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Training Companies - Selecting the Right One

A Guide for Comparing Training Companies

Are you considering using a training company to help provide training development or delivery of training programs for your employees? APS is a full service training and technical service company specializing in customized training for industry.

Why use a training company?

Using an outside organization to develop and deliver training is often the best choice for a variety of reasons. Professional training companies such as APS can provide the resources to develop high quality training materials that will provide the best transfer of knowledge and skills for your employees, producing training materials that your people will actually use. In addition, using an outside contractor for these services may provide the flexible staffing needed to get the job done in a timely and cost-effective manner.

What should you look for when selecting a training company?

To ensure you choose the best organization to meet your training needs, consider the following:

  • Subject Matter Expertise - What expertise does the company have in the processes or equipment that you want to train on? Do they have experience in your industry? Or is it their first time?

  • Training Development and Delivery Expertise - While subject matter expertise is a factor, it's usually not the most important one. All of the subject matter expertise in the world won't guarantee you an effective training program. An experienced training specialist can work with your subject matter experts to develop good training documents that will provide your people with what they need to know in a manner that is clear and concise, providing what they need to know, without confusing them with things that they don't need. This is where many vendor training programs fall short.

  • Experience - How long have they been in business? What is the average level of employee experience? Beware of training companies that use inexperienced entry level employees to develop and deliver training. 

  • Reputation - What is their reputation in the industry? If in doubt, ask for references. If they are hesitant to provide references, look elsewhere.

  • Flexibility of Format and Presentation Style - Some companies have a fixed format that they attempt to sell to all of their clients in a "one size fits all" manner. The best training companies understand that each organization is unique and will offer a variety of formats, templates and styles, working closely with you to determine what is the best fit for your organization. 

  • The Human Factor - When selecting any outside organization to assist with your training needs, it's really all about the people. The number one question you should ask is "who will manage the project and who will actually be doing the work?" Ask for resumes if you are unsure. When contacting a company, are you speaking with the actual people who will be doing the work? Or are you speaking with a salesperson with whom you'll never see or talk to again? Also, beware of the bait and switch. Some training companies have been known to initially staff a project with experienced training professionals, then switch to entry level employees mid project. The results can be catastrophic.

  • Cost - While we may wish that cost was not an issue, we know in practice that it's nearly always a major factor. For smaller projects such as a single training class, many companies will provide a fixed-price quote. For larger projects, or those projects that are less well defined, most training companies will provide a quote on a time and materials basis. A proper time and materials quote should include the total estimated hours/cost and/or a cap on total costs. When comparing hourly rates, you should consider what you are getting for that rate. For example, an experienced professional may produce many times in each hour what an inexperienced person will produce in the same hour, even if it is at a slightly lower hourly rate.

    When looking at cost, you may want to take into consideration the return on investment (ROI) of your training project. in other words, what is the cost of an untrained or poorly trained employee? What is the cost to your organization for each hour of production downtime, startup delays, or incorrectly performed maintenance activities? A well designed training program will pay dividends in these areas and pay for itself many times over in the long run.

How does APS measure up?

APS has been in business since 1994, providing training and technical services for clients in a wide variety of industries. Browse our client list and project experience pages to see a few examples. If you don't see what you are looking for, give us a call. Chances are, we may have the relevant experience that you seek. But don't take our word for it alone, we'll be happy to provide references on your request.

APS provides only experienced training and documentation specialists to work on our clients' projects. The average APS employee has over 20 years of experience working in the industry. Our diverse staff members have experience on a vast array of topics from heavy manufacturing to service industries, from sugar wafers to silicon wafers, and from project management to waste treatment. Our instructors have thousands of hours of training experience, both classroom and hands-on.

We don't have a sales or marketing staff. When you call us, you'll be talking to the people who will be doing the work. Other than this website, our marketing strategy relies on our reputation and building strong relationships with our clients.

We're affordable too. We're lean and we like it that way. Our low overhead structure allows up to pass on reasonable rates to our clients.

We know that there are many training companies to choose from. If you have a training or documentation project on your horizon, we hope you'll consider APS. If you'd like to know more about APS and how we help you, call Greg Pancerev at 610-987-4054, or Dave Thames at 410-715-0800, or email us at info@aps-online.net 

 

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