Patton Plumbing Heating and AC Reduces Time-to-Truck by 50 Percent with Interplay Learning’s Digital Tech Training Featuring 3D and Virtual Reality Simulations


The heating and AC company serving all of the Memphis area uses Interplay’s online 3D and virtual reality simulations in their Arlington, Tennessee headquarters to reduce call backs, develop highly-trained technicians, improve employee retention, and get new hires on their own after one year not two.

Interplay Learning, the leading global provider of online and VR training for the essential skilled trades, announced today that Patton Plumbing Heating and AC has accelerated the time it takes to get new techs handling service calls by implementing Interplay Learning’s unique, highly-effective online 3D and virtual reality simulations for HVAC and plumbing. The Arlington, Tennessee-based company that was founded in 2005, implemented Interplay Learning in their training lab three years ago. The goal was to recruit and train new hires to be the best technicians possible and Interplay allowed owner, Shawn Patton, to more quickly train while standardizing learning content.

“Interplay Learning has been a huge asset for Patton Plumbing because it has allowed us to automate and modernize technician training for the best learning process flow possible,” said Patton. “Part of our culture at Patton is everyday training. I have eight field technicians. The newer apprentices and junior technicians are required to train in our lab for 30 minutes each morning using Interplay Learning and they look forward to it. Most are younger, digital natives who love the virtual reality and gamification aspects Interplay offers. We’ve shaved off one year between the time a green tech walks through our door to the time we turn them loose on their own. Interplay allows me to attract and retain the right talent. We also use it for upskilling since another benefit is that Interplay adds new courses often.”

In addition to reducing training costs and time, Interplay’s courses are frequently updated to reflect changes in the industry. Whether it’s new technology, practices or equipment changes, all courses feature content benefiting new hires or to upskill techs. For Plumbing specifically, Interplay plans to expand its course catalog with 10 new courses in the coming months, including Tankless Water Heater Troubleshooting and Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting and Replacement. Patton Plumbing assigns courses each morning based on what challenges are being encountered in the field – the courses can be pivoted immediately to reflect what is most needed for the techs to learn. Patton also uses Interplay’s training to help technicians prepare for NATE certification exams.

“We’re excited to help companies like Patton Plumbing assess, train and upskill faster while also enabling them to retain technicians through customized career pathing,” said Doug Donovan, CEO of Interplay Learning. “Patton is able to use Interplay as both a marketing tool and recruiting tool. Shawn is re-investing in his technicians. When techs have more time to dedicate to training during the shoulder season – or cross-train – custom learning paths can be created using Interplay for each tech. It’s benefiting the technician’s career, the company, and the customers.”

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About Interplay Learning
Since 2016, Austin-based Interplay Learning has been building better training, better careers and better lives for its customers and their employees. Its award-winning online and VR training for the essential skilled trades, including HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Solar, Multi-Family Maintenance and Facilities Maintenance workforces, is scalable and more effective than traditional training methods. By leveraging immersive learning technology, Interplay’s customers are able to train and practice hands-on learning from a desktop, phone, tablet or in virtual reality. The result is a highly trained employee who is job-ready in weeks, not years. Its digital learning platform, SkillMill, conveniently turns any space into a training lab with its short video courses, 3D simulations, knowledge checks, coaching, and connectivity. Recent accolades include recognition by Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards in the Education, General Excellence and On the Rise categories. Welcome to the next generation of the skilled labor workforce.