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ITEX: Providing All-important Ongoing Education

26 Jan, 2006

ITEX: Providing All-important Ongoing Education

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

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 more than 100 hours 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.”

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