Ahresty Wilmington Corporation (AWC) Case Study

Client Profile


AWC, located in Wilmington Ohio, is a manufacturer of cast, machined, and assembled castings. They specialize in aluminum die cast production for engine, transmission and structural components.

They have an efficient integrated production system that incorporates assembly operations using just-in-time production methods to provide customers with quality products at a competitive price. Their expertise is highly valued by their automotive customers in the United States who have recognized Ahresty Wilmington Corporation with several Quality, Delivery and Productivity improvement awards.

Industry: Manufacturing/Automotive
Region: North America
Founded: 1988
Number of Employees: 900


Manufacturing company uses the Acendre Learning LMS and eLearning to meet training requirements of the ISO 9001/TS-16949 Certification


Ahresty Wilmington Corporation (AWC) has approximately 900 employees involved in their manufacturing processes; positions include skill areas such as Machining, Die Casting, Quality Control and many others. AWC wanted to increase accuracy and overall quality of their employee training program – their primary objective was to improve both business results and satisfy the requirements of the ISO/TS-16949 Certification (requirements based on the internationally recognized quality management system standard, ISO 9001).

An integral part of achieving this overall quality improvement is the ability to ensure the skills and knowledge required for each position be understood, taught, assessed, and tracked/documented. AWC Specific Objectives:

  • Develop a detailed understanding of the skills required for each position within their manufacturing processes.
  • Develop and deliver a training program that teaches required knowledge and skills in addition to methodology for assessing each employee’s knowledge & skills.
  • Maintain accurate records of all employee training, skills and experience.
  • Develop cost effective methods for the administration of the training program and provide the ability to easily analyze and report on all training activities and records.


  • Previously, all AWC training programs were administered and tracked manually. Results were inconsistent and varied greatly with no controls for ensuring compliance.
  • AWC had limited training resources (personnel & budget) so their main challenge was to create cost effective methods to scale up the training effort, increase the level and accuracy of the tracking, and decrease the man-power required.



A highly detailed skills matrix was created for each individual job position. These skill matrices consisted of knowledge areas (Skill Blocks) required by each job position as well as an expected progression of experience over time. AWC uses what they call “check points” to measure the progression of skills development at specific points in time. These check points were performed as on-the-job (OJT) training events and evaluations where a mentor would assess and document the employee’s knowledge through demonstration.


It was critical for AWC that this process of assessment be as automated as possible. With over 800 employees participating in the training plan, including hundreds of team leaders and supervisors performing the evaluations, they needed the process to be simple for all participants.

The solution was to use the Acendre Learning learning automation features. Once the training program was set up within the LMS, all of the scheduling, assessments, tracking and reporting would occur automatically.

Acendre Learning LMS Workflow

  • ADP Payroll / LMS integration: AWC uses ADP as their payroll system and all employee profile information is stored within ADP including their department, job title and class, hire date, supervisory status. As part of the LMS setup, Acendre’s implementation team worked with ADP directly to create a nightly export of this data for importing and synchronizing information to the LMS.
  • Each Skill Block Check Point is configured in the LMS as a course consisting of a single On-the-Job Training (OJT) event whereby a supervisor or trainer meets with and evaluates the employee, entering their results in the LMS.
  • AWC employees are automatically enrolled in their correct Skill Blocks by Acendre Learning’s advanced enrollment rules engine. These rules enroll the employees into the correct courses by evaluating their profile – specifically, their job title and department.
  • The exact sequence of Skill Block Check Point course enrollments is accomplished by using Acendre Learning’s enrollment “delay” and “due date” parameters; for example, if a check point is due to begin in the 9th month of employment, and due to be completed by the 11th month, then a 9-month delay is used along with a due date of 11 months.
  • When a Skill Block Check Point is due for an individual employee, the LMS automatically initiates workflow to trigger an OJT enrollment. The employee is notified that the enrollment has occurred and is prompted to request a meeting with their supervisor to be evaluated. The appropriate supervisors and line mangers are notified of the request and after meeting with the employee they complete their evaluation as an online assessment in the LMS which becomes part of the employee’s overall training record – fully tracked and included in reports. Acendre Learning’s responsive design allows for these OJT evaluations to be performed on the factory floor using mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets.
  • If the process does not progress as specified, notifications are sent out and exception reports are generated notifying LMS administrators of an issue.


The Acendre Learning platform allowed AWC to convert a manual, cumbersome process into a streamlined and automated workflow that not only fully supports the training goals of the organization, but also provides their employees with the resources they need to do their jobs more effectively. The benefits of Acendre Learning’s training automation were felt almost immediately and supervisors are now able to quickly and easily manage accurate employee progress reports, while employees enjoy a digital, central, and standardized system for accessing job training. With this company-wide quality improvement initiative, AWC achieved their ISO/TS-16949 certification.

Plans for the Future

AWC has achieved their ISO/TS-16949 certification and adopted new quality improvement processes, and they are recognized as a leader in their industry. After seeing the successes from using an LMS to deliver their Skill Block training, they are planning to use Acendre Learning for delivering other crucial training initiatives like new employee onboarding and succession training. Acendre Learning’s learning automation features have allowed AWC supervisors and trainers the ability to focus on quality management within their business and they are excited to discover new ways it can further improve their processes.