Trainer's Room - Web-Based Training
ADI's Web-Based Training
In the custom business, knowledge is capital. Having the right knowledge at the right time in the right situation not only saves time (which is money), but improves the potential for sales, the quality of installations and most importantly, the bond of trust with the customer.
For manufacturers, training tools are a longstanding aspect of everyday business goals. But distributors? Aren't they simply suppliers? ADI, a wholesale distributor of low-voltage and security products based in Melville, NY, thinks not. The company has put considerable efforts into computer-based training (CBT) for its clients, and now has ported its CD-ROM tutorial modules into a Web-based training site called ADI-Link.
The password-protected site, which went up in October, offers tutorials on structured cabling, access control and CCTV. The cabling and access control modules are built using Macromedia's Flash multimedia tools, and are streamed to the user in real time. The CCTV module is structured as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, and is downloadable as a unified file.
Says Ralph Maniscalco, ADI's director of marketing communications, "We were surprised by the amount of interest in the field from our customers, regarding this kind of training. We were giving out CDs of our training guides faster than we could turn them out. The Web was the logical solution. It's faster than pressing CDs and mailing them, though we still make those discs available to our customers."
While no single CBT module can provide a complete education on a complex topic like structured cabling, the ADI lessons are a surprisingly comprehensive overview. A history of the marketplace is followed by a market analysis, technical information, an overview of industry standards and bodies, a glossary, and a quiz at the end of the tutorial. Beyond that, the course is annotated with articles and white papers on technical issues and ways of conveying value propositions to potential customers.