Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2008 - (Page 11)

BEFORE YOU BUY | DOUG HARWARD TO SECURE THE BEST TRAINING SUPPLIER, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR? BEING INFORMED HELPS BUYERS T he training industry has been considered by many to be operating under the doctrine of caveat emptor, which as you no doubt know is Latin for “buyer beware.” (Or as we say in the South, “y’all watch out now.”) The concept is simple, and the advice is good: Go into any deal with your eyes wide open. That may seem like a “glass half empty” approach, but happily it doesn’t have to be that way. In today’s training market, buyers are fortunate to have a choice. In this “Before You Buy…” column over the course of future issues, I’ll provide you with the tools and information needed to help make sure you don’t have to beware of the big bad training supplier. The good news is there are lots of options when it comes to selecting training suppliers. Contrary to popular belief, there really isn’t just one company out there that truly meets your needs. But there may be one company that “best” meets your needs, and I’m happy to help you with how to choose that perfect supplier. How important is that mission? In my estimate, based on the daily conversations I have with learning leaders and expert suppliers, the number of companies that say they are satisfied with supplier performance is less than 75 percent. That means an amazing — and unacceptable — 25 percent are unhappy with the suppliers they’re working with. Let’s put it another way: Imagine spending a sizable chunk of your income on something you’re not satisfied with. (Let’s call that the Income Tax Ratio.) The point is, that number should be much higher. Assessing Your Suppliers In my career, I’ve seen both sides of that equation, working as a buyer and closely with suppliers. From that quarter-century of experience and exposure, I’ve put together what I believe are the 18 capabilities you should evaluate when selecting the right supplier for you. It’s your responsibility to apply the value you put against each of these capabilities, and to objectively evaluate companies based on what is most important to you and your business. The capabilities are organized into three categories; organizational performance, business attributes and process capabilities. Organizational performance defines the capabilities that most buyers migrate to in order to select one vendor versus another, namely price, quality and speed. But if you use these as your sole determining factors, then you may not be looking under the hood hard enough. It’s my belief that buyers actually use these three to differentiate one supplier from another, only after the other capabilities are determined to be equal, or where one company meets all the others, then we select on these. Would you agree? When evaluating suppliers, I suggest you begin with process capabilities. For the training industry, these are strategic integration, diagnostics, content development, delivery, portfolio management, administrative services, and reporting and analysis. Buyers usually begin their procurement effort by first determining what process capabilities they require of a potential supplier. Then they determine whether a supplier has the business attributes necessary for their engagement. These capabilities are listed as financial stability, cultural compatibility, sourcing or vendor management, talent level of staff, commitment to the customer, geographic reach, or technology necessary to deliver on their commitment. When each of these capability requirements are met, then you get down to the best price, the best quality or whether they can deliver in the time frame you require. In short, before you buy, make sure you have a purpose. The biggest mistake training professionals make is not giving the selection process the proper level of attention or professional diligence. If you are spending your company’s money, then you need to be a great steward of that money. It is your responsibility to your management and co-workers, your constituents or customers, and your shareholders to get the best resources their money can buy. Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry, Inc., and a former learning leader in the high-tech industry. E-mail Doug at dharward@trainingindustry.com 11 Training Industry Quarterly, Spring 2008 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine / www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ http://www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2008

Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2008
At the Editor’s Desk
Contents
Winning Organizations Through People
Before You Buy…
Learning Technologies
Take Your ROI to Level 6
LCMS: A Critical Link to Learning Success
Establishing Best Practices for Learning Governance
Training’s Role in Continuous Improvement
Meet Jim Mitnick
Meet Karen Kocher
Meet Christina Cernuch
The Personal Side of Personnel Training
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2008

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008spring
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com