Our New Training White Paper Is Available – Download It Now!

Providing learners with continuing education training materials—which can include printing books, fulfilling orders, managing inventory, giving online access to materials, and more—can be a daunting task. Many organizations find it helps to partner with a vendor that can support them along the way, offering suggestions and giving advice as they tackle the complexities that the process brings.

Say, for example, your industry makes a lot of content updates. If you stick with conventional, large print runs, you might end with a lot of outdated books—which translates to a lot of wasted money. A trusted provider might suggest that you switch to print on demand to save hassle and money.

When an organization’s training program moves from a domestic market to include other countries as well, we have found that this is a good time to consider finding a partner to handle order fulfillment. International shipping can be tricky; it can be easier to work with a company that has experience with shipping regulations and tariffs around the globe than to take on these tasks yourself.

To learn more about these issues and many others about providing learners with continuing education training materials, we invite you to download our new white paperSimplify with an All-in-One Partner: Best Practices for Continuing Education Training Materials.

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“Outsource” Is Not a Four-Letter Word

When you hear the word “outsourcing,” what comes to mind? A call center in another country? Americans losing jobs? Sometimes that’s the case, but not always.

For training companies and small publishers, the purpose of outsourcing is to allow the proper use of internal human resources. If you’re printing books and fulfilling orders in-house, your employees are doing busy work, not business.

Imagine how your organization would grow if you stop printing and shipping out books on your own, and redirected those employees to tasks that help you build your business. Most companies, whether you provide materials for sales training courses or homeschoolers, have more ideas than they have time or resources. Freeing up employees for more meaningful, mission-driven work can help bring more of those ideas to fruition.

Question your assumptions about outsourcing, and you’ll find that this can be a good thing for your organization and its employees. Trusting someone else to manage print and fulfillment doesn’t mean you have to let employees go; no one has to lose a job. This is simply a matter of redistributing staff time.

Skills needed for print and fulfillment are often more complicated than they first appear, especially if kitting, multiple delivery locations, and international shipping are involved. Using a partner with expertise in these areas, like Omnipress, will alleviate the burden on your staff and increase the likelihood that training materials will arrive as your requested, on time, and to the correct location, with the right course books and training manuals.

Outsource is not a four-letter word, unless you work with multiple vendors. The time and frustration you’ll experience trying to juggle more than one fulfillment vendor might make you feel like using a few four-letter words of your own. Instead, turn “outsource” into a productive, cost-saving phrase: S-I-N-G-L-E P-A-R-T-N-E-R.

Anatomy of Corporate Training: Delivering Continuing Education Materials

The human body is made of many interdependent systems that work together to help you get through your day. Likewise, many components go into providing continuing education materials for your training courses.

  • Printed training materials are like the cardiovascular system—they are the lifeblood of your training program. Course books, learning guides, and exams are at the heart of helping students learn and retain information presented in your classes. Many studies support the idea that reading printed materials is a better match for deep, intensive reading of important information.
  • Formatting and design are part of the process and can be represented by the respiratory system. Good design and sleek formatting breathe life into content, making it easier to read, with a proper flow and clean appearance. Branding is consistent when colors, logos, and other elements are handled by the same organization that puts your materials on press.
  • Online training materials are akin to the nervous system. Do your students have a trigger finger, ready to tap on a smartphone or a computer mouse to receive your training content? If so, the content should be available there, where your learners spend so much of their time already.
  • Physical digital media (CDs, DVDs, and USBs) are the digestive system. Students can take home a USB, plug it in, and read content on a screen without having to be connected to the internet. This gives them an opportunity to really “take in” the information you presented in class, in their own time, on their own device.
  • Order fulfillment is best represented by the muscular system, and not just because it takes strength to move boxes of course books from our warehouse to your course site. Bringing your printed materials to your learners takes strength of a different kind, too—robust order systems that can handle the kind of customization each and every client deserves. Smaller muscle groups do important work, too, like kitting services, to make life easier for your instructors and your organization.
  • Inventory management, in closing, is the skeletal system. Imagine rows and rows of metal shelving, where printed training materials are managed, and you’ll understand why a skeleton is the image behind inventory. And make are no bones about it—managing your inventory in your office, while it becomes overrun with boxes stacked in every corner of floor space available, is a drag. When you trust a printing partner with the task you’ll lose the hassle without giving up control. With reports available to you 24/7, you’ll know the score.

