While the entire industry is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, contractors, plumbers and other service professionals must continue to keep up with technology changes and government-mandated orders, all while practicing new safety precautions to protect themselves and the homeowner.
Now, more than ever, the need for technical training is at an all-time high and will continue to be critical for the industry moving forward.
As part of the essential workforce, plumbing and HVAC technicians must have remote access to educational resources. Though the demand for online training predates COVID-19, today’s climate has changed the way contractors consume information. With classroom training suspended for the foreseeable future, online training continues to grow in popularity, and it is our responsibility to meet that demand. We must ensure contractors have the information they need when they need it to provide their customers with knowledgeable recommendations and advice.
Homeowners are more educated about the products they buy, and their expectations for service standards continue to increase. Additionally, products have become more advanced and complex, offering customers a variety of options. Proper training ensures contractors are up-to-speed on the latest solutions.
TRAINING FOR TODAY
In July 2019, A. O. Smith opened its newly renovated Technical Training Facility in Ashland City, Tennessee, to further enhance online and in-person educational offerings. A. O. Smith University, our complementary online training program, was updated, along with the training classroom, training labs and video production studio.
With expanded capabilities in 3D animation, 360-degree cameras and virtual reality, the studio can communicate concepts online that previously would have been difficult or impossible even in an in-person classroom setting. Since the doors opened last year, we continue to identify opportunities to increase contractor training and provide more valuable resources delivered in a format that busy contractors can consume.
To provide contractors with new online tools during COVID-19, A. O. Smith launched a product training series in April called “A. O. Smith Training Tuesdays.” Broadcast live from the Training Facility for eight weeks, this series gave our partners access to continued education from the comfort of their home or office.
At A. O. Smith, we’re always looking for ways to be a valuable resource for our loyal channel partners. Pairing our team of experts with cutting-edge technology allows us to build richer content and offer real-time educational resources. For those who couldn’t make it to the live show, videos are recorded and housed on the A. O. Smith University website, along with many other product training videos and online certifications.
We developed these programs, in part, by engaging with our partner contractors and wholesalers, and by tapping into research and intelligence from organizations like the American Supply Association, of which A. O. Smith is a proud corporate member and Platinum Supplier Partner.
More than any other time in our company’s history, A. O. Smith’s success is tied to our customers’ ability to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. These program enhancements illustrate A. O. Smith’s commitment to building a stronger industry through meaningful support designed to help contractor and wholesale partners grow their businesses.
Be assured that we will continue to collaborate and engage with our valued partners to provide quality training and resources that are accessible during COVID-19 and long into the future.