Learning & Development

Pros and Cons of Vendor-Provided Training

The modern workplace is full of complex technologies, whether they be mechanical, telecommunications, software, or others. For most companies, it’s not economical or efficient to develop such tools internally.

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For example, an auto-parts manufacturer is unlikely to build its own in-house accounting software for its accounting department. Instead, companies often turn to third-party business-to-business (B2B) vendors to supply them with the complex goods and services they rely on to run their businesses.

While experienced employees might be able to teach themselves or their coworkers how to use a third-party product or service, the vendors themselves often provide training for little or no cost.

So should your company utilize these offered training solutions? Here, we discuss some considerations.

What’s in It for Them?

 Vendors have multiple incentives for providing customer training. For one, well-trained customers are likely to demand fewer resources from vendors for customer support.

Additionally, customers that are well-trained on the benefits and best uses of a product or service are likely to have a higher opinion of the offering and be repeat customers because they experience more of the value. But at the end of the day, the primary interest of a vendor is to retain customers, not to help your company or department operate as effectively as possible.

Organizations should consider the availability of alternative products when training staff on best practices and at least be aware of vendor competitors.

Strengthening Business Partnerships

While it’s important to regularly consider alternative vendors, there are also benefits to developing long-term and collaborative relationships with B2B partners. The personal relationships that can develop between end users and vendor training staff can help deepen and strengthen those partnerships.

Potential Cost Savings

As noted above, vendors often provide training to customers at little to no cost. Again, they have their own motives for this, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having a vendor representative spend time and energy training your staff can be a great way to save on internal training efforts.

When training is outsourced to a third party with its own commercial interests, such as a vendor, it’s important to consider whether relying on such training is really in the best interest of the customer company.

At the same time, simply because the vendor stands to gain from providing the training doesn’t mean the customer can’t and won’t gain, as well.