size of team using ProductivityNOW: Smaller team of Engineers/Designers
Software used: Civil 3D, Revit, Infraworks, Navisworks, Vehicle Tracking, Bluebeam Revu
Q: What compelling business reason did you have for implementing a new learning solution?
Will: We're a design-build firm with total in-house design as well as construction. We're using different packages, from Revit to myStaff. We use Civil 3D and the different packages in between. We've gotten into Navisworks, particularly with our heavy industrial applications we can merge all the different models together and that gets updated daily to the field. What happened with us is since we're not in a room every day we could get together and try to figure things out, we had to send everybody home whenever the COVID stuff happened. And so it just so happened, I got a call from IMAGINiT at the time, they're like, "Well, have you heard about this?" I'm like, "Cool."
So, it was a way for us to fill in dead space, I guess, while we were waiting on information from the client or some of our projects did slow down during that time, but we didn't stop. But it allowed to fill in gaps in time. And so when we had new employees, in fact we had one last week, the director came to me and said, "Hey, we've got a new guy, let's get him signed up and get him going." And I've talked to him just a while ago and he said, "Man, that's pretty much all I've been doing, because my director's been out traveling doing punch lists on three different projects." I mean, they feel value in the company right off the bat, instead of sitting there waiting on somebody to give them something to do. So, it's been incredible for us.
Q: What role does learning play in your organization?
Will: So, we use all the different packages. And we've been able to use this software to learn the collaboration side of it, going between Revit, going between Civil 3D, which isn't always easy guys, and merging everything into Navisworks. And then we're also dealing more LIDAR now and we're using scans on existing facilities. And so the learning for our veteran employees is huge because the software's changing almost yearly. And there's little updates and little changes that are trying to make it better, more efficient, which is good for us, because they're all about speed and getting it done quickly here. We're constantly going in for permit, we're constantly trying to get construction packages out and changes.
And so for people who get set and they're doing it this way, this way, this way, this gives them the option of exploring new ways, whether you're a new employee or a veteran employee. And most of our design engineers do their own drafting. And so that allows them to search up ways of getting things done, especially when you get hung up. A lot of times the engineers don't necessarily have the time to try to figure something out when they really want it.
Q: Why you chose IMAGINiT over the other system integrators?
Will: I mean, getting easier and easier for me, because I'm agreeing with what these guys are saying. We were already using IMAGINiT for software support and some of the Civil 3D tools. And I remember when I was with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, when we switched over to Civil 3D, they got with Autodesk and recorded all these trainings and all. I went to a two-week class but they recorded all that and I was talking to the IMAGINiT guy, this was all about the time we got sent home. And I was like, "It'd be great if there was a training platform where everything was recorded." He goes, "Oh, we have just the thing." And it was like lightning struck, and so I was like, "Oh man, we got to get this." And it's been great for us ever since. Honestly, we haven't talked to anybody else, and we're good with that.
Q: How would you describe the process regarding the implementation of ProductivityNOW into your organization?
Will: Along the same lines, the welcoming email. When a new employee starts, I'm going there and set them up and send them that message and then I follow up with a visit or something like that. But then again, I'll get with the other directors every couple of weeks and say, "Hey, this is still here to remind you guys and gals." And also, I'll send that email out to everybody every once in a while. Just set it up and come to me if you got any questions. And people do, and I'll get on there a little bit every once in a while and track the usage and of course, my superiors want to know what the usage is, and I'm able to tell them. Say, "Folks are using this." And it's so handy that I can just say, "Hey, here it is guys. If you need help, don't watch tractor tire gardening videos. You can go find what you need and then you can move on." Even if you're using an older version. I think it's amazing how quick newer versions come up on training whenever the packages come up. It's pretty amazing.
Q: Is there a very specific feature or function in ProductivityNOW that you feel has been especially beneficial to your organization?
Will: Let's say if you wanted to learn how to draw an arc. You know can just type it out and it lines it up by software version. And that applies to all the different packages. If you're a video person, you learn by watching videos, those are on there. If you learn by reading the white papers, those are on there.
There's also the option to reach out to support can call a real pro. And these software packages are so massive now and there's so many features to them. I don't have enough capacity to remember all of it. So, it'll help you figure it out. And again, if it's not already in a video or in a white paper, there's somebody there that can help you, because chances are they know. And to me as a manager, that's very comforting.
Q: How would you describe IMAGINiT support before, during and after, not after, but during, and your experience with ProductivityNOW?
Will: The support, of course we were using them before ProductivityNOW and of course, with AutoCAD or the different packages, just getting them set up sometimes if they just don't set up right. Or you've been using it for six months and all of a sudden it quits working. We can call those guys, put in a ticket and I mean, they're on it. And when it comes to ProductivityNOW, I'm constantly trying to figure out better ways we can coordinate between software packages and I mentioned that earlier between Civil 3D and Revit and they're still following up with me every other month or so, "Hey, how's your experience going with this? They're doing this now. Have you tried this?" And so we're constantly having this dialogue about it and I need it to be smoother for us, especially the more spread out we get and the higher capacity we get from a training standpoint. So, it's been all positive for us.
Q: What kind of ROI have you seen on ProductivityNOW the purchase?
Will: Again, we're still pretty new with it, but in terms of metrics, we don't necessarily have any, but I alluded to this earlier, but it's the value that it brings for new employees. They right off the bat feel like they're bringing value to the company, even by sitting down and watching a week's worth of classes or something like that. Because otherwise they would be sitting there, looking around waiting for somebody to ask them to do something that 99% of the time I don't even know how to do. So, to me it's a relational thing. They feel value immediately.
Q: Can you describe how ProductivityNOW has benefited employees with the years of experience, the seasoned ones in your organization? How has ProductivityNOW benefited them?
Will: Yeah, I think I mentioned earlier that a lot of our engineers do their own graphing. And so with the packages themselves being updated, gosh, almost yearly now, it allows them to stay up to date with some of the newer features or how things are looking or how the platform changes. And they may have known how to do something going back 10 years ago, but it may come up where they need to do it again. There are times where the Revit folks need to go back and learn some AutoCAD stuff, and so that's kind of cool. They'll come over here and they'll say, "Hey, how do you draw a polyline?" "Well you know, you can go find it right here." I mean, it's usually more complicated than that, but still that opportunity is there and it's back and forth. It gives them the ability to figure something out without having to get up and go ask somebody, which say-
Q: How do you identify or currently identify skills gaps with your teams? Do you have any ways that you do that today or what do you look at?
Will: No, we don't necessarily do that. I'm with these guys. It's kind of up to the individual. And again, we don't have teams as big as these guys do, but I'm also blessed to have a really good team. If they want to know something they'll log in and they'll go learn it. I've never had a team that's so eager and hungry to learn, so it makes my job a little bit easier. But they'll just, if they want to learn the new grading optimization 3D [when it] comes out, they're already logging in and doing spare time with it, so it's awesome.
Q: Would you recommend ProductivityNOW to other organizations in your industry, and why?
Will: No, I mean, I think y'all know my answer, absolutely. Just from the simplicity and Mike brought up a good point about that the information is uniform that's on there. I myself have sought solutions before on Google and I've totally wiped out my whole program, I don't know how many times. And so these are consistent and they're shareable across all platforms for us. And I mean, we're getting better and better and this industry right now, whether you're civil or manufacturing or whatever, I mean, it's very busy right now and time is of the essence. And so they're going to try to squeeze more and more blood out of that turnip and this platform allows you to really be as efficient as possible.
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