Corporate training is a complex series of systems that, together, help your training program run smoothly and efficiently, just as the human body does. If the systems that help you deliver continuing education training content have been less than healthy lately, reach out to Omnipress for a consultation. We’ll have you back in tip-top shape in no time!

What We Can Learn About Training from Print Advertising

Learning, like many activities, has components in the real world as well as online counterparts. Navigating education in print and online still feels new to some people, and there’s a good reason for that. Reading print has been part of the human experience for a long time, while reading on a screen is relatively new. Each medium brings its own pros and cons to the table.

In a blog post published earlier this year, RealMatch.com discussed 5 Advantages to Print Advertising. Many parallels can be drawn between their conclusions about advertising and the benefits of printing your association training materials.

  1. Print carries gravitas: Besides Omnipress having Gravitas (Publications, as a client), print has a feeling of permanence and tangibility that screens have yet to capture. Printed materials feel more solid and valid. For best results, use online resources for a wider distribution and printed materials to signify staying power.
  2. Print is persuasive: In the advertising world, consumers are more likely to be swayed to buy products and services by printed advertisements. For training, active members realize the value of your course through the power of printed content. True influencers can convince others to sign up for training.
  3. Print readers are focused: Reading online involves many distractions, which makes learners more likely to multi-task. When readers choose print, chances are that, aside from a drinking a cup of strong coffee, that’s all they’re doing.
  4. Print helps us feel connected, without devices: For a growing number of people, occasionally unplugging has become appealing. When people unplug at home, they still want to “do something.” Reading print is the natural choice. With continuing education training, the act of unplugging to focus on professional development is more important. Learning a new concept in print is easier than making a conscious effort to ignore notifications and other online distractions.
  5. Printed advertisement offer more flexibility: Unlike some online options, printed ads can fit your budget. You can purchase a half page or a page, for example, and use targeted placement to increase visibility. Online, your ad placement is more likely to be determined by an algorithm, not a person, which takes the flexibility and customization out of the process. On the training side, flexibility is also key. Printed materials can take many forms, and careful formatting can bring attention to the most important text.

The real key is to combine initiatives in print and online, drawing on the strengths of both. Retention and learning experience are better when printed materials are used as the primary method of content delivery. Online resources can be incorporated as supplementary content to the printed materials. QR codes make it easy for learners to go online directly from a printed source.

As you think about how to deliver your training materials in 2015, use the best of both worlds to create a comprehensive learning experience. There is true value in blended learning. But remember the power of printed materials for permanence, value, focus, and flexibility.

Proven Corporate Training Experience

Last week on the blog, we explained why Omnipress is the right choice for corporate training companies. Did you know that Omnipress has already worked with many companies in this category?

We are happy to count small publishers like Gravitas Publications and Carden Educational Foundation among our clients. Dr. Rebecca Keller, CEO and Founder of Gravitas Publications, discusses her science textbooks, Real Science-4-Kids, and working with Omnipress in two episodes of Omnipress’ Training and Development Talk podcast:

Real Science-4-Kids Outsourcing Case Study with guest Dr. Rebecca Keller
Print Books Build Better Brains

For additional information on how Omnipress helped Gravitas Publications flourish, read the case study!

Other companies, like Vital Learning, also fit into the corporate training category. Any company that provides training materials can find a partner in Omnipress.

After all, many of the same principals apply to providing training materials for associations and for corporations and small publishers:

  • Print on demand makes sense for companies that experience frequent content changes.
  • Finishing options, including many types of binding and indexing, are available.
  • Order fulfillment is best performed by a provider with experience dealing with international shipping. Training materials can be sent anywhere in the world.
  • Online access to materials can be handled under the same roof as print and fulfillment. Students appreciate having additional avenues to information.
  • Inventory management, done in conjunction with order fulfillment and printing, saves time and frustration.

As you can see, Omnipress has experience with producing, delivering, and managing corporate training materials. We would like more, though—we want to help other small publishers and corporate training companies fulfill their educational missions.

