Knowledge Versus Skills

Posted on: December 30, 2015 | By: David Kwo | QAD Business Process

As we meet with our QAD clients, one of the biggest concerns we hear them share is that their user base lacks the training to do their jobs the correct way, which often leads them to creating their own off-line ways of scheduling production or forecasting their demand. Some of this lack of training is due to employee attrition that many industries have been experiencing over the past few years. However, most companies we have spoken to, have not been reluctant to invest in training of its employees, but they have been disappointed with the results. Our experience is that these sub-par results have more to do with the type of training provided than the quality of the instructor or the aptitude of the “students.”

We’ve found that organizations that use QAD effectively tend to focus more on the use being skill-based versus knowledge-based. Knowledge is the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. There are literally thousands of videos available on ERP topics from effective MRP planning to improving forecasting. But after watching these videos it doesn’t mean the user knows how to effectively plan MRP, it means they have a general understanding. Additionally, the user is provided no opportunity to ask questions that are specifically related to their unique business requirements and processes.

We like to tell our clients that you can’t teach someone to ride a bicycle by watching a video. It is not an exact comparison, but the path to use one’s QAD ERP system more effectively is more akin to the path one uses to improve golf or soccer skills. And when clients ask us to provide QAD Training, similar to golf or soccer, we view our role as not only a teacher, but even more so as a coach. Most coaches realize that in the process of developing new skills, when under pressure, most players regress back to their old and often bad habits. This is true of the greatest golfers and this is true in business. Even after training someone how to properly forecast in QAD, until the habit becomes engrained, when faced with stress or pressure of a deadline, the tendency is to revert back to the old spreadsheets or paper system they were using. In order to mitigate this, we firmly believe that the best training is one that takes place at the client’s facility, using the client’s data and having the user’s practicing the exact entries they will be doing after we are gone. While a bit more time consuming and often more costly than attending off-site training, the feedback we’ve gotten is that the skills, and thus the new habits we want our users to develop, will get engrained.

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