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Your business gains a competitive advantage when your team can understand and use software packages successfully. You not only increase efficiency and productivity but also open new opportunities for technical, creative, and operational ideas across all lines of business. The range of assistance offered through software training courses can benefit novices and seasoned professionals alike.
At the same time, software training has drawbacks that can limit its usefulness and restrict returns. After reviewing the details below, you will be equipped to make an informed decision about whether the benefits outweigh the pitfalls. You will also understand the different pricing options that make software training an affordable investment in your employees.
Software training can be an essential service for any business that requires even occasional use of computer systems. Companies that handle data, transactions, and other daily activities on computers will discover that business operations can be simplified and expedited by ensuring that the necessary employees receive proper training in essential software programs.
Ease of Use
Training yourself and your employees in computer software does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming task, especially if the programs your business depends on are not complicated. Many people should already be marginally familiar with the most popular software bundles. If not, popular software programs can be mastered in a fairly short time. With proper training and continued use, individuals can easily become adept at using many software programs within weeks or even days.
To learn the intricacies of each program, whether they are for data input or word processing, online training courses are readily available from numerous professional training companies. It is also possible to find local courses at the nearest community college. Ideally, you would have a dedicated computer software engineer on board who can train new employees in-house as needed.
By ensuring that you allot at least some of your business’s budget for employee software training, you can promote productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Although word processors and e-mail programs may have a fast learning curve, users of other programs, such as data analysis tools and accounting software—which are invaluable to some business operations—may require more time to become accustomed to their functions. Providing your employees with complete training is a sure way to maximize each employee’s productivity and contribution to your business as well as to minimize confusion and delays. With proper training, employees will be able to finish tasks much more quickly, allowing for more goals to be met each day.
Although acquiring the software may have been a financial investment, training your employees does not have to be. In fact, fully trained employees will be more likely to use every software function available, meaning that your initial investment in the software is not wasted. Some software companies may even provide training to your employees for free or at a discounted price to ensure the software’s sale. Training can be accomplished individually or in groups and online or in-house. You may decide to rely on a couple of employees who can train everyone else. For example, computer software engineers are readily available for hire, and acquiring the services of one now would be beneficial, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted that the demand for software engineers may rise as much as 21% by 2018. Software training can be approached in a number of ways to help minimize any expenses related to training.
Despite all the benefits, software training can also have pitfalls that limit positive outcomes.
Pitfalls of Shipping Options for Your Business
When it comes time for your company to ship merchandise or documents, you have several options.
Drop shipping, freight service, delivery service, international shipping and overnight shipping are some of your options. Although each of these has marked benefits, shipping also has some potential pitfalls you may want to consider.
If you are ordering products from other companies, pay close attention to the shipping charges, as there is a chance that these charges are inflated. By the same token, if you are the one who is shipping, make sure you are charging a fair shipping price. A study on ebay.com reveals that customers are more likely to purchase an item with free shipping than an item that has shipping charges, even if the item with free shipping is a little more expensive.
Failure to Receive
When you ship items or have items shipped to you, it is important that you use a shipping method that has delivery confirmation. In most cases, these options are more expensive. However, without using delivery confirmation, there is a chance that the recipient can say the item was never received, even if it was.
Cost of Gas
If you have your own shipping methods, such as your own courier service or a fleet of vehicles, the cost of gas can eat away at your profits if you don’t plan appropriately. In some cases, you may have to increase the base price of your goods to cover shipping. If you don’t want to do this, you may have to charge a shipping fee. Of course, you could always just cover the cost of gas and still offer a lower price with the hope of gaining more customers to increase your profits.
Time in Transit
Unless you have your own shipping company, you likely won’t be able to control the time your packages spend in transit. This can prove to be a huge pitfall, especially if your company deals with time-sensitive products or documents. This pitfall can affect any business. For example, a business that sells wedding dresses will need to meet a deadline based on the wedding day.
If the dress doesn’t arrive on schedule, the business may lose money and may gain a bad reputation because of transit times that were affected by external factors.
According to a July 2000 Gartner Group study, formal training can be up to six times more effective than self-paced learning. The cost of this training depends on the method of instruction, the number of students, and miscellaneous fees and expenses.
Webinars are the least expensive way to learn new software packages. Providers can teach hundreds of students at the same time online for a cost of up to $50 per attendee. Some webinars are even free.
With classroom-based training, a business sends its employees to a training center for up to a week of education and hands-on use. One-day classes range from $100 to $200 per attendee.
On-site training is similar to classroom training, except the classroom is brought to the company. Consultants or trainers are hired to come to the worksite and facilitate training in a conference room or computer lab. One-day sessions cost approximately $1,800 plus travel expenses and training materials.
Individualized training can accelerate learning, but it is also an expensive software training option. Since consultants are frequently paid per hour, the price to train one employee would be the same as to train a room full of employees.
Overall, when professional software training aligns with a company’s objectives, it can offer immense returns. Because training courses are either self-paced or instructor-led, they are easy to use and can be available when the employee needs them. They enable workers to overcome any learning curve and quickly add to the productivity of the business.
At the same time, managers and business owners must be prepared to shop around for the best training deals and ensure that course outcomes are delivered as expected. Not receiving training materials or getting them after they are needed negates any benefits that may have been gained.
Software training has its place in every organization; the key is to find the right fit to make it work for you.
If your employees are using computers, they are also using software, and if they are not familiar with the software, it can cost your business time and money. However, you can help your employees by implementing software training. You might do this as a refresher any time, but whenever you introduce new software at your company, even if it's only an updated version of Microsoft Office, you should take time for training.
A relatively informal approach is using online training provided by software manufacturers. Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and many other companies have tutorials and tips available for free on their websites. This can be a simple way to brush up on basic, commonly-used software.
More formal approaches include training seminars and online university classes. Companies that provide specialized software often make trainers available whom you can schedule to visit your office and provide a demonstration. Some companies offer this service with your software purchase, but most charge for it. Popular online universities like University of Phoenix and DeVry also include software training in their course offerings.
Software training can get your employees familiar with a new program quickly, allowing your business to run more efficiently. Click the links on Business.com to learn more.
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