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Wake Up! Ongoing Education is a Must

29 Aug, 2005 By: Editorial Staff imageSource

Wake Up! Ongoing Education is a Must

How do the forward-looking
dealers in document technology generate more than their fair share of smart

One of the answers to that all-important question is ongoing education. The need
to continually learn and train is something that has become understood among
most dealers throughout North America.

One of the avenues for dealers to continue their education in the ever-changing
document technology industry is the national ITEX convention held annually in
Las Vegas.

“I view my dealership like an athlete in training,” explained Jeff Jehn,
president of Waltz Business Systems in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. “Not only do
we need to acquire the skills to perform, but we must always be in training to
stay current with the industry and to stay ahead of the competition.

“I look at education that I receive from various sources, such as the BTA and
ITEX, all as a form of training,” added Jehn. “If we don't train, we will
atrophy. If times are tough and budgets are tight, educational training is the
last thing we should look to cut, just as an athlete should not stop training in
order to remain fit.”

At the upcoming 2006 national ITEX convention, which will be held March 14-17 at
the Las Vegas Convention Center, training is presented in the form of Power Hour
courses and Dealer Business Forums.

The classes will be led by some of the copier/printer industry’s leading minds,
focusing on the hottest topics in the business today, such as printer service,
color, sales and marketing, and solutions that reach beyond the box. The
multiple workshops are designed for business leaders and entrepreneurs who are
determined to position their companies for future growth.

The goal is to provide these leaders with a more comprehensive roadmap for
executing change, and to arm them with the knowledge of how to influence
corporate change, alter the way their organizations respond to the challenge of
innovation, and strengthen their relationships with partners along the way.

“We encourage personal development of our employees and feel that it is
imperative that as our industry changes, we must also change,” said Hunter
McCarty, COO of RJ Young Company in Nashville, Tennessee. “We do take advantage
of the ITEX show as well as any manufacturers’ conferences or dealer meetings
that are held annually.

“In addition, we have found that sharing with other dealers has been helpful,”
added McCarty. “We will actually visit other dealers or have them come to our
location at least 2-4 times per year. The purpose of the dealer visits is to
compare best practices as well as discuss how each dealership handles various
aspects of their operations.”

The continuing education experience at ITEX delivers long-term value, helping
business leaders meet technology challenges such as linking technology decisions
with business strategy and developing organization and sales strategies to
position a company for future growth.

“A business or a person that stops learning regresses,” said Ric Hope, VP of
business development for XSI in Rochester, New York. “This is particularly
important to small businesses caught in the middle of a technology business
model change. The trouble with small and intense businesses like ours is making
the time to prepare our people and organizations to meet the changes in customer
needs, technology and competition. Events like ITEX, which combine learning
sessions as well as technology updates, are good managerial sessions.”

Don Sims, technical trainer for Cobb Technologies in Virginia, concluded:
“Ongoing education is essential to our growing business. We see the new
equipment and the new ideas at tradeshows, and see how they are being used by
participating in dealer meetings. We learn what we are doing right and wrong
from these meetings and discuss our findings with our colleagues. After long
discussions, we make the changes necessary to compete or stay in front of our

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