MRO Magazine

IDI sets up new training centre for members

Mississauga, ON -- The launch of a series of seminars focusing on cost-saving management programs is just the start...


Mississauga, ON — The launch of a series of seminars focusing on cost-saving management programs is just the start of what may eventually become a well-honed training and education arm of IDI Independent Distributors Inc., says Robert Webb, director of national accounts for the industrial buying group.

The entry into the educational market has been possible, in large part, to a new IDI training centre located at corporate headquarters.

“We’ve needed a space like this for some time now,” says Webb. “There’s been a real need for us to supply training to our members and customers. Until now, we’ve had to rely upon the limited space available.”

According to Webb, seminars can now be provided for up to 24 people at one time. Topics range from product training to cost-saving management programs, the latter of which will cover ideas like how to process change, how to document cost savings, documentation procedures, and product standardization.

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“There are a whole variety of ways to help members identify cost savings opportunities,” explains Webb, who adds that IDI will slowly add more programs to the mix. “We anticipate offering more training as time goes on. It’s part of staying on the leading edge of change.”

According to Webb, some of these extra seminars may include subject areas such as safety, WHMIS, ISO and even motivational types of seminars and telephone sales technique training.

The new facility was built in 2003 when IDI expanded in size and was able to allocate dedicated space for a training facility. The training centre is outfitted with the latest technology necessary to deliver effective presentations. The equipment includes video and cassette capabilities, as well as Internet access, a projector and a wireless computer system. Webb adds that the room also offers a totally interactive conference phone system. “Our goal is to eventually offer ‘Webinars’ or web-based training programs.”

The facility encompasses the educational or classroom-style room for seminars like the monthly cost-savings management program, as well as a separate workshop-oriented room that can be used for actual product training. This area offers workbenches, air compressors, power and other tools needed for hands-on instruction.

“Our market is changing, as are our mix of services for our members,” says Webb. “Much of it has been driven by the national accounts program but, in the end, we have to be able to come to the marketplace with a range of services that best meets the needs of our customers, members and vendors.”