Heidelberg Print Media Academy to Focus on Customized Training
KENNESAW, GA—May 25, 2010—In response to an escalating demand for training classes tailored to the individual needs of its customers and their equipment, Heidelberg’s Print Media Academy (PMA), in conjunction with Heidelberg USA’s North American Print and Packaging Technology Center (Technology Center), has increased its offering of need-specific tools, techniques and training to make employees more efficient and the companies they work for more profitable. Training is provided at Heidelberg USA’s Technology Center.
“Printing companies stand to benefit greatly from optimizing their existing Heidelberg equipment and software,” said Russ Barton, Director of Demo Operations for Heidelberg USA. “Everyone needs to be more efficient, and that means being able to profit quickly and extensively from their investment in Heidelberg technology and solutions. That’s why our trainers use Saphira consumables exclusively to maximize quality and guarantee consistent peak performance.”
Custom training can run the gamut from promoting a higher level of self-help maintenance, to color management, to bringing operators or press crews up to speed on new or existing equipment. It’s often necessary, Barton adds, to help even experienced operators make the transition to a new, high-performance equipment platform.
“We Expect a Good Return on Our Investment”
Tom Loudon is Vice President, Print Production for EU Services in Rockville, MD, a commercial sheetfed and web printer specializing in direct mail communications. A Heidelberg customer for 20+ years, the company regularly sends its press operators to Heidelberg’s Technology Center for training ranging from orientation of new operators to refresher courses for experienced personnel.
“We use Heidelberg USA’s PMA mainly to train our operators in good, basic pressmanship, which we believe includes both gaining knowledge about the equipment as well as learning how to be more productive and efficient,” Loudon said. “In addition to improving their job performance, we’ve also found this helps employees appreciate how their individual performance contributes to the success of the company. It also shows them that we’re willing to invest in them, and that we expect a good return on our investment.”
Make no mistake, Loudon added, the investment in time and money is substantial, “but the results have convinced us that it’s an investment well worth making, and offers a better value than ad hoc, on-site troubleshooting.”
EU Services typically sends several operators at one time for three to four days of training focusing on particular areas specified by Loudon: roller settings, for example, or the setup and operation of a coating unit. Whatever the problem, “Russ Barton and his team will work with us to address it,” Loudon said. “Our employees always get a lot out of the training. At one time or another, I’ve had all 30 of my people trained in Kennesaw or at the Cranbury, NJ facility.”
In It for the Long Haul
Accommodating customer requests for need-specific training is at the center of Heidelberg’s approach to world-class customer service, said Peeran Mukadam, Director of the Print Media Academy for Heidelberg USA.
“Heidelberg views training and education as key to developing fruitful relationships with our customers based on their long-term success,” Mukadam said, pointing out that the activities of the PMA are closely related to and supported by those of Heidelberg’s Business Consulting unit.
“Print business owners who want to derive full productivity from new equipment understand that they must make a corresponding investment in their operators’ skills and engagement,” Mukadam said. “We want to ensure that business owners reap a handsome return on their investment in technical and professional education. One of the ways we accomplish this is by offering custom training tailored to their individual needs and equipment.”
With 12 full-time trainers and the ability to conduct up to five training classes at a time, Heidelberg USA’s Technology Center functions as a comprehensive practical training resource for Heidelberg customers to prepare for a successful future. Additionally, Heidelberg’s Business Consulting unit offers onsite Press Operator and Equipment Operation evaluations that enable a business to train its employees – improving its operations and adapting to the ever-changing needs of its customers.
A Global Approach to Training and Development
Now in its 10th year, Heidelberg’s PMA offers a wide range of services and combines the experience of Heidelberg with the know-how of independent trainers and experts from the printing and media sector. Heidelberg technical experts undergo a rigorous, five-day certification process having accumulated between 10 and 20 years of hands-on internal and customer training spanning the full range of Heidelberg equipment.
The PMA’s “Train the Trainer” certification also addresses how adult learning works, how to design high-impact learning experiences, and how to deliver technical training on the operation of Heidelberg equipment and software using demo equipment, models, simulations and video presentations. Certified Trainers must conduct a certain number of classes every year to maintain their certification.
Based on the Print Media Academy’s selection and standardization of best practices gleaned from years of Heidelberg training efforts, the advantage of Heidelberg certification lies in the application of the highest quality standards and knowledge checks across the Heidelberg organization worldwide, including the United States. Currently, Heidelberg has 178 Certified Technical Trainers working in various markets around the globe.
For more information on PMA classes offered by Heidelberg USA or to explore custom training options, go to www.us.heidelberg.com/us/pma or call 1-800-934-4872.