Skip to main content

Flexible, affordable training means adapting to and using technology

Donato Pompo
Quickly evolving information and products makes education more important than ever. Training used to mean taking the sale force out of the field. But theses days that isn’t always necessary. In today's world we have the technology to communicate within seconds and remotely just about anywhere we go and that includes training. Keeping employees informed is getting easier and cheaper. Here are the newest options to keep your sales force in top form with up to the minute information.

E-Learning 
The advent of E-Learning -  training using computers and the Internet  - has helped individuals find the time to learn.  E-Learning reduces the cost of training by eliminating the need for travel for both the student and trainer and the flexible schedule means that students can take the courses at their convenience. Online courses are self-paced, interactive and effective teaching tools. In the past, only larger universities and corporations could afford to use Learning Management Systems (“LMS”) technology or afford the cost to produce online courses.  Now, E-Learning technology and methods are growing affordable and are more widely available. Today, small businesses can take advantage of this technology as a rapid method to increase their sales and profits.

E-Learning technology is not completely compatible with mobile devices yet. which means the full range of available online courses can't be viewed on smart phones and other devices in a simplified format. But rest assured, the industry is frantically working on technology to make it compatible so courses can be available on different platforms. 

M- Learning
You may have heard of just-in-time inventory; well education is now heading towards just-in-time training through the use of smart phones and i-pads – creating mobile learning, or M-learning. People want information on-the-go and they want it when they need it.  So we are now heading towards "just in time training."  When someone needs to learn something, they don’t want to read the whole book -- they just want to read the section of the book that tells them what they need right now. They want shorter courses that can be accessed from their mobile devices.  They want to be able to Google their answers or find a list of courses and topics so they can find the information they need quickly and succinctly.

M-Learning technology could be a great competitive advantage for those businesses who utilize it.   Their employees will have more tools and more timely information – making them more credible, confident and effective with their customers. 

The Blended Approach
The availability of interactive and mobile learning doesn't mean that full length courses are on their way out.  On the contrary, abbreviated content is not meaningful enough unless it’s used  in the context of a complete knowledge base.  A blended learning approach combines on-line/mobile training with classroom and hands-on training, which together maximize knowledge and the learning experience.

A complete training and information program will use both hands-on training and full length E-Learning courses that enable training to be controlled and monitored. They should be augmented with M-Learning courses that provide immediate, succinct information when and where it's needed.  

Surviving and thriving in today's business economy means adjusting to the times and staying up-to-date with the latest technology. Offering your employees and customers both flexible, blended training will give you a competitive advantage and maximize your sales and profits.

Donato

Donato Pompo  is founder of two well-known flooring industry companies focused on improving everything about ceramic tile and stone flooring and the businesses that produce and sell them. They are Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants (CTaSC) and the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Intelligent merchandising in the floor covering showroom

In a ceramic tile and stone showroom the two biggest challenges for customers are  visualizing how the tile or combination of tiles will look installed in the home and determining which tiles are suitable for their intended application. Figuring out how to address these two challenges should be a priority for every showroom.

Along with that, conveying the features, benefits and limitations of the products is the next challenge. And perhaps the most important piece of the showroom puzzle, is to train sales people so they are knowledgeable and competent showroom consultants (I wrote about this previously on the blog in, How Training and E-learning Can Improve ROI).

Years ago, when I was an importer and distributor with several showrooms I coined the term Intelligent Merchandising to represent the approach we developed to help our customers make selections and our sales people more effective in assisting our customers during the selection process. The challenges we faced back then …

Concrete Moisture Leading to Flooring Failures - Is this an Epidemic?

Sheet vinyl  lifting off concrete substrates that looks like blistered skin from a burn, wood flooring turning up at the edges, carpet tiles emitting foul odors from reactions with “wet” slabs.  All of these failures in floor covering occur daily around the country plaguing flooring contractors and end users.  Is this a flooring conspiracy or something more sinister?  Well, it’s not a conspiracy, nothing so colorful as that, and it’s not sinister unless you consider that moisture lurking in the substrates is skulking around waiting to pounce.

What are the reasons for this outbreak of flooring failures?  Have adhesives changed?  Is flooring material different?  Hasn’t concrete been the same for years?  Why is this all happening now?

Adhesives have changed from when solvent carriers were used but adhesives are actually better now.  Flooring products have changed with the onslaught of non-permeable backings which can trap moisture vapor emissions coming from concrete.  Concrete hasn’t ch…

Corporate culture; what does it say about your company?

Culture at a company (corporate culture) is generally developed through the actions of management.  Employees then follow their lead.  “The boss did it this way so it must be the right way.” I share this obvious observation because sometimes leaders do things that ultimately reflect poorly on the company.  This is particularly so during difficult times.


One of the benefits of working with dozens of companies outside the flooring industry is the opportunity to understand their corporate standards and culture by observation.  I recently spoke at a convention for a couple hundred people.  The food was acceptable as you would expect; but the room was dirty and hideous.  The company chose this room because it was the least expensive room available.  The room was so remote and old that most of us didn’t even know that wing of the well-known property existed.  We sat in a dirty room that communicated the company’s own low standards while the corporate president spoke glowingly about their c…