Pilgrim’s Pride

Published on Sep 25, 2021

Historically, Pilgrim's had been paying a significant amount of money to a third-party contractor to train their mechanics. The problem? The one-week classroom trainings covered a great deal of content, but mechanics didn't retain the information and weren't able to apply the training to their day-to-day jobs. Pilgrim's was seeking a more tailored learning solution that would allow mechanics to retain knowledge and work more safely and effectively on the job, as well as increase morale and decrease employee turnover.

Pilgrim's chose dss+ to provide the formal training element of their recently developed in-house IMPACT training program (Industrial Maintenance Program & Accredited Course Training). Pilgrim's uses the dss+ eLearning Suite™, a comprehensive online training platform that includes a dss+ Learning Management System™, Authoring Tool, and 300+ dss+ off-the-shelf interactive courses.

Why dss+?
Lonnie Bailey, Director of Labor Management and Maintenance Training at Pilgrim's, is passionate about training mechanics to enable them to think on their feet. Coming from the chemical industry, he's seen first-hand the consequences when people don't apply their training.

His concern for the safety of mechanics as well as their development as technicians led his team to create the IMPACT program. They say the dss+ eLearning Suite™ is a "big part of that system" for several important reasons.

One-on-One, Tailored Training
Pilgrim's is a big proponent of the way dss+ eLearning Suite™ courses are delivered versus a large group classroom setting. With the dss+ platform, mechanics go through courses individually, at their own pace. They believe in a big group setting "no one will ask questions because they don't want to feel inferior, and trainers take for granted they understand the material since they're not asking questions." With dss+ online courses, Pilgrim's says there's "no denying mastery of subject matter—mechanics have to pass with over 80%" correct answers on the quizzes. Pilgrim's also likes that the questions are randomized, so students can't simply memorize the questions and answers. To make training even more personalized, Pilgrim's utilizes the dss+ training courses to create its own assessment test. Upon completion of the assessment, they can personalize each team members training based on their strengths and weaknesses.

Easy-to-Customize Courses
Bailey is emphatic when he states that he loves the dss+ Authoring Tool™. The team has customized over 300 dss+ courses to make them specific to Pilgrim's. They find a great deal of value and flexibility in being able to customize courses and teach their trainers how to create site-specific and equipment-specific training. They say the dss+ software "is easy to use and allows for so much more customization—you can make the program exactly the way you want it."

Continuous Learning, Continuous Tracking
After mechanics complete a dss+ training course, they move on to hands-on and on-the-job training. Between online courses and practical application, mechanics spend three hours per week in training. All of these training events are tracked using the dss+ Learning Management System™. Bailey says mechanics "will be forever learning." The effort is paying off: working with local colleges and universities the program is getting more young enthusiastic candidates and mechanics are becoming more proficient. By utilizing the program, you can develop top tier talent in a relatively short period of time.

Surpassing the Competition
"We have been very satisfied with the dss+ system," Bailey says. "There's no reason for us to look at other companies. If a third-party company calls us, they quickly realize our current training program is unmatched."

With the dss+ eLearning Suite™ as part of Pilgrim's overall training program for mechanics, Pilgrim's has seen terrific results. When it comes to safety, the training has been a game changer. Accidents and near misses have seen an extreme decrease. Morale is up because mechanics can see that the company is investing in their future, which will likely translate into reduced turnover rates. Third-party spending has also gone way down. With more qualified mechanics, repairs can be handled internally instead of spending hundreds of thousands on contactors. Pilgrim's is excited that they can now tie training to mechanics' everyday work life. To sum it up, Bailey likes to use the quote attributed to Albert Einstein: "Knowledge is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." Pilgrim's is training their mechanics to think, and Pilgrim's is becoming a safer, more effective organization because of these efforts.

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation is a leading global provider of high-quality food products, including well-recognized brands and value-added premium products. Pilgrim's processes, prepares, packages and delivers fresh, frozen and value-added food products for customers in more than 100 countries. As one of the world's largest poultry producers and a fully integrated pork producer, Pilgrim's has provided wholesome, quality products to customers and consumers for more than seven decades.