Training solutions and ease of procurement from the leaders in simulation-based training.
Greetings once again, Troubleshooters! Thanks for joining us. You are an awesome audience and we really appreciate the time you spend with us. In case you missed it, over the holidays we did our annual roundup of all the TST posts in 2018- think of it as your go-to troubleshooting guide. This is a fantastic resource and overview of the 40 Troubleshooting Thursdays articles we posted during the year on a wide range of topics to do with troubleshooting. We covered everything from the basic troubleshooting how-to’s of electrical troubleshooting, to troubleshooting your HR hiring processes, to what to look for in a training solution, as well as, ease of procurement.
As we head into the new year, we’re continuing on with our series about what to look for in a training solution. As we’ve noted before, it’s a big decision and can represent a significant expense, so you want to get it right.
To recap, at the start of this series, we gave you a list of the Top 11 criteria to use when evaluating a potential training solution. Then, we began looking at each of those criteria one at a time: value, professional development opportunities, ease of implementation and access, proven track record, completeness, scalability and varying degrees of difficulty. (If you’re just tuning in now, you can find Part 1 of the series here.)
Today, in Part 7, we’re talking about ease of procurement.
Procuring a training solution
When we’re talking about procurement, we mean the process of purchasing goods or services from an external source, using finite (limited) resources. Every business works within a budget, and every business has to make decisions about buying these goods or services within the constraints of their budget.
If you’re thinking, “Thank you, Captain Obvious!”, hold on—ease of procurement is another important factor in your decision about which training solution to choose.
Top 6 procurement factors to consider
When you’re considering the ease of procurement of a training program, you need to look at these six factors:
- What is the actual value of the training you’re considering? Calculating the value takes into account the return on investment for your expenditure. We’ve talked about ROI before, and have even provided a handy calculator to help you calculate your training ROI. The greatest financial return of electrical troubleshooting training for maintenance staff is that it reduces production line downtime, which is massively expensive. But there are other extremely valuable outcomes as well, such as avoiding injury or death of employees. In addition to the human cost, which can be tragic, such accidents and injuries can also incur steep fines or lawsuits if the employer is negligent.
- Is the training solution sustainable, that is, is it scalable so that it can grow with your business? If it isn’t easily scalable, you’ll have to factor in the cost of upgrading in the future.
- Does the training solution build multiple skill sets in your employees? If so, this is part of its future value, and contributes to employee job satisfaction, which is key to retaining trained staff in this era of the skills gap.
- Will the vendor work with you to find a solution that will work with your budget? Make sure you don’t miss out on a good product because you can’t afford the annual payment. Work with a company that will work with you! Talk to the vendor and see what they are prepared to do, whether there are flexible options. Many will come up with a custom plan to get your business.
- Does the vendor offer service plans? Don’t overlook the value of service plans for program implementation and support. Some vendors will help you not just with technical service, but with administrative services such as monitoring and evaluating employee progress, custom test setup, etc. Those kinds of services can save your in-house training administrator a lot of valuable time.
Training solution vendors such as Simutech Multimedia will sit down with you and make sure you find a level of service that fits comfortably within your budget.
Payment terms—net 30 or 60
- Does the vendor offer flexible payment terms? Most are going to require payment within 30 days (net 30), but there may be some willing to offer net 60 if that’s what closes the deal. Be sure to ask the companies that you’re evaluating what their terms are.
And that’s it for today, Troubleshooters! Join us for Troubleshooting Thursdays next week when we look at the next item on the list, focus on safety.
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