January 7, 2014
The Technology team at TargetSolutions spent 2013 optimizing its most useful applications to improve fire department training plans for clients. Manage Credentials, Record Completions and Activities Builder are some of the most utilized tools that underwent significant enhancements during the previous year.
“We focused on dialing in many of our existing applications and features in 2013,” said TargetSolutions Product Manager Misty Pratt. “We have always been committed to listening to our clients’ requests and working hard to improve the platform’s tools in ways that make our system even more valuable and user-friendly. We’re excited to take it to the next level in 2014.”
While looking back at what the team accomplished, Pratt said she was most impressed by the complex upgrades implemented to the functionality of the Manage Credentials application.
“I’m really proud of the development team for what it did with the credentials project. It was one of the most complicated projects we’ve ever undertaken,” Pratt said. “We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from our clients, which feels especially good considering all of the enhancements made during this project were suggestions directly from clients. It took a ton of hard work and I’m immensely happy with the result.”
Below are several of the most noteworthy accomplishments from 2013:
Auto Renewal for Credentials Makes Training Management More Convenient
The name of this project – Auto Renewal for Credentials – only scratches the surface of what was completed with this project. This upgrade made it possible to automatically renew expiring credentials, but also eliminated unnecessary e-mail alerts, lessened the home page’s clutter, and added various filtering options
that adjust how credentials are viewed by users.
“The Auto Renewal enhancement increases the platform’s ability to run itself after implementation,” Pratt said. “It also corrects several issues users experience with credentials and alert e-mails. While these changes are simple in concept, they represent a huge leap in the usefulness of Credentials as a whole.”
Record Completions and Generate Reports Now Runs Faster Than Ever After Platform Upgrades
An ongoing project for TargetSolutions’ Technology team is to improve the performance of the Record Completions application. The team has always looked for ways to optimize this tool, ensuring the platform runs employee training records as fast and smooth as possible. In the early stages of 2013, TargetSolutions made significant enhancements that helped platform managers and users experience a system with significantly faster load times.
“Improving this application is part of our effort to optimize all applications in the platform,” said Pratt. “We want to make sure the platform is using the latest technology and all the processing is happening as fast as possible.”
Save and Assign Tool Allows Platform Managers and Users to Complete Different Portions of the Same Activity
TargetSolutions’ Save and Assign feature inside the Activities Builder was released in May, giving platform managers and users the ability to partially complete different portions of the same activity. The end result is more consistent recordkeeping and improved efficiency when delivering repetitive activities like evaluations, certificates, inspections, etc.
Immediately after being released, the Save and Assign application helped the DeKalb Fire Department in Georgia. The entire department was required to attend a customer service class but employees were unable to attend at the exact same time. This new feature gave them the ability to complete information specific to their own class, like instructor and class location.
“Save and Assign helps keep training records consistent,” said DeKalb’s Chief Bill Voorhies. “By giving users the ability to fill in information related to a location, or an instructor, and then send it back complete is important to the integrity of our training records.”
Alert Notification System Takes Huge Step Forward in 2013
With TargetSolutions’ updated Alert Notifications system, it’s now easier to keep your organization informed of approaching deadlines. Enhancements to this application included improvements to the tool’s user interface, making navigation more user-friendly, as well as the ability to easily delete alerts and recover them when necessary.
Alert Notifications inside the platform deliver alerts when assignments become urgent and need immediate attention. In the administrative notifications section, platform managers are able to view organization-wide notifications such as licenses and credential expirations. The notification drop-down box is prominently located at the very top of the site and can be viewed from any page within the platform. All users and platform managers will see the notification icon become highlighted when the delivery of a new, unread notification is created. When a user or platform manager clicks the See My Notifications option, it will direct them to their inbox with information on the upcoming deadline.
Upload Completion Data into Third-Party Software with TargetSolutions’ RMS Code Solution
TargetSolutions has taken steps to improve its integration capabilities with third-party recordkeeping software. TargetSolutions’ new RMS Code is an API solution that enables organizations to upload completion data into other systems. This is done by adding a custom field into the Activities Builder and Course Library applications to capture a secondary course identification number.
This update eliminates TargetSolutions’ previous API’s need to create a “look-up table” that corresponded between assignments and the third-party RMS software. In the past, this aspect presented a challenge to departments because activities can be created at any time, meaning course IDs needed to be continuously added to the client-maintained “look-up table.” The new field eliminates the challenge of performing manual maintenance on an otherwise automatic process. Departments looking to export completion data into a pre-existing system structure will no longer need to change how they name, organize and utilize activities inside the platform. This reduces the amount of programming needed on the client’s end, saving time and money.
Dynamic New Courses Added to TargetSolutions’ Online Training Library
In addition to dozens of course upgrades to existing titles, TargetSolutions Content team completed seven new courses in 2013, including fresh ones for clients in various industries like K-12 Education, Fire Service and Public Works.
The new addition, “School Shooting Awareness,” which highlights everything from the characteristics surrounding past school shootings to warning signs and the role mental health often plays in these horrific acts, was the first course built last year, and was followed up by two other titles for school districts: “FERPA: Protecting Student Privacy” and “Proper Use of Seclusion and Restraint.”
“These two courses were musts for TargetSolutions’ course library,” TargetSolutions’ content architect Jeremy Lynch said of the two new NFPA titles
. “We offer many NFPA courses that help train firefighters. We’re happy to offer a course that helps get them back to work when they suffer injuries. And by the same token, preventing injuries during live-burn training events was our goal with the NFPA 1403 offering.”
For the public works industry, TargetSolutions created the new “CA AB 54 for Water
” course, which provides a general overview of California’s Assembly Bill 54 with an emphasis on its requirements and provisions for mutual water company personnel.
For more information on TargetSolutions course catalog, please click here
TargetSolutions delivers cutting-edge software applications, engaging online training courses and world-class customer service. The company was founded in 1999 and today there are more than 2,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions’ innovative technology to enhance their fire department training plan.