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What’s the most important thing an audio visual team can have? At McWaters, it’s the desire to never stop learning.
Ongoing professional development is so important,” said Michael Sweeny, Director of Technology Operations at McWaters. “It helps you understand the full range of capabilities your equipment has, because at the end of the day there’s a big difference between knowing how to turn it on and knowing how to get everything out of it.
As the audio visual team at McWaters continues to grow, Sweeny has been aggressive in ensuring each member of his team has access to both manufacturer-specific and industry-specific training. To date, the team has three members who have passed the Certified Technical Specialist exam, an accredited, double-blind exam developed by InfoComm international. The team was confident in their abilities before the certification, but the process helped them speak to the proven research and science behind many of their audio visual design decisions. And they’re not stopping there. Currently, members of the team are working on their Certified Technical Specialist Installer and Certified Technical Specialist Designer certifications.
Now that the technical team is certified, Sweeny is looking to engage the sales team in a similar process.
“I’d love to see all the sales force certified, because it gives them more confidence to talk about the technical side of the business with clients,” Sweeny said. “With the training, they’ll be able to back up their recommendations with the latest research and industry-proven facts.”
This sort of cross-disciplinary training isn’t new at McWaters, a company that prides itself on being able to provide multiple service lines to its customers. The audio visual team also holds regular in-house trainings with the sales team to help them learn all the capabilities of their products, especially the new ones.
“You need to be able to understand the intimate details of the products so you can create customized solutions for your customers,” Sweey said. “That’s why our team constantly pursues manufacturer-specific training—like ones from Biamp, Crestron, and Extron—and we pass that knowledge to the sales team.”
The manufacturer training helps both the audio visual team and the sales team understand specific products better, but it also provides a great benefit for the customers. Businesses that have certifications from manufacturers can often offer those products at a lower price and have better access to a wider range of product solutions.
“At the end of the day it’s all about giving our customers the best solutions possible,” Sweeny said. “And having highly trained and certified professionals on our team is a great way to do that.”