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Not too long ago I was in a meeting with the Sales Manager, Office Manager, Fixed Ops Manager, and IT Manager of a dealership. During the meeting, the IT manager asked me when we were going to update our Dealer Management System (DMS) manual. I paused for a minute, considered the question and then asked each of the other managers if they had ever read the current manual. Not surprisingly, the answer was no. I then asked if any of them had ever read the manuals for their previous DMS system, which they had used for over 10 years. Same answer.
Let’s face it, when it comes to software training, the likelihood of any of your employees (excluding the occasional techno-centric IT Manager) reading lengthy and admittedly boring technical manuals is slim to none. They simply don’t have the time or inclination to plow through pages and pages of data to learn how to execute the handful of tasks needed for their specific job.
So they learn the system from someone else in the company, who was trained on it by someone else, who…you get the idea? Think of the old telephone game with pretty much the same results. Or they simply get into the system and try and figure it out on their own.
The end result is that many employees have limited knowledge and understanding of their DMS system or how to use it to its full advantage.
But the problem doesn’t stop there. When it comes to new releases and software versions, employees typically ignore the written documentation sent to them by the DMS vendor. In most cases, they’ll install the updates, log onto the system as usual and, when they run into trouble, call technical support for help.
To combat this particular situation, one of our customers suggested that whenever there are changes or modifications to our system, we should send out emails instead of letters because “people read their emails.” So for their next update, we sent out both a letter and an email. Two weeks later we received a call from the CFO who made the recommendation, wanting to know what was going on with their system. Did he read the release letter? No. Did he read the release email? No.
How do you break this pattern so that employees – and the dealership - get the full benefits of their DMS at all times without increasing costs?
It’s called Just in Time Training. Unlike web-based training or system tutorials (both of which still requires an employee who is motivated to learn), Just in Time Training provides employees with the information they need at the exact point in time that it is required.
Just in Time Training enables users to get the information they need at the time they need it by clicking on a relevant task or function keyword located on the page the user is viewing. The requested information immediately appears, is concise and to the point, and can be supplemented with visuals such as videos, flow charts, PDFs or even web-links. It gives the user the exact data required in a way that can be easily assimilated and quickly applied.
Just in Time Training is the new best practice in technology training. Incorporated into a DMS, it can rapidly and effectively train employees on whatever it is they need to know. It’s an automated, self-study learning method that will increase efficiency and profits without additional costs.