You Spoke. We Listened – Cornerstone on Demand eLearning is Here

By:  Tiffany Thomas, HR Generalist

You spoke. We listened. After many survey results and emailed suggestions, we realized it was time for something new, innovative, and efficient. In February, we launched Cornerstone OnDemand. Cornerstone is a leading global provider of a comprehensive learning and talent management solution delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). With this learning management system, employees will have access to an array of training modules and more.

Our goal is to improve the overall employee experience which will improve how we do business with our clients. Through its online learning courses, it is our hope that Cornerstone will identify areas of improvement, bolster areas of success, and offer realistic solutions that will enable us to serve our clients better than ever.

We want Cornerstone to be a resource for you! HR Manager, Kristi Suddock would ultimately like for Cornerstone to become an all-encompassing tool to empower TSP employees.

“It [Cornerstone] is a great platform for all of our learning initiatives. It allows us to track certifications, compliance training, soft skills, technical skills, etc.”

Other key features of Cornerstone include:

  • Instructor-led training registration and attendance tracking
  • Access to custom TSP courses and videos
  • Manager assigned learning plans for new or existing team members
  • Automated reporting and reminders
  • Cornerstone Mobile – available on the Apple Store or Google Play
  • Launch training directly from the Cornerstone home page
  • Ability to search for course titles using the home page search widget

 

So what are you waiting for? Log on to Cornerstone today and take a look at all of the resources available. We have set up single sign-on for you to access the system using this link: http://cornerstone.mytsp.net. Happy learning!

Third-Annual Motorcycle Ride Benefitting Leighton’s Gift Sponsored by TSP

DALLASTSP (Technology Service Professionals), a leading provider of information technology services to Fortune 500 companies, announced it will be the platinum sponsor of the third-annual Leighton’s Ride, a fundraising motorcycle ride on May 16 benefiting Leighton’s Gift, a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to turn a tragedy into something positive. The organization’s current project includes installing Angel Eye webcam systems in the NICU at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. These webcams help parents with infants at the NICU to see their babies at any time from their computer, smart phone, tablet or other web-enabled device.

“TSP is proud to be the platinum sponsor this year for Leighton’s Ride, an amazing cause close to our hearts,” said Frank Gonzalez, co-founder and vice-president, TSP. “We firmly believe it’s important for us to give back as a company and contribute to our community.”

The third annual charity ride will start on May 16 at 9am in Celina, TX and culminate at noon at Adam Smith’s Texoma Harley in Sherman, TX. Individuals interested in registering can complete and submit the registration packet here.

Login services and webcam use are offered free of charge to parents with infants in the NICU, making Texas Health Plano the first hospital in Collin County with NICU webcams. The webcams also allow parents to speak to their child, facilitating the bonding experience when parents can’t physically be at their bedside.

Leighton’s Gift was incorporated in 2013 by Chris Skaggs, TSP’s director of strategic initiatives, and his wife, Amy Skaggs. Chris and Amy’s twins, Leighton Sophie Taylor and Jaxon Cohen were born on May 26, 2013 at only 28 weeks and six days gestation. Just three weeks after her birth, Leighton was diagnosed with Late Onset Group B Strep (GBS) and passed away within 48 hours. While undergoing this tragic experience, Chris and Amy struggled with the strict rules of the NICU, which prevented their families from ever meeting Leighton.

“We’ve come a long way since we started this journey, and we’re thrilled that we’ve wired up 19 out of Texas Health’s 45 beds,” said Chris Skaggs. “We’re so grateful to TSP for their continued support of our organization.”

Leighton’s Gift has created a legacy for Leighton by using technology to help other parents going through this difficult experience to feel more connected and comfortable. The Skaggs’ story was featured recently in a CNN iReport, along with a CNN story on journeys through infertility.

About TSP
TSP is a privately held information technology services company founded in 2002 by Rick Skaggs and Frank Gonzalez. The business provides top-tier services in enterprise solutions, shared solutions, and industrial automation. The Certified Minority Owned Business has more than 550 employees, and its service area includes more than 30 U.S. states as well as Canada. The company’s client portfolio includes Texas Instruments, International Paper, Hewlett-Packard, Goodyear, Georgia-Pacific, Dell, Raytheon, 3M, Hitachi, NetApp, Lockheed Martin, IBM, and Neiman Marcus. To learn more, visit http://mytsp.net.

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Maintenance Services: Why It Matters

Maintenance may not seem like the most interesting topic… At least until consequences for failing to do regular maintenance grab all the headlines with both hands.

When making choices about where to allocate budgets, maintenance often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. New toys are fun and interesting, but equipment that’s already paid for needs to be handled with courtesy or else it could break, leading to costly repairs or even the need for replacement. In other words, the price of replacing a server fan that’s nearing the end of its life is a lot gentler on the bottom line than the cost of replacing the server, especially when you think of the potential catastrophe of having a server go down.

