Updating Training Programs for Advancements in Construction Equipment Technology
Isn’t construction equipment technology wonderful? All that information you never used to have – and certainly not in real time. Technology brings us so many advantages. And yet, it bring a serious challenge, too. If you don’t understand it fully, you can’t take full advantage of all those benefits. Training programs that focus on these advancements are essential.
As a construction equipment dealer, you can (and should) position yourself on the front line when it comes to technology training programs. Certainly, it’s your responsibility to make sure your own service and repair technicians receive comprehensive training. But you also have a tremendous opportunity to help your customers train their own people – operators as well as any service techs they may have on staff.
OEMs want to be your training partners
Manufacturers have invested heavily in recent years to make new equipment models more efficient and more productive. Many of those improvements are technology-based. OEMs also know your customers are looking for the lowest possible total cost of ownership, and that comes from using each piece of equipment to the fullest.
As their construction equipment dealer, you are the critical link between the brand and the customer. So OEMs are anxious to help you train your people on new technology systems, and they are equally anxious to support your dealership’s customer training efforts. By working through you, they ensure training programs are well-designed and consistently presented. Everybody’s a winner.
Service techs need to know how to how to install, calibrate, and use each technology tool. And some of these systems are very complex. Object-detection, grade control, payload management and other applications rely on 2D and/or 3D GPS or other guidance technologies, etc.
For your dealership, training doesn’t stop with service techs. Sales people need to be fully conversant with the latest technology, in order to adequately explain to prospective buyers what these advancements do and how that will benefit their business. The parts department must be knowledgeable, too, as do the folks in your rental department. There is also evidence that multi-department representation in training sessions generates more valuable discussion about how to help customers.
Many dealerships now have a designated construction equipment technology specialist who is responsible for coordinating both internal and customer training. This person serves as primary liaison with OEMs. Because the need for education is so great, manufacturers are also offering train-the-trainer programs complete with instruction materials.
The best training programs are multi-faceted
Many manufacturers have developed modular training programs that provide incremental learning in a variety of formats. For example, a wealth of fundamental information can be provided through classroom or online group sessions, on-demand self-study curriculum, webinars, and videos. But hands-on sessions are the only way for operators, especially, to gain a true feel for the new technology. Holding these sessions at your dealership makes good sense for both practical and marketing reasons.
However, getting comfortable with the new technology ultimately requires operators to put what they’ve learned to use in realistic jobsite conditions. And working conditions can vary considerably from one jobsite and application type to another. For this reason, some OEMs are also using simulators to assist with training.
Training programs help build your business
New construction equipment outfitted with the latest technology is expensive. When customers understand how to use that technology – on the job and back in the office — they will reap much greater return on their investments. That reflects well on your dealership, and generates stronger customer loyalty.