Jul 12, 2012
Per Mar Security is a privately-held, family-owned business that has been providing security since 1953. As a full-service company, Per Mar provides electronic and physical security options for its clients. From camera and fire safety systems to security officers and mobile patrol, Per Mar covers a wide range of security needs, even offering professional investigative services for business environments. Based in Davenport, Iowa, Per Mar has 20 branch locations throughout the Midwest.
Brad Stoefen is a Training Specialist at Per Mar and oversees training for the entire company. Just some of his responsibilities include creating new training programs, updating programs for continuous improvement and ensuring compliance with state licensing. When Stoefen joined Per Mar in 2009, he was first tasked with evaluating the training programs to see if improvements could be made.
Prior to joining Per Mar, Stoefen worked at a local university where response technology was employed. The idea of incorporating response technology into learning environments seemed extremely valuable. According to Stoefen, response technology had the ability to "enhance training by making it more engaging, keeping participants interested and making the material fun for all." However, the system that the university utilized was cumbersome and the complications often outweighed the benefits.
When he joined Per Mar, Stoefen knew that response technology would be a great asset that he could incorporate into his programs for continuous improvement. In order to find a system that would meet his needs without becoming a burden, he did some research and came across Turning Technologies' flagship product TurningPoint. After downloading the software and testing it out for himself, Stoefen contacted a representative for a trial system.
One of the core abilities that Stoefen knew would be crucial for the success of the response system was direct integration with PowerPoint. Since TurningPoint offers this key feature, he used the trial system with several team members, including his supervisor, to experience the technology first-hand. Being able to test not only the software, but also the hardware made for a comfortable, easy decision.
"Being able to use the system in advance gave us a real comfort level where we knew the system was really easy-to-use, but there is also someone on call to provide support if we ever needed it," said Stoefen. "Initially, we planned on using it just for audience engagement. I think that people's perception in the past has been that training is boring or is just lecture. I wanted to change that perception and make it more engaging."
Shortly after acquiring the technology, Per Mar moved to a more paperless process with its filing system. Stoefen saw the potential for TurningPoint to be used during annual training sessions to replace paper tests normally given at the conclusion of each class. The annual trainings, a series of three courses, cover such compliance topics as sexual harassment, hazardous communications and bloodborne pathogens.
"Eliminating paper was a challenge that emerged after we purchased the product, and TurningPoint was a great solution. We can use TurningPoint to create quizzes in PowerPoint, collect responses, save quiz results in an electronic format and move data easily into an electronic file," said Stoefen.
TurningPoint has also seen great success in regional sales meetings that are held at least nine times a year. The meetings review new product updates, sales processes and other internal issues. Again, the response technology was incorporated into the sessions for product knowledge checks.
"TurningPoint shows whether people are really paying attention, whether they are really engaged in the product and are going to go out and sell it. The participants are getting more and more used to it and look forward to that section of the session. You can see the energy in the room increase. Even more introverted groups are more willing to speak up during the session because of the inclusion of response technology. We are also getting something out of it by testing whether they know the products they are selling. It works out really well," said Stoefen.
Stoefen continues to receive great feedback every time they use the system. Several vice presidents in different divisions have reached out to incorporate the system into presentations. The technology has even been incorporated into surveys given at the end of each training program, and across the board, results have been positive and participants have indicated that the technology made the session engaging.
"TurningPoint really allows us to know if the information is sinking in or being absorbed," said Stoefen. "Folks who don't normally speak are getting more engaged in the learning. Even the folks who are extroverted have another outlet in which to speak. Through the reporting system, if we see someone struggling, we can identify them right away instead of going through, spending the time to correct the answers. Instead, the report pops up right there, which saves us time and resources. Ultimately, TurningPoint saves us time, paper and money - that has been the most beneficial part of it."
For more information about Turning Technologies' audience response systems for your organization, contact us at 866-746-3015.