Organizations often begin running their training operations with spreadsheets and yellow pad of paper – until they reach a tipping point where they can no longer provide services efficiently. This tipping point often occurs when the current solution is not able to adapt to the volume of programs and the variety of activities. Spreadsheets can only go so far, and schedulers, course planners and instructors find that they are unable to keep up with these increased demands.
Some organizations try building a Training Management System (TMS) on their own. While this does have the advantage of enabling complete customization, the drawbacks are many. Since it’s not the company’s main line of business, the developers and designers will usually be starting from scratch instead of basing their knowledge on tested, proven methodologies and technology.
Mergers are another trigger to purchase a TMS, as the amalgamated corporation becomes responsible for additional staff and equipment. For example, airlines that merge must combine crews, pilots and maintenance teams, in addition to unifying the planes and materials. The merged corporation needs to integrate the systems and standardize operations. This is quite a challenge as each company has various types of fleets, and the staff have assorted levels of skills and expertise. Here, a TMS can prove invaluable in enabling uniformity and a smoother onboarding for all parties.
Integrating Training Systems
Training operations are not independent – by nature they require coordination between a number of systems including resource management, scheduling, finance, and others. A growing training operation will need to coordinate with a number of these external systems, which is a considerable challenge when coordinating between these systems with manual processes. In contrast, an advanced TMS accomplishes these integrations internally, so that all relevant systems are synchronized seamlessly.
Regulation is a critical component of aviation, utilities, pharma, healthcare and other industries, and building a training system that considers all relevant aspects of regulations and compliance is of utmost concern. For example, airlines must comply with the FAA, EASA and other Civil Aviation Authorities. Companies that switch from a traditional regulatory system to advanced standards may find that they need a more robust TMS that can support compliance with these progressive methods.
Whatever the initial trigger, with a proven Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) solution, organizations can rely on the fact that an experienced training solution vendor is well aware of what the market requires, and also of important trends that will shape future developments. A well-designed COTS TMS can significantly reduce TCO, by streamlining methodologies, and offering more efficient processes.