Whenever you’re working with new 3D simulation software, there’s a learning curve – and that can be steep.
The challenge with implementation and execution isn’t understanding the software but finding the time to effectively take the training. With you and your colleagues having more responsibilities, you have been forced to do more with fewer resources and less time.
Simulation software can be applicable to any size company that manufactures, assembles, or packages and transports items. The need is greatest for any company with multiple projects and challenges of varying volume and life cycle.
When that company needs to learn a new software or simulation system to efficiently manage its workload, watching a video or two simply isn’t sufficient. Highly customized and personalized training that helps to answer each question a user has works better. However, not every vendor may supply such customized training. That’s where your ability to ask the right questions and shop for the best options are critical.
Making an investment requires an equal commitment from your supplier. You select a vendor for a solution, the training, and to solve your related problems. What’s the point in waiting to learn the software and then applying it to your real-world situation? The training period can help identify and solve some of the solutions keeping you up at night.
Studies show the most effective learning is conducted on something you are familiar with and working on now. As a customer, you should look for – and even demand – onboarding training to suit your organization’s specific needs. Those needs should include finding solutions to the actual projects you’re working on now and that you can bring to class – the trickier the better.
When you’re done with the training, you’ll have the project either completed or on its way. Customers should leave training with the solution for their project in hand before applying and implementing the chosen solution at the workplace.
Customized training is invaluable because it ensures one-on-one attention that’s uncommon in the industry. When searching for a software provider, understanding the training process and the value it can bring to your organization can be a big part of the decision-making process.
Consider asking before you buy:
- How many hours of training are available?
- Is the training off-the- shelf or customized?
- How available are trainers to direct questions and dialogue?
- What’s the instructor-to-student ratio?
- What ongoing training is available as part of the yearly contract and is that included in the price?
By simulating different conditions, resources, and options, an effective training process lets you watch your scenarios play out before physical assembly ever begins. The value provided should be direct and measurable: a reduction in project costs and improvement in key metrics such as production line balancing and more.
Simulations also serve as valuable sales and presentation tools. Decision-makers are more likely to sign off on a project they can see, and simulations offer visual confirmation in ways that Gantt charts and Excel can’t. They also save a lot of back-and-forth with the client; if a picture is worth a thousand words, a simulation is worth exponentially more.
There’s no perfect way to judge the quality of training that a software provider offers, but it should be a core part of how you come to a decision. Customization and a convenient and flexible delivery method with direct access to trainers should be expected. Do your homework up front and your staff will be properly trained, using a new system to save money and improve operations in no time.
About the author: Chris Wiegandt is general manager of Visual Components. He can be reached at email@example.com.