Managing technology services in-house can put a lot of strain on any department, especially given the diverse expertise required to manage upkeep on phones, virus software, operating systems, desktops, notebooks, printers, servers, and systems. Even something as mainline as conference room equipment needs to be checked for maintenance needs, which is easy to forget about until the big conference is tomorrow and something breaks. If your key maintenance person goes on vacation, will their backup know what to do in case of an emergency? What if it’s in the middle of the night or on a holiday?

The level of expertise necessary to maintain multiple complex technologies is making it more and more cost effective to employ a team of outsourced experts. Third party experts can handle comprehensive maintenance needs, whether a business requires ongoing server repairs, device and system restoration, preventative and emergency maintenance, or all of the above.

Flexibility is key when choosing a maintenance services provider, and we don’t mean flexibility on the vendor’s side. A great partner should have options that work well for the client, whether that’s a service window or guaranteed response time.

Working with vetted partners comes with other perks and cost savings, too. When you partner with a business that specializes in maintenance services, they should have connections with multiple parts depots. Your package should include supply chain support and asset tracking, which is much better than hoping to locate a rare part on your own and guessing how to negotiate the best price.

The right vendor should also keep track of key performance indicators (KPI) to let clients know exactly where their maintenance needs stand, how those needs are being met, how much is being saved, and the projected costs of putting certain maintenance off if budgets become tight.

Maintaining a bridge may not be hot news, but a bridge collapse will cause chaos. Don’t avoid maintenance hassles and hope they’ll magically go away. Instead, trust an enterprise partner who will take the headache out of maintaining your tech investments.

Press Release Issued

While we already announced the news on this blog back in March, today we issued a press release officially announcing our acquisition of the service contract portion of Industrial Maintenance Services, Inc. (IMS), which specializes in maintaining and servicing equipment for paper production.

This acquisition makes us the largest third-party provider of quality control systems (QCS) equipment services for both Honeywell and ABB products.

“TSP has been an evolving organization from day one. We began 13 years ago as a computer support business and have grown to provide solutions for enterprise, shared services, and industrial automation. Our growth has been due in large part to our ability to listen to customers and find a way to provide whatever they needed. Acquiring IMS allows us to fill a major gap in the market because we now have the flexibility to manage additional levels of industrial automation equipment,” said Frank Gonzalez, TSP co-founder and vice president.

“Paper mills often use a mix of both ABB and Honeywell equipment. This acquisition means we can achieve a customer service experience that’s unparalleled in the industry. Paper mills can now deal with just one contract and know they’re getting the best comprehensive service to meet all their individual needs,” said Rick Skaggs, TSP co-founder and president.

Read more in the full press release here, and a big welcome to the 30 engineers now with us from IMS!

TSP Becomes Largest Third-Party Provider of QCS Equipment Services

DALLASTSP (Technology Service Professionals), a leading provider of information technology services to Fortune 500 companies, announced it has acquired the service contract portion of IMS (Industrial Maintenance Services, Inc.), which specializes in maintaining and servicing equipment for paper production.

“Paper mills often use a mix of both ABB and Honeywell equipment. This acquisition means we can achieve a customer service experience that’s unparalleled in the industry. Paper mills can now deal with just one contract and know they’re getting the best comprehensive service to meet all their individual needs. TSP has been an evolving organization from day one. We began 13 years ago as a computer support business and have grown to provide solutions for enterprise, shared services, and industrial automation. Our growth has been due in large part to our ability to listen to customers and find a way to provide whatever they needed. Acquiring IMS allows us to fill a major gap in the market because we now have the flexibility to manage additional levels of industrial automation equipment,” said Frank Gonzalez, TSP co-founder and vice president.

The acquisition opens new doors to TSP’s industrial automation solutions business unit and makes TSP the largest third-party provider of quality control systems (QCS) equipment services for both Honeywell and ABB products.

Most paper mills across the U.S. and Canada use Honeywell or ABB power and automation technologies, but no single service provider specializes in both. TSP has a long history working with Honeywell products, and IMS’s focus on ABB products gives TSP the flexibility to offer expert services on both brands.

“Paper mills often use a mix of both ABB and Honeywell equipment. This acquisition means we can achieve a customer service experience that’s unparalleled in the industry. Paper mills can now deal with just one contract and know they’re getting the best comprehensive service to meet all their individual needs,” said Rick Skaggs, TSP co-founder and president.

The acquisition included jobs for IMS’s team of nearly 30 engineers, who are vetted experts in providing services and parts for QCS, distributed control systems (DCS), camera, and other industrial control systems.

“TSP is proud to welcome IMS engineers to our family. We value excellence, and IMS built a culture that parallels our own. We’re pleased to work with these talented people and have them as part of our team,” said Skaggs.

