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Find Good Online Tech Training

10 Nov, 2009 By: Steve Geishirt imageSource

Find Good Online Tech Training

In 2008, IBM published a white paper entitled, “The Value of Training,”
outlining the benefits of companies investing in their people - their
employees.  While many companies lament the cost of training, they do point out
the even higher cost of doing nothing – lost skills, lost talent, lost
opportunities, and ultimately lost market share. 

Yet many employers in our print industry still “do nothing” when it comes to
retooling their workforce.  What’s the cost of doing nothing? According to the
American Society for Training & Development, 41% of employees at companies with
inadequate training programs plan to leave within a year versus 12% of employees
at companies who provide excellent training and professional development
programs. Clearly, there’s a need to retain top employees and training is one

So the question is -what kind of training?

While classroom training is ideal, it's not always possible. One easy
solution that is on the rise is online training. The reality is this:  a good
alternate is to sit down at your computer, other than book a flight, research
hotel prices, and find transportation to and from the classroom.

Online training is on the rise everywhere. There’s a push on college campuses
and with certification type programs to add more online courses. In fact,
according to the 2008 Sloan Consortium Report, traditional campus enrollment is
flat while online enrollment is up 20-30%.  And with advances in technology, the
quality of online training gets better and better every day.


What’s the trick to finding the right online training for your
Here are some simple tips to find the most productive training

1. Look for Webinar Technology:
The specific technology improvement that
make today’s online training top quality is the creation of strong, interactive
new webinar software. Webinars provide the most dynamic experience available
online. Colleges and universities use this platform to deliver lectures and
hands-on learning to make a smart classroom. And students can view the
instructor and “chalk board” or PowerPoint presentation. They can even ask
questions and get real-time answers. Webinars let you take electronic quizzes
that you must pass before you move on to the next section. All of this enhances
the learning that’s taking place and demands interactive  participation.

2. Know the Most Popular Printer Models:
Courses for the HP LJ 4250 or the
new HP CLJ 4700 and CP 4005 are going to be your best bets for online training
as these are common printers found in almost every business environment. These
two courses are definitely among the top 5 courses in demand at my company,
Parts Now!  Others are the “old standby” LJ 4100/4000 series, but newer
technology such as the LJ 4345mfp and Color Theory are also available.   

3. Find Hands-On Training in the Virtual World:
The challenge, when it comes
to any technical training, is the hands-on experience. Many techs tell me that
they have passed exams in instructor-led classes yet they never even touched a
printer or looked in a service manual!  Good online training must explain the
technology in theory yet contain a hands-on lab experience for technicians to
conduct at their own location, to deliver common break-fix solutions. It must
explain how the entire machine works, so students can troubleshoot and repair
virtually any problem, which will carry over into the field – that equates to
confidence on the job. Also make sure the online training you choose for your
technicians offers multiple pictures and diagrams of printer parts. Your
students should have access to the printer being discussed in the training
session, and they are encouraged to pause and restart the presentation if they
fall behind the presenter’s instructions while working with the printers.

4. High Resolution Video:
When it comes to technical training, the devil is
in the details.  High resolution video helps printer service technicians where
they need it most:  understanding the paper path and printer teardown. High
resolution video allows the service tech to expand the video to full screen and
clearly see what is going on. It offers more clarity than regular video, which
helps bring real world repair problems to life.  Having the right teaching tool
means technicians will learn more and perform better in the field. 

5. Certified Instructors and Ongoing Tech Support:
It helps if your trainers
are CompTIA PDI+ certified and have HP and Lexmark certification. Having experts
as trainers is a huge bonus. But even the best training will not teach techs how
to solve every problem a printer has.  So look for courses that offer free
technical support once the training is complete. Training is life long, so be
sure your technicians get access to the experts even after the tuition has been

The convenience of online printer training means that dealers can ramp up their
service with courses that fit every technician’s schedule and budget. Online
training can help your techs fix machines faster, complete more service calls
per day, and improve first-time fix rates. The bottom line value of online
training is that it will drive more business revenue!Ϭ 

Steve Geishirt is Director of Training at Parts Now!, a leading
distributor of laser printer parts & services. Visit
www.partsnow.com for more information.

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