Drive two hours southeast of Calgary, Alberta Canada and you’ll find yourself in Picture Butte, where the Heinen Family has owned and operated Butte Home Hardware Building Centre for more than 25 years. They offer an excellent selection of building and landscaping supplies, plumbing, electrical, paint, and other household products. The company serves the rural population of Picture Butte and has added three more locations in nearby communities.
Butte Home Hardware relies on an Epicor Eagle business management system to run operations throughout the business. “Our Eagle system is fantastic. However, I found myself being the 'go-to computer geek' that trained our staff on the system, which took me away from other managerial tasks. And there was no easy way to ensure that employees across all of our stores were trained to use the system in the same way,” said Mark Heinen, General Manager of Butte Home Hardware Building Centre. “I knew there had to be a means to provide consistent training that didn’t require me being a full-time trainer. I learned about the Epicor eLearning solution called Training on Demand and I thought it was the right solution for our needs.”
Initial demand for training exceeds expectations
Training on Demand allows employees to learn via short interactive modules when it’s convenient for the business. Mark decided to initially offer a basic training agenda that covered inventory and information look-up. “I launched Training on Demand the week before I was leaving on a two-week vacation. I wanted to see which employees had the initiative to take advantage of the training while I was away. I set up 30 to 60 minute sessions during the off-peak hours,” said Heinen. “I returned to find that one-third of the employees had engaged with the training and had positive feedback.”
Accessible training works
It can be challenging to get staff to adopt new methods. At Butte Home Hardware, Mark finds that employees help accelerate adoption without a lot of his involvement. “We have some employees that are reluctant because they feel that the new training will be repetitive of what they already know. We have other employees that are eager to get more advanced training to accelerate their skills. As eager participants share newfound knowledge they gain from Training on Demand, other employees also want to get trained. Once the courses in the basic agenda are covered, employees can take additional courses on their own initiative. It’s working quite well,” said Heinen.
New employees and employees changing roles are now assigned a customized training agenda. “Training our new employees is a lot less stressful, faster, and more consistent. Employees feel more comfortable learning without someone looking over their shoulder all of the time,” said Heinen. “Overall, staff members seem to be appreciative of the opportunity to learn more and are definitely more comfortable with the Eagle system.”
Increasing Eagle knowledge, productivity, and consistency
To date, 60 percent of Butte Home Hardware employees have been trained with Training on Demand completing nearly 600 test assignments. Longer term, Mark would like to add his own content so that the yard staff can also take advantage of Training on Demand. “My managers and I spend dramatically less time training employees about the Eagle system, thus freeing us to do what we should be doing,” said Heinen. “Training on Demand enables our staff to increase their knowledge of the Eagle system, and therefore their productivity. We now have more employees comfortable with Eagle and using more of its vast capabilities. Training is now consistent across our four locations. It’s been a huge win for our stores.”
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com