Can you think of a company that could benefit from Omnipress print, fulfillment, and inventory management services for training materials? Contact us today!

The Compelling Case for Printed Continuing Education Materials

Learning new material is a skill that comes easily to some, while others struggle to make concepts stick. Besides an engaging teaching style and positive learning environment, the format used to present content can aid to comprehension to help make continuing education training work better, for more people.

Some research suggests that reading printed materials leads to better retention. In our conversations with CE training instructors, we have heard that some people prefer to hold a book in their hands and experience all of the tactile sensations that go with it—turning the pages, for example, and using familiar means of finding information, like a table of contents, indexes, and tabs. Some readers even like to see the creases in the spine, as an indicator of progress made.

Research has shown that anchors, defined as visual cues like the location of certain text on a page, help information stick in ways that digital counterparts can’t match. When you read print, you essentially make a mental map of the text, much like you do when driving in an unfamiliar area. You remember what that intersection looks like more than you remember what your GPS told you to do.

Moreover, when you read a printed course book and hold it in your hands, you have a better idea of where the passage you’re reading falls in relation to the whole text. Progress bars on eReaders and mobile devices try to replicate this, but it’s not as effective.

Reading online can be convenient, but the downside is a higher likelihood for distraction. Odds are, reading isn’t the only online task you use your computer or mobile device to do. A book, on the other hand, serves the sole purpose of content provider and can be easier to immerse yourself in.

Whether you give learners access to class materials online, in print, or both, these points are worth considering. Training materials that embrace these principles can make for a more rewarding, more effective class for learners. Set your learners up for success by including print as part of your continuing education training program.

Resources
http://www.wired.com/2014/05/reading-on-screen-versus-paper/
http://www.thebookseller.com/news/nearly-three-quarters-young-people-prefer-print
http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v309/n5/full/scientificamerican1113-48.html
http://www.fastcompany.com/3009366/leadership-now/you-wont-remember-this-article-or-anything-else-you-read-online-unless-you-pr

Dream Big to Achieve Your CE Training Goals!

Why do associations decide to handle print and fulfillment of continuing education training materials in-house? Is it simply a matter of cost, or is there something else that makes them reluctant to let go?

Some organizations are uncomfortable having another company manage this on their behalf. They want to maintain control so they can personally ensure that each learner receives the right materials, for the right course, in plenty of time.

While a commitment to the learner experience is to be commended, the hard truth is, there are only so many hours in the day. As much as we’d all like to personally handle every aspect of a program to ensure that expectations are met, there’s something to be said for delegating tasks that, while essential, don’t necessarily require your dedicated attention.

You may find that there is freedom in letting go of control so you can focus on other priorities. Many organizations find this to be especially true of print and fulfillment. Let an expert handle the intricacies of international shipping while you, for instance, grow your catalog of CE training courses and manage content creation and revisions.

Few association professionals are experienced with printing and shipping, and even fewer enjoy dealing with it. Have you ever met a colleague who pursued a career in continuing education to pack boxes? Neither have we.

Can you imagine how your workday might change if print and fulfillment no longer fell to you? Allow yourself to dream and you’ll find that you could regain enough time to achieve other, more mission-critical goals. Focus on what’s most important—providing your learners with valuable, useful skills to advance their careers—and you’ll find that handling print and fulfillment in-house was a barrier to achieving your true potential.

Ready to take the next step? Contact us to get the conversation started.

Yes: We Can All Get Along

When everybody gets along, life is better. When you work with people that actually like each other, the workday is more pleasant. If you regularly enjoy fun times and few conflicts with friends, your social life feels fuller and more satisfying. This extends to companies as well; if a restaurant and its suppliers have a good working relationship that feels fair and balanced, both parties can relax and focus on other goals, like preparing a tasty, fresh gnocchi dish.

And “everyone” doesn’t even have to be people—it can be systems, too. If you make a change on a mobile device, and it carries through when you check out the same program on your laptop, you don’t have to do the same thing again and you can get on with your day. Many a workday headache is caused by systems that don’t “talk” to each other. Add manual data entry (that wouldn’t need to be done, if systems worked together) to the mix and frustration ensues.

