Manufacturers are forging ahead in these trying times, continuing to make their products and continuing to service their customers the best they can. For years now, companies have been on a path toward becoming leaner and meaner. Recent events have put even further emphasis on going lean. We all need to tighten our belts during uncertain times.\r\n \r\nWe’re all looking to save—any way we can. Manufacturing companies are no different. One way that companies save money, unfortunately all too often (lean times or not), is by cutting out training for their employees. That’s rough. And disappointing. Training is how employees grow and learn and add skills to their repertoires and resumes. By receiving training, employees become more valuable to their companies—helping them manufacture high-quality products.\r\n ProFicient™ training has always been a valuable asset for manufacturers who use our flagship on-premises quality solution. (See the training blog from our colleague, Brad Forrest, InfinityQS Account Manager, for more info about the importance of retaining up-to-date skills for your quality management system.) ProFicient training keeps you on par with the latest and greatest features and functions. And it keeps your employees proficient in the use of the tool—pun intended. But the times they are a-changing. Training is moving away from the classroom to a remote model.\r\n \r\nWe’re proud to announce that ProFicient Online Fundamentals Training is here. We’ve expanded our training classes to offer this online course, which incorporates live instruction, videos, and a variety of hands-on exercises.About the Course\r\nProFicient Online Fundamentals Training is here for a very specific reason: to help you succeed with your InfinityQS quality management system. In this three-day online course, participants learn how to create ProFicient projects, set up data entry configurations, and utilize data selection, toolbar, and reporting options. In addition, students gain experience by working through real-world use cases.\r\n \r\nEvery participant is presented with a certificate of completion at the end of the class and receives resource materials to support and expand the coursework covered.\r\n ProFicient is a powerful quality management tool, so why not learn to use it as an expert?Sample ProFicient Quality Event Dashboard\r\nPublic vs. Private\r\nWe offer public courses, which are similar to the classes we set up in our Fairfax office in the past—wherein people from different companies take the training at the same time.\r\n \r\nWe also offer private courses: If your company has 5-10 people interested in training, we can set up a class they can all take at the same time, no matter where they are.\r\n \r\nSo, Why Online? Are There Benefits?\r\nWe’ve been wanting to develop online training for our products, and recent events have provided the push to make it happen. Also, our engineers have been doing quite a bit of remote consultation with our clients for some time now. And moving to online training fits well with our goals to switch our workforce to remote work. It’s just a natural fit for us.\r\n \r\nIn addition to the most obvious benefit—developing confidence in implementing and maintaining ProFicient in an actual plant environment (using statistical process control, or SPC)—there are many benefits for companies thinking about moving away from classroom training.\r\n \r\nFirst and foremost, of course, there is the safety of your employees during the current healthcare crisis. But there’s so much more. Other benefits include saving money, flexibility, accessibility, and more. Let’s walk through these benefits and hopefully shed some light on the power of ProFicient Online Fundamentals Training.Cut Expenses\r\nLet’s start with something that all companies pay close attention to—the bottom line. One way that companies cut back on training, aside from nixing it altogether, is by trying to pare down the travel that’s involved.\r\n \r\nThe result of cutting back on travel usually means fewer participants—even when a large group needs the training. When a company can save the expenses commonly associated with travel—airfare, hotel accommodations, taxis, meals, etc.—chances are they’d be more willing to divert those funds and pay for online training. When they do, more of the staff can be trained. It makes good sense.\r\n \r\nAccessibility\r\nOnline training is the most accessible form of training. Students just need access to a computer, and a little time, to complete their courses.\r\n \r\nOne of the greatest benefits of online training is that it’s available 24\/7 for an increasingly global and remote workforce. Your employees get to access training when they have the time and capability to do so, no matter where they are.\r\n \r\nOngoing Access to Resources\r\nOften training covers a lot of material that will need to be referenced later, such as new product specifications—InfinityQS provides your employees with the opportunity to access those resources right when they need them.\r\n \r\nA reference guide is provided to each student at the end of the training session. Instead of being confined to the classroom, our training materials can go wherever your employees go.