Layne Christensen: Installing a Low Cost LMS for Corporate Compliance Training

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Case Study: Layne Christensen

High-level description of business: Layne Christensen’s experts collaborate across divisional, functional and geographic lines to deliver total solutions for the world’s toughest water, mineral and energy challenges. This integrated approach allows Layne to offer more than individual services – it ensures streamlined communications, expedited timelines, and a constant focus on safety and sustainability.

Number of employees & other relevant organizational information: Layne has a rich and diverse history dating back to 1882 when they began as a domestic water-well drilling company in South Dakota. From those humble roots, and over 130 years, Layne has evolved into a global Water Management, Construction and Drilling Company.

Learner population: 4,700 employees, 3,500 of whom needed to have access to a training system

Training Challenges and Solutions

Primary Challenge: Deploying, tracking and managing corporate compliance training. The rapid growth of Layne’s business and increased number of personnel required them to move to a formal and structured employee training program. Up to this point, they had tracked and deployed all training manually via spreadsheets, emails, instructors and classrooms. With a large staff needed to manually deploy and track everything, Layne realized that they must do something to make the training not only efficient, but provide more accountable data on the training being deployed. After doing their homework, Layne became convinced that a robust Learning Management System (LMS) would solve the problem.

Layne determined that a LMS solution would be required to:

  • Manage all current trainings, which included instructor led classroom and Web Meetings
  • Be able to deploy custom and off-the-shelf eLearning courses
  • Support the video format that Layne currently used
  • Build the content so that users could not “fast forward” through it
  • Have an easy way to batch load numerous users at once into the system
  • Make rules on each users profile, allowing specific placement into groups or courses
  • Self-enrollment for all courses
  • Separate users into departments, allowing separate managers for each group
  • The system would be used by non-IT people, so it needed to be user friendly for non-programming type personnel
  • Reports on the results of all trainings, in great detail
  • Transcripts for the users
  • Automatic email notifications sent out to the users on the status of the trainings
  • Certificates for the completion of courses

Solution Strategy:

Since Layne had an extensive existing IT infrastructure, they set out to find if they could purchase and own an unlimited user, user friendly learning management system, and install it on their own internal Web server. For the solution to work, the software had to be installed behind Layne’s existing firewall, so any learning management system that would “ping” an external server for any reason would not work. The system had to tie into Layne’s existing Active Directory to synchronize users, and finally, the system had to be compatible and able to communicate with Layne’s existing MS SQL database.

Solution Implementation:

To accomplish the above strategy, Layne used the following implementation process:

From the feature list they internally generated, Layne began with an exhaustive search for learning management system vendors, using numerous resources, most of which were Internet based search engines. While they did not have a specific budget, since they were new to the LMS market and did not know how much they cost, they were hoping to keep the solution under $50k/year. Much to their surprise, an extensive search of numerous learning management systems only found 1 LMS, Inquisiq R3, that met both all the requirements (including internally hosted) and fell below the $50k/year threshold (by a significant amount).

The next phase was to set up a free trial account of the Inquisiq R3 learning management system and run it through their paces. This allowed them to upload and test course delivery, check records, setup groups, generate reports, create email notifications, print certificates, etc. to confirm the system met all requirements.

After all evaluations were complete, Layne felt that ICS Learning Group’s Inquisiq R3 LMS would be the perfect solution, assuming it would run the same on their internal Web servers as it did in the trial environment. The only way to ensure this was to install the actual software on their servers. Even though an unlimited user, perpetual license of Inquisiq has a low one-time cost, Layne opted to lease the software for 1-3 months to fully integrate and test it within their firewall for the final test.

After 2 months of flawless performance, Layne opted to convert the leased license to a full, unlimited user, perpetual license.

To accomplish their goals, Layne used the following Inquisiq R3 LMS functions:

  • Upload SCORM compliant training and assessments that they developed from their existing content.
  • Created Classroom and Web Meeting sessions in Inquisiq to match their existing training sessions.
  • Automated the enrollment of employees into the correct groups and training, with each Enrollment having a set due date. Many enrollments also needed to be re-occurring.
  • Used the Certificate functionality to document successful completion of the training program.
  • Used the tracking and reporting capability Layne’s corporate managers to accurately understand the status and progress of all users being trained.
  • Used the external training import capability to import all the back years of training records that existed before they had a learning management system.
  • Used the learning management system to schedule and manage live training events.
  • Used the learning management system to notify users of new enrollments and/or when enrollments were becoming due or past due.

Results:

  • Corporate branded learning management system to Layne standards (Fonts, colors, graphics).
  • Large amounts of past training records (Excel files and Word docs) now incorporated into one central reportable resource.
  • User training now available 24/7 to all users and any location/division.
  • Cost of training reduced an order of magnitude.
  • Speed of course delivery and deployment significantly increased.
  • Automated email reports virtually eliminates past manual report creation.
  • Online prerequisite training now available (prep for live classroom training) to make sure all employees are on the same page before attending a live session.
  • Online courses now available in a mobile environment.
  • After enrollment completion, courses can be reviewed at any time by the user.
  • Individual managers are automatically emailed notifications when their users have past due enrollments.
  • Many of the past classroom sessions are still conducted, but final assessments (tests) completed online through the learning management system. Allows for proper recording keeping of completion status, plus users can download and print own certificate. The learning management system also allows Layne to run online surveys to capture student feedback (course, instructor and other commercial related data).
  • All divisions are able to separate their employees into unique groups, which include the ability to assign a manager and reporter for those specific groups. Unless assigned, no one manager can see the data from users in other groups.
  • Knowledge transfer was now measurable, as Layne incorporated “Pre” and “Post” tests into the learning management system.
  • Layne could now acquire off-the-shelf standardized SCORM compliant training from 3rd party vendors, to help augment their existing training portfolio.
  • Live classroom course schedules now listed online. Employees can enroll using their PC. The learning management system manages enrollments, class size and waitlists.
  • Email notifications automatically sent (Course confirmation/completion, reminders)
  • LMS generated reports available for business metrics.
  • Training manuals and job aids now available via LMS download.
  • Online training catalog with specific permissions pre-assigned to users and groups.
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