It seems like to me if we have learned anything this year it is that we are all pretty good at dealing with change. At least if you weren’t before you are a little better at it now. 2020 has been a year of dealing with constant change. And it has most certainly changed the way we train and educate our customers.
The evolution of digital technologies was happening well before the pandemic. Based on what we are seeing, the current situation has expedited the use of digital technologies, especially within the clinical setting where they are starting to catch up with their lab partners. Where we have had to make significant changes is in the way we train the labs, private practices, and dental schools that are now buying digital equipment. Before Covid 19, we provided in-person training, either at our corporate facility or on-site at the lab, clinic, or university. We did offer remote training, but it wasn’t the preferred method. Because of Covid 19, we have had to go to remote training only.
When you consider a comprehensive product like 3Shape design software, it requires two full days of hands-on training. We have found that even when we have the undivided attention of the person being trained, (no interruptions), it is very difficult to pay attention – and retain the information – when you are doing it all day for two straight days. What we have done is break it down into 2-hour long morning and afternoon sessions over 3 days. This seems to be working out pretty well. We can tell when a particular training isn’t successful when we get a high volume of technical support calls after the training. So far, since we have broken the training down into smaller chunks, our technical support calls have returned to a normal level, when compared to when we were doing the remote training all day for two straight days.
The other aspect of training is continuing education. I miss traveling to all the large and regional shows as much as anyone. One of the many downsides to all of the meetings being canceled is the ability of the lab or clinic to access all of the training and receive CEU’s. Whip Mix has always been very proud to offer CEU’s at the many meetings we attend each year. Of course, we had to change the way we now offer those credits. We have offered and filmed multiple training seminars over the last 6 months. We have covered topics ranging from digital dentures, temporaries, splints, surgical guides, Bellus3D as well as several 3Shape videos and computer maintenance. All of the videos we created were certified by the NBC, Canadian College Certificate as well as the FL-CE Broker credits. All of these training videos can be found in our resource library.
We know there is a lot more change headed our way. But, what I also know based on what I have seen this year is that the dental industry is ready to roll with the changes.