Fire Captain Mandolini on Operative IQ Training

When Operative IQ rolled out its Professional Services: Onsite Training, we were excited to see how much benefit customers would truly gain from the face-to-face training. As it turns out, there is a clear advantage to onsite training over traditional/virtual training. In a brief interview with Fire Captain Josh Mandolini of the Big Bear Fire Department in Big Bear Lake, California, the benefits of onsite training became apparent: Learning how the software can fit the agency’s needs, and the ability to go beyond “good enough”.

Are you guys fully live at this point?

“Yeah, we’re fully live.”

Awesome! Do you guys like it?

“So far, so good. We love it.”

Can you give me a brief description of some of the reasons why you guys chose Operative IQ and Professional Services Training?

“Well, it started out as we just wanted a way to track our assets, and at some point we decided we were going to start purchasing our own EMS supplies. We were previously being stocked by the hospital so once we took that over we had no idea what we annually spent on this or monthly spent on that. We were doing a bulk order here, a bulk order there and having no idea what was coming in or going out. We looked at some scanning software, and we just happened to hear about you [Operative IQ] at a trade show. Once we saw your software we said, “Uh, why would we even think about scanning software? It doesn’t even make sense.” So that’s kind of how it all evolved. Inventory became our priority, and it’s doing well for what we needed in that category.”

I’m glad it’s working out for you! What made you chose the onsite training service over the traditional training?

“I wanted to make sure that if we’re going to start, we’re going to start right and not mess it up. I didn’t want to come back 3 years from now and say, ‘we should have been doing it this way.”

Right. Using it how it’s meant to be used and getting the full benefit from it.


When you’ve purchased software in the past, was there training involved or were you pretty much on your own?

“It’s kind of hard to describe but it was just one guy running the show and he’s thinking, ‘Oh, this is how I would do it.’ And instead of talking to the people who actually designed the software and going, ‘how do people use it’ or, ‘how do you use it, how was it designed to be used?’ I think that’s more important. To actually understand how it was designed to be used and are we using it that way.”

Operative IQ is such a huge software, do you think that Onsite Training gave you the ability to customize it to match how you do your current processes?

“Honestly, I think if I were to compare Operative IQ to some of the other software we use around here, it’s is probably one of the more user friendly. It almost seemed like we really didn’t need the training once we got here. That was our initial thought.

Once we got Malia at the table and we were doing it, our guys had so many questions that it was obvious that we weren’t ready. They thought they were ready because the software is so easy to use. Sitting down with Malia, you be like, ‘Well, yeah, that is the simple way and that will work, but why would you not do it this way? Why would you not track expirations?’

The one guy being in charge of something and saying, ‘Well this works for me,’ but in reality he wasn’t using the whole software. I think that’s the benefit. We didn’t feel like we needed it because it was such an easy software to get running on by ourselves but I think we would have missed all the little fine details to truly understanding.”

Do you feel that the two days was enough? I understand that you guys purchased Fleet as well as Inventory Management.

“I definitely think we got our money’s worth. But I could see taking 3 more days with her. She kept on complimenting us, making it sound like we had done so much work prior to her getting here. We were feeling like we didn’t need her because we thought we had squared it all away.”

Having a trainer at your disposal is always a good thing to have.

“She came out and she did an awesome job. I definitely felt like she had our back. She was there for us. It went well.”

Did you feel that everything was addressed that you had questions or concerns about?

“Absolutely. When she came, we didn’t really think that we had anything to address. She brought more light to the software. Like, ‘Oh, this is what it is capable of.’ Being able to talk about it over the phone or looking at a PowerPoint we can see that it’s an awesome software but to actually see all the tiny little ins and outs and the way to line stuff up better and to have someone sit down right next to you and say, ‘ok this is how we’re doing it, this is how you set this up.’ That was beneficial.

If I had one more day, that one day would have been on reporting. That’s all it would have been. What kind of reports do we need? How do we set those up? And a step by step of how these little buttons work.”

If you guys add more of our features in the future, would you be interested in professional services again?

“I would recommend it to anybody. Unless you told me that something was coming, did you have anything in mind?”

There are always things coming! You said that you would definitely recommend us, and that’s great! Do you have any other comments or anything else you’d like to add?

“I definitely think it’s a great software. I think it leans toward fire service and lines up well with it. We do like it, and we do appreciate the support that came out to us.”

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