The ICT industry has a reputation for poor service delivery. Projects are not completed on time, budgets are over-run, suppliers don’t deliver on customer expectations and projects are sometimes never completed.
Simulation training company Business Today has launched a two or three day business simulation course designed for ICT staff who interact with customers or provide support for sales and technical people.
“The simulation gives participants an understanding of the critical determinants in the success of an ICT service business and how staff can contribute to its success,” says Jan Pelser, director of Business Today.
The simulation involves teams of participants ‘running their own business’ in competition with other teams. Each team manages their own business by following a realistic business process. This includes sourcing stock, making marketing decisions, planning, pricing, sales strategies, collecting money and paying expenses.
“Experiential learning is a far more effective method than telling people how to behave. The competitive environment results in a deep level of learning in a fun environment,” says Pelser.
It gives delegates the opportunity of experiencing the ‘big picture’ of the business and to discover the importance of the cross functionality across all departments if a project is to be completed on time.
“The hard learning outcomes give an understanding of the implications of unfinished projects, working capital, customer expectations and the consequences of not being able to bill for work,” he says.
“Staff need an intimate and clear understanding of customer needs, selling benefits versus features and why selling the right mix is crucial, namely technology vs. service attachment."
The correct utilisation of people is important and the correct approach to project management and project completion.
The course also covers how to better forecast as support teams struggle to source or produce stock when the sales force have concluded deals.
Delegates get to experience and understand the interdependence of the sales department, production and procurement and the trade-offs.
They also analyse the company’s financial statements, and how decisions made by the sales force impact them. Delegates learn to analyse debtors and bad debts, and the necessity of assessing which customers are high risk and the damage this can cause to cash flow and profits.