In 2018 the UK company Cadassist became part of Symetri, and so did Gordon, who had worked at Cadassist since he moved to the UK in 2003.
“I was running an independent CAD training business in Cambridge, Massachusetts for over 12 years and when I moved back to the UK with my family I wanted to continue what I was doing. Cadassist at the time was looking to improve their training business so it was great timing.”
Gordon works with many different teams to coordinate and develop Symetri’s training offering. As a result, his everyday work is very varied.
“I work with the training team, senior management, our sales team and directly with customers. I’m sort of a bridge between them, so there’s no such thing as a typical day or week.”
Seeing expertise first-hand
Although Gordon’s job description has remained pretty much the same over the years, the scope of his work has changed.
“The changes that I saw early on were mainly growing our training business so that it, in effect, became an independent business unit. In the years that followed I saw us grow from a medium sized business within the UK to one of the major players training well over 1,000 people a year out of our Manchester office. And then becoming part of Symetri two years ago, that has opened up an entirely new landscape for me,” he explains.
Having a team of 450 people across Northern Europe as a resource has been a welcome change for Gordon.
“Since Cadassist joined Symetri our portfolio has grown immensely. Both the breadth and the depth of what we can cover now is really exciting. We can virtually say yes to anything a customer needs, which is great. What’s also exciting is to experience all that expertise first-hand. It makes me proud to be part of the company.”
Ten out of ten
Working with training, Gordon gets to see the impact that new knowledge can have every day.
“All software is just a promise unless it’s actually used properly” he says and continues, “Training is all about where people and technology meet - it’s that interface where we can use our expertise and industry experience to help the customer realise the promise of the technology. That’s a really exciting space to work in.”
In his position, Gordon fully knows that delivering great quality training is a team effort. The bigger the project, the more important it is to have a well-functioning team that you can trust.
“I get to be involved in projects where we train hundreds of people. But I’m really just a facilitator,” Gordon explains. “I make sure that we deliver what we promise, but it’s a credit to our training team that we can deliver those results, and that we often not only meet but exceed the customers’ expectations. To know that across the team, the people I work with can consistently deliver a 9/10 or 10/10 every time, it’s great to watch – I love that.”
Necessity is the mother of invention
When asked if any particular project stands out through the years, it’s the most recent challenge that comes to mind for Gordon. With the Covid-19 crisis shutting down classroom training Symetri needed to quickly be able to deliver high-quality virtual training.
“We had to answer the question ‘How can we possibly take what we do in a classroom and transfer it to a virtual classroom?’ We can’t rely on any of the things we know as trainers to deliver a great training course like being able to walk around the room, read expressions and body language. We had to find a new way of training.” Gordon explains, “Watching all that happen and to see, over the past three months, that the feedback on our virtual training is as consistently great as it was before the lockdown - I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”
With new tools to master and adapting to teaching virtually, there was no guarantee that the change would be successful. It required a huge effort from the entire training team.
“It was a very steep learning curve and watching everybody make that transition was inspiring.” Gordon says. “I don’t think there’s anything that’s a greater illustration of our key values as a company. There’s being passionate about what we do, having the courage to make a change, working as a team, embracing change - all of those characteristics were required in making this move to virtual training. So far, we have run about 40 virtual courses and trained about 200 people – and to see that there hasn’t been a single negative comment in all the feedback, it’s remarkable! I actually get a little choked up when I think about it because it was such a mountain to climb for this team, and they’ve done it brilliantly.”
All that work has also provided Symetri with new opportunities for the future.
“They say, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and it really is. We now have a new offering for our customers as a result of this crisis. Not necessarily better or worse - just different, and I think it makes terrific sense for so many of our customers,” Gordon says. “This has really opened up a new area for our company which is something I’m really excited about.”
Are you interested in helping others realise the promise of technology and want to know more about working at Symetri? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.