Innovating Begins By Engaging with Other PDS Customers!
Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. Shares Their Knowledge with Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma
Three visitors from the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma traveled to Associated Headquarters Aug. 10, looking for ways to increase efficiencies and better leverage use of the human resources software system PDS Vista HRMS.
They met with Derek Hime, development team supervisor, Cindy Davison, programmer/analyst, and Jeff Brown, application specialist, Information Services; and Camie Cole, compensation analyst, and Kristin Budzyna, human resources generalist.
Since the original implementation of the system at Associated in 2010, Derek and his team have attracted attention for innovation and refinement.
“PDS provides a great toolset out of the box,” Derek said, “but it can’t meet every client’s needs perfectly.” He said that many organizations never move beyond base system functionality. His team has “created a significant number of customizations, large and small, to fit PDS to our processes.” Examples include the salary administration module and Associated’s custom medical leave tracking module.
He said that “due to PDS’ willingness to collaborate with customers and implement changes for the good of all users,“ several of Associated’s in-house customizations have become integrated into the base software.
Others have taken notice. The Wyandotte Tribe is an example. They discovered Associated’s work after Bill Ward, applications/database support specialist, met Derek at a PDS conference in Tampa, Florida, earlier this year.
The tribe had reached the point of wanting to expand beyond the base PDS system. Since Associated was so close, Derek said, they expressed interest in visiting and seeing how the system was being used.
“In general,” Derek said, “I believe they were looking for ideas and different perspectives from another PDS customer who had extended their usage beyond the base system functionality.”
Derek said he was able to demonstrate how the flexibility, openness and customization of the system can be used to their advantage. He also detailed the trade-offs inherent with customizing.
The community of PDS clients “is like none I’ve seen before. There are a lot of creative and talented users out there that are willing to share their experiences and their work to help others succeed.”
Why has Associated garnered attention for its work with the system?
“We’ve become recognized in this realm due to our initiative and technical ability to enhance and extend what the system provides out of the box, and for our willingness to share that experience with others.”
— Derek Hime, development team supervisor
Written by editorial intern Max Prater,
for Associated’s internal newsletter, The Grid
Development Team Supervisor Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.