MRO Magazine

Feature

Learning Management Systems – Resources for our Resources


LMS is software that allows maintaining of training and resource documents on an electronic platform.

This issue of MRO is dedicated to the resource sector and how it services needs in facilities, industries and factories.

When thinking of resources in manufacturing and industrial facilities, what comes to mind? We think about the services and parts needed to maintain buildings and equipment. We need contractor services and vendor parts to keep equipment reliable and buildings and grounds in good condition. We determine exactly what internal and external services are needed to make this happen.

This month, let’s look at the service and maintenance of employees and contractors. Exactly what does this mean? In order for employees and contractors to work safely and effectively, they need to have a certain level of knowledge. They need training and information readily available to perform their jobs. What type of resources need to be given, so they have the credentials to do the work we ask them to do?

First, a certain level of safety awareness and training to conduct themselves in a safe manner at a plant is needed. For example, new employees and contractors
need safety orientation for specific facilities.

Second, generic training to comply with safety policies– such as WHMIS, lock and tag, confined space entry, ladder safety– is needed.

Third, they need to have specialized training and information available to perform the work assigned, like special forms for hot work and permits for confined
space. They often need to use specific checklists for risk assessments and other checklists to perform jobs safely.

Where does this information and training normally come from? Currently, in most facilities, it comes from certification and training courses provided at work sites. We organize the trainer, trainees, locations and course materials, release people to attend the training and have them sign attendance sheets and keep the test results in their personnel file to record their training in case it is needed for safety audits and to prove due diligence to regulatory agencies.

Anyone who has been responsible to organize training knows it is very time-consuming to say the least and it has been this way for decades. In our facilities, we use technology in maintenance activities to help keep up buildings and equipment. We use computerized maintenance software to track maintenance, laser alignment tools, oil analysis, thermal graphics and other tools to keep assets working smoothly.

Here’s the question. How can we use technology to help maintain our employees and contractors?

Enter the LMS (learning management system). An LMS is essentially software that allows us to maintain all training and important resource documents on an electronic platform that is easy to access and manage. Every conceivable training course whether it is safety, technical or HR-related can be mounted on a company server or cloud-based application ready to be taken at a moment’s notice. Results are recorded and stored for easy access whenever it is needed. An LMS provides interactive training programs that keep participants engaged in the training. Quizzes and tests are designed to ensure students understand the material and are asked to review sections they answered incorrectly.

Training can be taken most anywhere on most any device, workstation, tablet or phone. Training is truly available anytime and anywhere, and personnel in the field can access training and important documents in real time.

10 things that an LMS eliminates:

1. Time taken to organize, deliver and record employee and contractor training.
2. Cost to print handbooks, textbooks and resource documents.
3. Storage of training materials.
4. Files of employee and contractor training records.
5. Time people need to be away from their jobs attending training.
6. Time it takes to mark, test, and produce a certificate.
7. Cost of trainers and their expenses.
8. Deciding who needs what course and when.
9. Manually updating course material.
10. Doing this over and over again year after year.

Employee and contractor training results and schedules are totally digitized. Training courses can be taken on the LMS at the employee’s convenience without the need for a trainer, training location or printed materials.

An LMS can also eliminate paper checklists that are used on the job site. Pre-job safety checklists, risk assessments, working at heights, hot work permits
and many more are all at the fingertips of the contractor or employee. These forms can be filled out using the LMS phone app or on a tablet right at the point of execution of the work. The completed forms  can be immediately sent to the safety co-ordinator or the person responsible for the job safety via email, and/or stored in Google Sheets for easy access.

Think of the daily mobile equipment pre-operation checklists that are usually handwritten at the beginning of a shift on forklifts, loaders and farm equipment. These checklists can be filled out electronically and stored on the LMS software ready for review at a second’s notice anywhere and anytime. Training records and government-regulated forms are safe and secure. No more searching for records in file cabinets and file folders.

Where else can we use the LMS?

A company in Nova Scotia provides me with an LMS for training and important documents my people need in the field. It also provides other resources needed to run my business. Call it an MRS (maintenance resource system). For example, all of us have issues hiring good people. Although applicants may have a great-looking resume and interview well, that doesn’t guarantee a good employee.

Atlantic Webfitters along with all the LMS resources, also provides pre-screening of job applicants. We simply provide the potential employee with our MRS website address, user name and password. From there they go through a series of exercises that tells us if they are worthy of further consideration and a traditional interview. Our hiring process has become much more streamlined and has helped hire people with the right skills, knowledge and attitude.

If you’d like to visit their introductory website to learn more, go to www.mylms.ca. They have worked with us all the way along our LMS/MRS journey and have customized our digitized world. They have helped get what we need; give what we need to our employees, contractors and clients all with a simple business application.

We so often overlook our most precious resource, our people, but they need care and attention just like equipment and facilities. Now more than ever we rely on resources and have people working through our facilities moving from location to location within plant and in the field away from our facility. It might be time to join the LMS/MRS world to give your people the resources they need wherever they’re working.

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Photo credit: unsplash.com


Peter Philips

Peter Phillips of Trailwalk Holdings, a Nova Scotia-based maintenance consulting and training company, can be reached at 902-798- 3601 or by email at peter@trailwalk.ca.
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