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Lower Cost, More Effective Training in 2022

Propane Canada Magazine 2022

Many people in the Propane Industry debate the cost of training. On one hand training is an expense as it brings in zero revenue. On the other hand it can be argued that it saves a company money and is an investment in the company as it makes our employees more effective, efficient and safe so they can do more work with more efficiently and safely hence brining in to the company additional customers and revenue. ​

Maybe both are correct but what if we could make the training faster so our employees could be trained quicker, more effective so they learned more and retained more in less time thereby making them safer, reducing injuries and liabilities?  Then our investment costs for training would be less and we could start doing revenue generating work sooner… not bad. So what if we could reduce training costs even further, eliminating the clerical and supervisory portion of managing and coordinating and doing training to zero, that would further reduce our training costs and further improve our return on investment right?  Then what if we could do get the training materials for free and beam them to our employees no matter where they were so they could watch them in their trucks during lunch breaks or wherever?  Further reducing the cost and increasing the percentage of employees who get the training. Sound good right?​​
With inflation rising making everything more expensive including but not limited to: trucks, fuel, tanks, regulators, payroll, medical, etc. Since everything seems to be going up in price we really need to find ways to eliminate other costs. For example its going to get harder and harder to send our employees off site for training and harder to rationalize in house training when it can be done for free on their smartphones or tablets during lunch breaks from any remote location. As a matter of fact most propane companies are struggling to find employees increasing the need for training while at the same time stretched so thin that getting time for training seems nearly impossible.
 The days of sending employees to live in person training sessions may be over forever. An intermediary attempt to remedy this is to do live Zoom meeting training sessions.

Though this can be an excellent means of training after contacting many of the old school trainers of propane delivery/service/safety a majority do not want to embrace this new method of training and prefer the more expensive old world in person training method. One company that has excelled at providing this sort of training internationally is PropaneUniversity.com. This company not only charges 75% less than in person training but also eliminates all travel costs and provides live online skill assessments all leveraging the smartphone and computer monitors you already have so no added costs. This is   the next phase of training and testing our industry needs to and is starting to embrace.

Once you start using technology to improve your company’s training you will want an app that allows you to send weekly training sessions about every service tech related topic or delivery driver topic including safe driving, propane safety, truck safety, installations and service. Since everyone now has a smartphone it would be free and easy to have an app that reminded and tracked every training video watched and signed for so all your employees could be in compliance. You could also fi

nally have a method to train new employees in one third the time as the old process. The World Propane Association did a competition to find the best technology that could allow our propane industry to perform, track and manage remote training of every sort along with all safety related inspections, documents and jobs – the app that won best in the Americas is TankSpotter.com with its 1000+ propane related video training system and digital inspections, work orders, jobs and invoices is the direction the biggest and smallest companies are taking to reduce costs.​​​

We in the propane industry have overcome many challenges. Our ability to flex and change with the market has made us a reliable and dependable source of energy for millions.  Having a well-trained, efficient and safe team is critical. Using the smartphones and tablets we already have to dispense the training and jobs we thought could only be done via pencil and paper will save us time, and money. Afterall isn’t technology supposed to make our lives better and reduce our operating costs? Its time to leverage the technology we already own to allow us to thrive and succeed in providing a vital energy source to our neighbors and communities.

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