News  - 19 Jun 2020

Meeting the training challenges under COVID-19

PDS has a diversified operation, with an increase over the past 12 months, of remote workers and on-line education tools, so when COVID-19 caused lockdowns and border closures, for us it was business as usual albeit with a little scale up.

Under our founder Peter McCurdy, PDS has always a very hands-on, customer concentric approach, conducting numerous mine site implementation training sessions annually. The new COVID restrictions were an opportunity to fully implement the remote operations approaches that had already been developed. Social distancing meant that even local Hunter operations had challenges with face to face meetings whether they be internal or external, training challenges were therefore the same regardless of whether you were in the Pilbara or Newcastle.

Our Senior Reliability Engineer, Lena Plambeck, being experienced in both university lecturing as well as onsite reliability and conveyor improvement processes/analysis had the right skill set to roll this program out. We have utilised video conferencing via Microsoft teams along with our comprehensive knowledge base to conduct large scale education programs. Customers have noted a number of benefits from this approach to training. Remote workers have had improved access to training with reduced hours lost to travel and better scheduling of small group sessions tailored to the needs of the group. This rostering has been easier, sessions more targeted and productivity maintained in a very cost-effective package. Customer feedback has been extremely positive, and Lena believes that this online training approach will be maintained once restrictions are lifted.

The continued support we have received from our customers is truly appreciated, especially during the difficult times of 2019 and 2020.