Finding your trainers

There is a wide range of sources of CAD/CAM/CAE training. Some of them focus on providing a particular type of training at a particular time in the CAD/CAM/CAE implementation process. Some provide services to individuals, others serve small or large groups.

Internal sources for training include the CAD/CAM/CAE team and friendly colleagues. Normally, internal sources will provide services on-site. Among the external sources are consultants, the CAD/CAM/CAE system vendor, CAD/CAM/CAE training companies, CAD/CAM/CAE training package vendors, and educational institutions offering CAD/CAM/CAE courses. Some of these sources, such as consultants and CAD/CAM/CAE vendors, may be prepared to offer their services on either their own premises or the company's.

The extent to which different sources are used will depend on a variety of factors such as the amount and type of training included in the system purchase contract, the total amount of money available for training, the availability of people and equipment for training activities, and the company's overall training policy.

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each source of training. For example, educational institutions often provide a relatively low-cost service, but the quality of the service can range from poor to excellent. Internal training, developed by the company's own personnel, will often be well tuned to company requirements. This is rarely the case with external sources. The CAD/CAM/CAE system vendor usually gives good system management training; the same is often true of their initial user training. Sometimes the vendor will also have industry-experienced, applications-oriented trainers who can give very good advanced user training.

The CAD/CAM/CAE vendor may prefer to give courses at its own site, arguing that students will benefit from being free of everyday distractions. The company may prefer to see these courses given on its own site, with the training oriented to the work encountered on real projects and carried out in the real environment, helping to make possible the easy identification and correction of any problems that occur.

The company may decide to build up its own training force. This method can be effective because these trainers will understand the company's needs, speak the language of their colleagues, and can develop the training to meet specific requirements. If the trainers only have a part-time training role and continue part-time with their previous responsibilities, they will not run the risk of their skills and knowledge being overtaken by those of their students.

On the other hand, the company may not have sufficient resources to invest in its own internal training force (even if it is only part time). An added problem is that the people selected to be trainers may not have really mastered the subject themselves, or, for some other reason, are not effective trainers. The CAD/CAM/CAE Manager will need to select the most suitable sources of training and periodically check the quality of the training given.

User and systems training are usually best provided by the vendors or an approved third party such as a university or technical institute. Application training is specific to a particular business and can be developed in-house in conjunction with the vendor.

Awareness and management training are not provided by the CAD/CAM/CAE vendors (although they do play an educational role during the strategy evaluation and selection process). This type of training is best provided by consultants in conjunction with the CAD/CAM/CAE team. Consultants often have a background of user and system management and broad experience in CAD/CAM/CAE use and management across a range of industries.

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Page last modified on February 11, 2000
Copyright 1999, 2000 by John Stark