6. How to maintain and service a training center
Maintaining a technical training center is as much about administrational processes, as it is about typical hardware and software maintenance. This blog article is also chapter from the Free eBook: Managing Technical Training Equipment.
Maintaining the instructional technology in a training center requires time and funding, there are many things to keep in mind part from the daily training activities.
Below we have summarized some advice on how to keep the training systems and didactic equipment up to date in your training center.
Some training equipment have dangerous components, such as the use of gases (chemical engineering), high voltage (power engineering / e-mobility), high pressure (hydraulics / pneumatics) etc.
Make sure that you are aware of which types of safety requirements are necessary for your training center, train your staff, make sure that any dangerous procedures are clearly documented and adhered to, and go through the necessary continuous infrastructure checkups.
The most common workplace accidents are associated with improper and untrained usage of machines and equipment. Training students correctly will reduce accidents and fatalities in future workplaces, but it also poses a risk that something might go wrong during training.
To limit risk should something go wrong, make sure that your insurance does not lapse so that you always have coverage for your specific training activities.
Most producers of training systems, machines and didactic equipment will guarantee their product against manufacturing faults, meaning they will provide spare parts, repair, or replace faulty products.
The product guarantee typically differs anywhere from 12 to 60 months (1-5 years) depending on producer, country, usage environment (high humidity, extreme heat) etc.
Make sure you know your product guarantees and do a proper review of the training systems well in time before the product guarantee lapses.
If your training system requires timely updates, make sure you are aware of this and that any notifications from the producer reaches you accordingly. Sometimes software updates can be conditional for keeping the product guarantee active.
If you run into technical problems, the majority of producers will be able to provide you with remote technical support, either through video conferencing systems or through proprietary communications and support-ticket management systems.
Check which type of technical support you can be provided such as a formal ticketing system, via email, via phone etc. Also check if the turn-around-time for support tickets meets your requirements, or if you need to put in place a special service level agreement (SLA).
The producer might have general maintenance recommendations for the equipment, make sure that you know what they are and that you follow them accordingly, this often prolongs the lifetime of your apparatus.
Also, some producers of didactic products offer maintenance programs in which they will travel to your destination and service your equipment. Most often this is an “add-on-service” which can be purchased alongside the initial equipment, and sometimes afterwards.
As customers we sometime come across a company which “just gets it” regarding how to treat and take care of their customers. The truth is that the same applies to how producers perceive their customers.
How can you as a customer receive quick, professional, and loving care from your producer? There is only one way to get there, invest time into building a good relationship, some tips, and tricks below:
- When you need technical support first try to solve the problem yourself, read the manual, read the FAQ, do the trouble shooting, chances are that the solution is documented. If you still need support, explain what you have done, it helps to zero in on the problem, producers love that.
- If you have suggestions for improvement, either administrational, technical, or pedagogical, share it with the producer, it will help them improve and they will love you for it.
- Many producers want to provide case studies and success stories in their marketing campaigns. If you can provide them with photos, videos, student testimonials, key statistics, and numbers which they can use for case studies, then consider yourself already in the top customers.
Asset management software
If your training center has different types of training equipment from diverse producers, managing this infrastructure is cumbersome but rewarding. An asset management software is a tool which can help you bring order and processes to keeping track of important commercial documentation, reminders, technical support requests, communications etc.
Maintaining knowledge within your training center and making it available for everyone can prevent troubles when key-personnel leaves.
Putting in place information sharing procedures and systems goes a long way if combined with clearly defined responsibilities tied to yearly employee follow ups. We also highly recommend that various personnel are present when producers make initial training.
Setting up didactic technology and learning infrastructure in a training center does not only require the purchase of didactic equipment, but also of ongoing management and maintenance.
When managing the budget for a training center it is important to take into consideration the full cost of ownership and to set aside sufficient resources for the continuous management.
There are various things to keep in mind when managing the infrastructure in a training center, a classroom, or a workshop. The main advice we could give you is to: (1) stay educated, (2) be organized, and (3) invest in the relationship with suppliers.
In the previous chapter you could read about how to acquire and purchase technical training equipment.
In the next chapter we will explore how to use Edquip to easily find products and get quotations.
You can also download the full Free eBook: Managing Technical Training Equipment.