\r\n \r\nFlexibility\r\nAs mentioned above, your employees can attend a prescheduled public class, or you can book a private class for 5-10 participants—to fit your busy schedule.\r\n \r\nSpeaking of flexibility…what could be better than the opportunity to customize ProFicient for your organization? Learn to build data entry, displays, and reports that meet your specific business needs. In the training, we’ll demonstrate how customize data entry and data displays to meet the needs of just about any industry.\r\n \r\nAnd ProFicient online training includes personalized charts, data analytics, and reporting options to suit internal users and external customers alike.\r\n \r\nFits Modern Employees’ Lifestyles\r\nToday’s employees demand workplace solutions that fit their changing lifestyles. Providing training that can be accessed when it works best for them accounts for your employee’s need for flexibility. Side benefit: this inevitably improves overall employee morale.\r\n \r\nCollaboration\r\nWith an increasingly global workforce, one of the greatest benefits of online training is that it can be built to encourage online collaboration of your employees. We encourage participants to ask questions, discuss topics of concern, and engage. We even use participant feedback to make our training classes better over time.\r\n \r\nSome of the best online solutions allow employees from different departments and countries to contribute to larger company discussions, during the training itself. Side benefit: employees who might otherwise rarely (or never) communicate with each other have that opportunity with InfinityQS online training.A Safe Place\r\nOne of the major drawbacks of instructor-led group training is that some employees will avoid contributing to the lesson because of a fear of failure—you know, asking a “stupid” question or offering a wrong answer. InfinityQS online training provides employees with an opportunity to fail in a safe environment.\r\n \r\nA good online training program shows the consequences of students’ actions and how\/why they went wrong. After a failure, students can go back and try again. This type of learning experience eliminates the embarrassment of failure in front of a group.\r\n \r\nIncreased Retention\r\nIt’s been found that online training is simply a better way to train employees on certain topics (like software). With videos and other interactive content, our online training can greatly increase your employee’s engagement with, and retention of, key information. Information that they can use every day on the job.\r\n \r\nTimely Feedback\r\nEmployees often have to wait to get the feedback they need from training to do their jobs correctly. Not so with online training. With online training, employees are able to get real-time feedback during the course. And not just from the instructors, but from other participants (workmates), as well.\r\n \r\nTraining Consistency and Standardization\r\nWith InfinityQS online training, all of your employees receive the same high-quality training, no matter where they are. One of the greatest advantages of online training is simply ensuring that all of your employees receive the training they need.\r\n \r\nNo longer do you need to scrimp by sending only your top few employees to training, with hopes that they can retain enough to train the rest of the staff. With online training, you have the opportunity to ensure that no one is left behind.Saving the Environment\r\nSwitching to InfinityQS online training isn’t only financially savvy, it’s also better for the environment. According to Training magazine, producing and providing distance learning (i.e., online training) courses consumes an average of 90% less energy and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional face-to-face courses.\r\n \r\nThink about all the factors that work into those reductions: fuel for travel (air travel and taxis—don’t forget the taxis!), power for the training facility and all its component parts (heat\/air conditioning, servers, and more), paper for course materials, etc. We could go on and on! Suffice it to say that online training saves some wear and tear on the environment.\r\n \r\nAre There Any Disadvantages to Distance Learning?\r\nWell, not really. I guess you could say that those of us who crave human contact during this time of social distancing might feel less than entirely satisfied by the online experience. But, as you can see by the benefits enumerated above, online training offers so much more. Your company can save money, you can train all of your ProFicient users (rather than just a select few), and you can feel confident that all your users will receive consistent, standardized, personalized training that they can use right away on the job.\r\n \r\nOur online training doesn’t end with ProFicient Fundamentals. As our colleague Steven Voight, InfinityQS Knowledge Development Manager, pointed out in his blog, The Shift to eLearning, InfinityQS is mastering eLearning with Enact®—our award-winning Quality Intelligence platform.\r\n \r\nFor more information about ProFicient Online Fundamentals Training, contact your Account Manager today at 1-800-772-7978 or firstname.lastname@example.org.