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In-Depth 3PL Training and Certification is Key to Successful Product Delivery and Installations

By John Cox – National Accounts

Technical Transportation, Inc

For manufacturers, it goes without saying that the proper delivery, installation and setup of your products at a client’s site is not only vital for customer satisfaction, but also for managing the total cost of install. A high successful “first-time install” rate reduces additional field services costs you could incur to correct any processes not performed properly at time of delivery and installation.

Understanding this concept and successfully achieving it, however, are two different things. While you may consider engaging a 3PL or other independent service provider to outsource these functions, you’ll first want to ensure that they have comprehensive training and certification programs developed and actively employed for anyone who handles your products.

Outsourcing to a well-trained and knowledgeable partner should tangibly improve your first-time install success rate. This can ultimately improve the utilization rate of your internal field service engineers by enabling them to focus on revenue-generating activities. A high first-time install success rate can also reduce the amount of administrative time required for placement of an order by preventing unneeded and costly follow up from a delivery/installation issue.

So how do you know that your logistics partner’s training program is compliant? Here are some essentials to look for:

  • An online / virtual training and certification platform. A comprehensive online learning portal puts instruction and certification courses into a format that any authorized personnel can access with internet availability at any time and from any location. The COVID-19 pandemic transformed this capability from a “best practice” a year ago to a “must have” requirement today. This means you should expect the teams you employ in the field to become the product experts you need to get the job done effectively the first time.A quality online learning portal will feature a range of multimedia options, including training videos, written instructions, product documentation, online testing, and more.
  • Comprehensive training modules that leave no room for error. When your partners complete their training, there should be no reason for “guesswork” on their requirements or interaction with the customer. This ensures they execute the job correctly the first time. In addition to thoroughly understanding your products, they should also understand all the potential downstream touchpoints at the place of installation (i.e. health monitors in a hospital setting) and be able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Your partner should have a clear understanding of what simple troubleshooting is expected, or when you should be notified of an issue at the customer site that is not resolvable virtually.
  • Input required from the Subject Matter Expert up front. Any good training program requires the manufacturer’s/shippers input in the creation of the Scope Of Work (SOW) prior to product launch to ensure that accurate information and instructions are being communicated to the teams that will be performing these services. It will require a time investment upfront, but it pays off significantly in the medium- to long-term for the sales and service organizations.
  • A transparent operation. The online learning portal should not only include the training modules but should also be able to provide records that verify results from tests and certifications received for each of your logistics partner’s employees or agents. It also offers an easy system to prove compliance to any industry regulations, as needed.
  • A team with flexibility in the field. Your partner’s training and certification system and processes should be able to adapt to any changes in products and/or end-customer requirements. Their online learning portal should also be able to effectively communicate any updates to field agents and drivers and prompt them for additional training as needed.Most importantly, the teams acting on your behalf should be able to learn from any mistakes the first time. Your partner’s ability to implement changes quickly in the field should be noted as vital to the health and success of the training program.

If you’re looking for a supply chain and logistics partner that has an established training and certification process in place, get in touch to find out more. Contact us today.

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