A machine or other piece of equipment is only as valuable as the person operating it. You know that better than anyone. You can invest all the money in the world in a new piece of machinery. However, if the operator doesn’t know how to use it properly, you won’t get the maximum potential return on your investment.computer

Software is no different. Even after you select software for your shop, install it, implement it, and migrate your data, you still have to teach your team members how to use it. After all, machine shop software can help you boost efficiency and cut waste, but only if the software is used properly on the floor and by your office staff.

Of course, training presents a difficult challenge in machine shops. Yes, you want to increase your employees’ knowledge and skills. But you also can’t have extended downtime on the shop floor. Time is your most valuable asset, and time not spent producing is time that doesn’t generate revenue.

On the other hand, you’ve invested a substantial amount into your manufacturing software. You made that decision because you knew that software was the only solution that could help you take back control of your shop and optimize your processes. It’s the missing element to take your shop to the next level. The only way to maximize the return on that investment is to maximize your employees’ knowledge of the platform.

What’s the solution? There are a few potential answers. However, here at Shoptech, we believe that virtual training is a critical ingredient. That’s why virtual training, among many other robust training tools, is included in our full maintenance contracts.

With our virtual training programs, your employees are able to view pre-produced training classes about a wide range of software topics on a computer, tablet, or even their phone. The classes include the same information, instructors, and hands-on training that we offer in our live courses.

From our perspective, virtual training is a valuable element that should be a part of any software support or maintenance package. If you’re considering software that doesn’t offer virtual training, you could lose out on significant value. Some of the key benefits of virtual training include:

Schedule Flexibility

You don’t have the ability to send half your team out-of-town for three days for classroom training. You can’t shut down your shop for two days to make time for an on-location trainer. Your schedule is tight and deadlines have to be met.

Virtual training gives you the flexibility you need to get training for your team without losing valuable production time. You can have them do the training during downtime in the shop, or you may even pay them overtime to do it at home on their own device. If you have multiple team members who need training, you can stagger them based on your production schedule. Your employees get training without obstructing your schedule.

Cost Efficiency

Virtual training doesn’t just save you time. It also saves you money. Again, sending your team to an offsite training costs money. You may have travel costs, training registration, and overtime pay to catch up on work after the downtime.

We can’t speak for other software companies, but our virtual training is included in our maintenance contracts. There’s no additional charge, no travel fees, and no need to catch up on work because of employees being out of the shop.

Engagement

Many software providers offer live classroom training to their clients, but classroom training isn’t for everyone. We all learn best in different ways. Some people do great in a classroom setting while others need to learn by doing and through trial-and-error.t

Virtual training blends both methods to offer the best of both worlds. Your team members get the instruction and course material from a classroom setting, but also get interactive, hands-on simulations and demos so they can apply what they just learned.

Training is only effective if your team members retain the material. For your team to get the most out of training, the course has to appeal to all learning styles. Virtual training is one of the best education methods out there for effectively engaging all types of learners.

We’ve seen our customers use virtual training during software implementation, for the onboarding of new team members, and to enhance the skills of existing employees. We believe strongly in it because we’ve seen the results. If you’re considering new manufacturing software, you may want to evaluate the virtual training that various providers offer.

To learn more about our virtual training, maintenance plans, and the E2 software system, contact us today. We welcome the opportunity to help you boost your team’s knowledge and skills.