To Train or Not to Train? Here’s the Answer!

By Dean Landers, Landers Appliance,

Training, training, training! Have you ever heard of someone getting too much training?  In the appliance service industry, the glaring need for training is manifest in two very distinct ways. First, due to new and unique product offerings, product design changes, sophisticated integrated circuitries, complicated flow charts, fault codes stored on the control, flimsy plastic and incredibly thin metal parts and a myriad of other rapidly changing issues, everyone needs constant training on diagnosing, disassembling and repairing today’s appliance brand offerings.

The second need for training involves business management. So many business owners started out with great gusto and have failed to continue educating themselves. Their original focus has been lost and or allowed to slip into the background. They are in dire need of setting a (new?) vision and establish goals for their business, discovering today’s best business practices, streamlining daily processes, refining their costs of doing business, discovering new marketing strategies, learning how to manage various personality types (especially the up and coming millennials), and building a tangible, marketable, sellable value, to name a few.

Most owners of service companies do not schedule enough technical training days when planning for the upcoming year. Some wait for the manufacturers they represent to come out with a calendar and then decide at the last minute, assuming they aren’t too busy with service calls before committing to have their service technicians attend. Some simply believe they know all they need to know and don’t see the value in getting additional training. Some owners know they need additional technical training but can’t afford to take the time off to get it.

The need for business training is even greater. And sadly, the attention owners and managers give to getting the training is seriously lacking! It is a major problem in our industry! A & E’s service reach is diminishing at a rapid pace. There is a strong push by some manufacturers to help independent service organizations expand and grow. These opportunities are being offered to those that have demonstrated a high level of business acumen and success in the past. They will experience continued growth because they are progressive, innovative, and invested in growing their organizations. They are trained and continue to get trained!

Let me ask you a few questions. When was the last time you even considered writing out a business plan? Notice I didn’t ask when the last time you actually wrote out a plan, but simply thought about it!  What have you done to create a strategy to grow?  Do you have a business development plan that includes marketing verticals? When have you taken an honest look at your own leadership and management style? Have you talked to others to understand the current opportunities that exist for growth? Do you even know your Cost of Doing Business? Okay, maybe you have looked at one or several of these, but most likely you haven’t, at least not in any great detail.

Training is critical, especially for the one(s) at the helm, the leader and the leadership team of your organization. Maybe it is only you. You are the one and only person responsible and you wear many different hats. You are the one that has to keep all the plates spinning in order for the bills to get paid. The best and most important investment you can make is insuring that you have a successful company is by investing in yourself! GET TRAINED!!! Attend one of the Institute of Service Management (ISM) sessions this fall. Make sure your technical staff attends a Regional Service Training Institute (RSTI) by registering at

Look at your calendar now and decide to attend the Annual Service Training Institute (ASTI) next February 8-11.  Join or form a peer group. Look at any and every training opportunity available to you. Don’t delay. The health and welfare of your business depends on it! Get trained!!!!

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