I have had some conversations with dealers – and trainers – in the past few weeks about training classes. One of the core businesses of FSPA, outlined in the by-laws is to “develop, support and implement educational programs”. We have run ATM and lock classes in the past few years, but attendance is always fairly light (4 – 9 attendees) – especially considering the quantity of technicians employed by FSPA members.
Is this model just too expensive? By the time a dealer pays the tuition for the class, a plane ticket, hotel, meals, rental car and arranges for coverage for the area while the tech is out of the field, the costs could run $3,000 to $5,000 for the week. Are margins too thin and staffing so tight in these economic times that this no longer is an option?
But how do you do technical training without that “hands-on” element. Can you replace that person-to-person with a webinar, close ups and detailed instructions. This probably will work for some types of equipment, but I doubt you would want to teach a tech to rebuild a timelock movement and re-install it in a vault door and not have a knowledgeable person standing next to him when he does this in the field for the first time.
FSPA will continue to run hands-on classes at least a couple of times a year. But we will also investigate the idea of webinar training: how can we do it, when it is appropriate and will the members sign up. Watch for more on this in 2016