If your organization holds continuing education training, your learners may order course books online. Then what happens? Is your eCommerce store connected to the order fulfillment system? Or do you have to manually enter the learner’s order into a different system to alert your fulfillment house that a new order came in?

Omnipress’ order fulfillment system works directly with your AMS or class registration system. If a learner signs up for a CE training course and orders a book, that information can automatically be sent to Omnipress for fulfillment. Your organization can run reports at any time to check on inventory, order status, and package tracking, but the intermediate step of entering the order information—that has already been entered by the learner—can be skipped entirely.

Streamline your order fulfillment process by partnering with Omnipress for print and fulfillment of your continuing education training materials. For examples of how we’ve helped associations like yours, read the training case studies, found in the Our Work section at Omnipress.com.

Experience’s Undervalued Benefit

When you look for someone to do business with, whether it’s a car mechanic, house painter, or doctor, experience is important, for many reasons.

First of all, you feel more comfortable trusting your car or your health to someone who knows what they’re doing. “Rookie mistakes” are common enough to earn their own term, and you’re not interested in being the training wheels while professionals get the hang of the work they do. Fair enough!

Another important aspect to choosing a partner based on experience is more subtle, but no less important. When you work with an experienced professional, the body of work that precedes your visit means that the service provider has probably encountered your challenges before.

As such, the doctor or mechanic or hair stylist is elevated from a person who can merely get the job done to someone who can serve in a consultative role in helping you move forward with your specific issue. The stylist knows how to get you through growing out your bangs. The doctor can give you tips to help you lower your blood pressure.

Omnipress has been working with associations for decades and our expertise carries over into print and fulfillment of continuing education training materials. We can also help organizations manage their print inventory and bring their CE training content online.

We know managing content changes can be difficult when it comes to CE training materials. A change in best practices or an important new regulation could cause your organization’s training materials to be outdated, literally overnight. We print on demand, charging only for the inventory your learners order. Working with us means that changing content doesn’t have to cost you. That also means that your office space isn’t overrun by outdated materials.

When some associations initially partner with us, they take the opportunity to update their CE training materials. Maybe your course books could use a facelift, too? (For an example, read the Vibration Institute case study.) Omnipress can help you with rebranding, as well as other cumbersome tasks that many organizations are happy to delegate, like international shipping and inventory management.

Bringing CE training content online is appealing to many organizations, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Omnipress offers event content online as well, and knows how important online access to materials has become to the average member/attendee/learner. To keep your organization relevant and tuned in to the needs of its membership, it makes sense to offer materials online. To make it easier on you, trust the Omnipress team to guide you through the process of bringing content online.

“Delivering knowledge” has been long been Omnipress’ mantra. We apply it to all that we do, whether your focus is events, training, or publications. If you are looking for help with your CE training materials, we are here to help.

The New Omnipress: Debuting at ASAE 2014

If you read last week’s blog posts, you have a good idea how Omnipress is different than it used to be. Need a refresher? We’re happy to provide one.

More products and services, especially digital ones, are available. The new website might as well leave glitter on your monitor, it’s so new and sparkly. The Omnipress team can help you find the content delivery that’s the best fit for your situation.

What hasn’t changed? Print products look sharp and are delivered to the right place, on time, and customer service is our top priority.

Next month, Omnipress will send a team of four to ASAE 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition. The team will be on hand to give away fabulous prizes, answer your questions, and talk content delivery options. They’ll even take your picture. (More on that closer to the show!)

When CEO Tracy Gundert, Vice President of Business Development Steve Manicor, and Account Managers Holly Meyers and Tony Veroeven head to Nashville, they’ll bring more than prizes, smiles, and answers. They’ll be bringing the new Omnipress to ASAE 2014!

All-in-one convenience is what sets Omnipress apart. Our services are catered to busy association professionals. When event planners and training directors learn that working with Omnipress means fewer vendors to juggle and phone calls to make, their ears perk up. Did yours just do the same?

If you’ll be attending ASAE 2014, you are cordially invited to make plans to stop by booth #203 to visit Tracy, Steve, Holly, and Tony to see the new Omnipress in action. But why wait? Reach out to an account manager now and start the conversation today!

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