TSP will showcase their newly expanded services at TAPPI PaperCon 2015 (booth #215), April 19-22, 2015 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

About TSP
TSP is a privately held information technology services company founded in 2002 by Rick Skaggs and Frank Gonzalez. The business provides top-tier services in enterprise solutions, shared solutions, and industrial automation. The Certified Minority Owned Business has more than 550 employees, and its service area includes more than 30 U.S. states as well as Canada. The company’s client portfolio includes Texas Instruments, International Paper, Hewlett-Packard, Goodyear, Georgia-Pacific, Dell, Raytheon, 3M, Hitachi, NetApp, Lockheed Martin, IBM, and Neiman Marcus. To learn more, visit http://mytsp.net.

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No Love Lost (The case of the missing performance review)

By:  Kristi Suddock, HR Manager

What do managers do when they want to help their employees improve performance and advance to the next level? They provide an annual performance review, of course!

Traditional annual performance reviews can take 3-4 hours per employee to write. For a manager with 10 employees, that is one solid work week per year of writing reviews. After writing for 8-10 hours, I’ll be honest, I begin cutting and pasting my clever feedback statements.

Reviews may also be subjective based on how we are feeling about Joe at the moment. Sure he’s a good employee, but this morning he wasn’t particularly friendly when I passed in the hall, right? I’ll put a “needs improvement” on Teamwork.

By the time reviews are written and submitted, they’re usually delivered late because revenue generating work is priority.   I finally deliver my masterpiece to find that Sue is not particularly happy receiving a “meets” on accuracy, even though she is outstanding on every other point. She refuses to sign and leaves my office angry.

And as an employee, how do you feel when you receive your performance review late, it looks suspiciously like last year’s review and your manager did not remember to mention the successful launch of your biggest project? It feels like you aren’t visible.

At TSP, we have a different philosophy on annual performance reviews. We don’t mandate them. We believe that feedback should be given timely and regularly. TSP encourages our managers to take the opportunity each day to say “You did a good job on that report. The data was exactly what I needed.” or “I noticed that you arrived late this morning. Please be on time going forward.” There is no need to wait an entire year to give someone clear, constructive feedback.

Feedback delivery should not be limited to TSP’s management. It can also be a peer-to-peer sharing of what works, what doesn’t work, ideas and praise.   That’s how healthy office relationships work. Telling each other in an open, honest way what we need from our co-workers in order for the team to be successful. This includes praising each other when we recognize good work.

Let’s commit to practicing good feedback this week by sharing these four points with an employee or peer:

  • One thing that has made us happy
  • One thing that has caused stress or concern
  • One new idea
  • One #TSProckstar praise

Let me know how it goes!

Are Lateral Moves a Good Idea?

Sometimes a new job opportunity comes along, but instead of the promotion you’ve been thinking about, it’s a different job for similar pay. When faced with the decision of whether to make a lateral move, how do you decide which direction to go? On one hand, a lateral move might earn you more experience, expand your network, and lead to bigger things. On the other hand, is it worth it to change jobs for similar pay? Lateral moves may seem like a wash when it comes to salary, but there are other factors you should consider before choosing to stay put.

Does the move provide new opportunities?
If you’ve been interested in working with a different department or if the lateral move offers extra chances to grow, it could be a great fit. Lateral moves may be the same salary, but they could open doors that weren’t as accessible before. Whether that’s an education incentive, higher promotion potential, a set of fresh faces, or the chance to try something else without overhauling you career, a lateral move could be the right fit.

Is it time for a new boss?
Being interested in a new boss doesn’t mean your current boss-employee relationship doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s great to learn from someone you haven’t worked with before, since every boss has something unique to offer. If your potential new boss has a lot to offer as a mentor and you’ve learned as much as you can from this position, now might be the right time to switch.

What are the risks?
Any change can involve some risk. When you move away from the day-to-day of what’s known, there is always a chance that something might not be a good fit. Evaluate the potential risks and find out how hard it would be to go back if things didn’t work out. If everyone is on the same page about trying a new position to check the fit, there is less pressure and you won’t feel stuck.

Are you bored?
Now might not be the right moment for a promotion, but doesn’t mean you’re staying engaged with daily tasks that might have started to feel stale. A lateral move can provide more diverse incentives and challenges, allowing you to keep the stability of staying with the same company and retaining accrued benefits while trying something different. If you’re not challenged in your current job and work is becoming repetitive, a lateral move might reignite the challenges that keep things interesting.

Lateral moves may seem the same when it comes to a paycheck, but they can offer lots of additional incentives. If you’re not feeling challenged, want to shake up your career without taking on too much risk, and are looking to broaden your contacts base or find a mentor, a lateral move may be the right way to go. Don’t be blinded by the bottom line—instead, focus on prioritizing long-term opportunity.