Safety: Learning Management System (LMS) + Structured Instruction = Competitive Advantage and Maintenance Savings

earthmoving methods

Executive Summary

A growing support services provider operating in a compliance-driven environment was onboarding a significant number of new employees annually.  Their training staff became consumed with training record keeping, leaving less and less time to train.  When trainers actually had time to train, they did their ‘own thing;’ there was no theory or baseline training; ‘consistency’ was lacking.

The company licensed VISTA Training’s Learning Management System (LMS) and Silver Series equipment operator training programs.  They were able to leverage the LMS’s training database to provide site supervisors weekly reports that allowed them to quickly identify and remediate employee skill gaps.  They were also able to use their training records to streamline recruiting and gain their client’s confidence.

Plus, a single instructional segment in one of VISTA’s operator training programs saved the company well over $150,000 in yearly articulated truck maintenance costs.

Introducing the Company

VISTA’s client provides site support services to large companies and employs over 1,000 people. They have three unique businesses – Site Services, Business Management Services (BMS) and Contracting.  Most of their employees are equipment operators who perform a wide range of facility maintenance tasks including roads and grounds maintenance, ditching, vegetation management and snow removal at their clients’ sites.

As this client’s business grew, their training group found themselves continually onboarding new employees and consumed with training recordkeeping, leaving very little time to focus on actually training the new hires. The table shown below lists the training requirements and time spent in training for a single skid steer operator to prepare him to operate at one of their client’s sites.


Three key phrases describe the challenges – compliance dependent, seasonal, and client site specific.  The company is a compliance dependent business; equipment operators must adhere to internal position specific requirements, local association requirements, as well as client site specific training guidelines.  At any time throughout the year, a third of all employees are seasonal workers.

When VISTA first met with this client’s training group, trainers were manually entering all employee training records on spreadsheets!  For a single employee, that could involve 30 different training events; and, at the rate they were hiring, their trainers were handling 400-500 training records every week!  Trainers were consumed with record keeping and had less and less time to focus on coaching and onboarding new operators.

When they did find time to train, trainers did their ‘own thing;’ there was no baseline training; in a word, ‘consistency’ was lacking.  The training one employee received was often very different from the training that the next person hired received.  Throughout the year they noticed an alarming escalation in the number of drop box losses on their articulated haul trucks.  These losses alone resulted in well over $150,000 in maintenance costs.



This client licensed VISTA’s Learning Management Systems (LMS) and their staff received training in how to establish and manage a training database that met their compliance requirements.  They needed to capture course completion information and the LMS does that. They began by loading over 288 training events into the database, including:

  • Classroom and web-based online training offerings
  • Pre-employment training programs
  • Vendor provided training programs
  • Client specific computer-based and instructor-led programs and assessments.

With all 288 training events loaded, the training staff grouped them either by job title or operator type; in other words, they created job specific learning ‘tracks.’  Having defined learning tracks allowed trainers to assign new equipment operators, supervisors and others to the specific programs they needed to complete to become fully prepared to operate on a specific client site or to carry out their job responsibilities.

VISTA Silver Series™ Web-based Operator Training

Our client also incorporated VISTA’s Silver Series™ heavy equipment operator training programs into their training curriculum.  These 1-2 hour task-based training programs provide information on common equipment types and the tasks they perform.  A complete list of the programs available in the VISTA Silver Series™ Heavy Equipment library includes:

All Silver Series™ programs include an optional pre-test to evaluate operator aptitude, a final exam to measure knowledge retention and a personalized certificate of completion.


Learning Management System (LMS)

The client’s LMS serves as a single source of employee training / compliance data; no more spreadsheets and manual record entry!  According to their Training Manager, “We don’t store any of this information anywhere else; if it’s not in the LMS is didn’t happen.”

Multiple reports are generated weekly; customized reports may be created on request.  Each site supervisor receives a weekly Site Training Compliance report.  Supervisors can quickly identify onboarding deficiencies or skills gaps among their site’s employees.

Their safety group, site supervisors or their clients may request customized reports at any time.  For example, a report showing training by operator type or a management report identifying skills gaps in supervisory employees. And the LMS has solved the seasonal employee problem.  Now that all employee training records are permanently stored, returning employees are easily reactivated or deactivated.

Finally, and most impressive thing is how they leverage their LMS database to demonstrate to prospective customers that they have “the most professional record management systems of all their competitors.”