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How to Develop an RFID Training Program

Preparing workers to use a new or upgraded RFID system is essential.
By John Edwards
Feb 04, 2013—User training: It's the essential component of every radio frequency identification solution that is most often forgotten or ignored. While most businesses deploying or expanding an RFID solution agonize over system design, hardware and software, training is frequently breezed over or neglected. In many cases, companies mistakenly assume that their staff will "quickly get the hang of things" or "learn as they go."

But believing that personnel will be able to adapt to the new processes and responsibilities created by RFID through some form of magical osmosis is a critical mistake. Some companies and organizations that complained about their RFID solution not working learned, upon further investigation, that this was due to employees not using it properly—or at all.

As with any critical system component, user training must be in place and ready to roll before the first tag is read within a "live" environment. When evaluating RFID systems integrators or solution providers, businesses should inquire if their services include training. Many offer on-site training services, which can be bundled into complete system packages or purchased separately.

"When we get a new customer, we have a deployment phase where we go onsite, install all the hardware and work out all the kinks," says Alejandro Solorio, a trainer with Awarepoint, a health-care industry real-time location system (RTLS) solutions provider. "While all of that is taking place, I'm already working with the customer remotely to get ready for training."

Smart businesses start thinking about training as soon as they begin designing an RFID system. "A training program should be developed in the sense of first making sure that you have all your ducks in a row," Solorio explains. "Do I have my classroom? Do I have the participants that I need? Do I have a defining role for them?"

Developing an RFID training program that addresses the needs of both the business and its employees requires insightful thought, precise planning, a flexible approach and a long-term commitment to quality. Here's how to begin.
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