Name: Mike Wohletz
Title: CAD Manager
Company: Automatic Systems, Inc.
City: Kansas City, MO
Size of Team Using ProductivityNOW: 300 Platform Users, Mechanical/Structural/Electrical Engineers
Software used: AutoCAD, Inventor
Q: What business reason did you have for implementing a new learning solution?
Mike: For us it is a single location for individuals to go find information they're looking for, and looking for it at the time they need it. You can always go through training sessions. Many of us have gone through a training session and then you don't use whatever it is you went to training for six weeks, eight weeks, maybe even a year after you did that. And now you have to pick up the software and you have to figure out what it is you learned in that session. This gives you the place to go back and as real time you're trying to do something, find the information you're looking for and use it.
Q: What role does learning play in your organization?
Mike: We're a larger company and so we have a lot of processes here that are maybe a little bit unique and we also have a lot of custom applications that happen too. But there's a lot of stuff that just comes out of the box in (ProductivityNOW) - how Inventor works or how various CAD, AutoCAD programs work. That is very valuable, you don't have to go rewrite it. And I can add my own custom content into the same system. Whether it's out of the box or custom content, they can find it in one place.
Q: Why did you choose IMAGINiT over the other system integrators?
Mike: I guess one of the things I'd like to say first is, I didn't choose IMAGINiT, IMAGINiT chose me. And that's by acquisition of previous VAR and so I always like to point that one out. But it's been a very good partnership. We have had a lot of things with not only purchases of software but support of software. The custom applications, all the other things that IMAGINiT has done for ASI in writing utilities. …If you have something out there that's taking you too much time to do and it's a repetitive task, they can help take care of those things as well. So, leveraging some of those tools and the support and sales has always been extremely good to us. It's a great team to work with and they're always there to help you out.
Q: How would you describe the process of implementing ProductivityNOW into your organization?
Mike: The actual implementation process was really quite simple. We went through and we set up branding. And then the actual implementation portion of it, we had maybe a one-hour meeting to tell people how to log in, where it is, how to get to it, give them some links on their desktop.
And beyond that, once you're in the system, if you can go find something using Google then you can use the ProductivityNOW platform. It's pretty easy to do. And the advisor that you have with that, that is a very valuable thing because the advisor we still meet with on a monthly basis and we get feedback information on what's new, and you can give them what you're looking for. And often they go and find content, they'll get it added for you if it's something that was popular and help you out with whatever you need on keeping up communications with your group and things of that nature.
Q: Is there a very specific feature or function in ProductivityNOW that you feel has been especially beneficial to your organization?
Mike: I have a large amount of folks to handle. Anytime a new employee is added to our system, it automatically gets them added to ProductivityNOW. Beyond that the other inside of the program’s features and functions are the ability for me to store my own content and update notices so that when I go, overnight I end up doing updates on 120 computers. I don't have to send out emails with instructions or other pieces of information. I will send out an email with a link back to ProductivityNOW on what it is that the end user has that may be different or new, or whatever change it is that happens, they have one place to go back and look for it. And now if they lose that email, delete that email, no big deal because they can go to ProductivityNOW, they all know it's going to be there. They can search for it, they can find it and they have the same information everyone else does.
Another thing that's really handy is when you start something and you're going through the middle of some course, there's always things that happen during the day and you have to walk away and do something else. It's nice to be able to come back the next day, two days later, a week later, open it up and it remembers where I left off on that particular document and I can pick right back up where I stopped, and not scroll through and try to figure out where I stopped or even watching the video to figure out where I left off last.
Q: How would you describe IMAGINiT support before, during your experience with ProductivityNOW?
Mike: I've had good support over there with everyone at IMAGINiT. I come up with some of the craziest things that anyone has ever seen and it's all real-life things that happen to everyone. It's just that I have it happening on a much larger scale. But everyone over there has always been very supportive and stays with things and I will say fairly responsive in getting things resolved in a timely manner. So, happy with the support.
Q: What kind of ROI have you seen on ProductivityNOW the purchase?
Mike: For us, I see a lot of value in the fact that it's 24 hours a day, seven days a week that somebody has access to any of this information and documentation. I am the only CAD manager and I'm not available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they're needing help.
It also adds a little bit of flexibility in what I can do - somebody will send me something when I'm off on the weekend - they need information and I can find a link for it on my phone in two minutes and send them a link and say, "Here try this." And it solves the problem. When you have a group of people in the field where your labor is at a premium rate and you're not getting them the support they need, it starts to get pretty costly in a hurry. So, having them have the ability to move forward with what they need is a pretty priceless thing.
Q: How do you identify or currently identify skills gaps with your teams?
Mike: Each group has a manager that they work for and there's anywhere from three to 10 people or maybe even more in a group, might be as many as 20. And so often whoever the manager is of that group identifies where an individual needs help in improving skills.
Q: Would you recommend ProductivityNOW to other organizations in your industry, and why?
Mike: Yeah, it is a great tool. It's very important to be able to find things. There's a little bit of a disconnect in how I will say us in the older generation did things compared to the younger generation. We would get out of our chair or go over and tell whoever we're working for that their dog gives better instructions than that and nobody does that anymore. (The younger generation) is not going to ask anybody because they think that that makes them look like they don't know what they're doing. Even if the guy sitting right next to them knows everything they need to know, they're going to go search on the internet, they're going to find it somewhere else.
If you give them a single place to go find what it is they're looking for, then it will improve how your organization grows and it will improve the skills that they have. There's a lot of stuff out there - you can search YouTube, you can search Google, but you can find a lot of really bad ideas out there as well. And it's maybe not the way you want it done in your organization. So, if you want it done the same way every time, you need to have a single platform for somebody to go collect their information from.
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