For years, IBT Industrial Solutions has earned a reputation for providing some of the best training in the industry. How do they do it?
64 Years of Training
“People ask me all the time, ‘What’s your secret to success with training?’” said Stephen Cloud, Chairman of the Board at IBT. “It’s no secret. You just commit the time, employees, and money to do it. We feel it pays a huge dividend.”
Cloud’s parents founded IBT in 1949. The company has been training both employees and customers ever since.
“IBT has always been big on training,” said Gary Hense, Director of Training/Marketing Services. “We’ve trained customers from the beginning, and we’re noted in the industry for having the best-trained employees in the business. Our training takes priority, always.”
More: See a complete list of training classes.
Rigorous Employee Training
Hense added that the training culture at IBT starts with employees.
“Every one of our employees receives extensive training,” he said. “Our staff are not just order-takers, they’re actually product experts.”
The rigorous, 5-year training program includes the IBT Academy, which helps employees attain mastery in Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master’s-level product and management training. Most employees attend an intense, 2-week school at the IBT Academy—that includes homework and challenging coursework.
Compensation and promotions are often tied to completion of the IBT training program.
“It’s an ongoing effort,” said Cloud. “It’s a system, not a one-time project.”
Huge Variety of Customer Training
IBT offers classes to customers on a wide variety of topic areas—to help them:
- Reduce product failures
- Improve safety
- Operate/install equipment correctly
- Get the most productivity from staff
More: Register for a class
Classes run at branch training schools across the Midwest, at customer plants, and through special events—such as the Tech X 500 trade show.
Hense said that the in-plant training, which turns the customer’s worksite into a learning lab, is the most popular. Other classes include:
- Electrical 101 & 102
- Hydraulics 101 & 102
- Fall Protection
- Preventing Bearing, Lubrication, and Drive Failures
- ARC Flash Prevention
“It’s all about making the lives of our customers easier,” Cloud said. “If we’re not doing that, then we’re not doing our job.”
Camoplast Solideal Troubleshoots Problems More Quickly
Camoplast Solideal, the global manufacturer of off-road tires and rubber tracks, has used IBT’s training for several years. Their staff routinely attends a wide variety of classes, including: hydraulics, electrical, bearings, and lubrication.
A few years ago, they invited IBT to do a 6-week “Installation and Maintenance” series onsite at their plant in Emporia, Kansas. The program covered everything from v-belts, to bushings, to roller chains.
“The knowledge that IBT’s trainers bring to the table is amazing,” said Matt Navarro, a Maintenance Manager for Camoplast’s Emporia plant. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at in my job today without those classes.”
Navarro oversees 3 work teams, including a 6-man maintenance crew that addresses all downtime calls for the plant. He sends all new hires to the Hydraulics 101 class—and also to the Electrical 101 class if they don’t have an electrical background.
“My team understands how to detect and troubleshoot problems quicker and more aggressively, thanks to IBT’s training,” Navarro said. “The instructors really break it down and make it easy. It helps us to be more proactive with our maintenance.”
Getting More Life Out of Products
“We want our customers to get the highest possible value out of our products,” Cloud said. “We want you to be successful and profitable—so you keep coming back. We’ve had some customers for 64 years.”
Cloud said that IBT has always been more interested in creating lasting relationships with customers, rather than generating short-term sales.
“We don’t just want to sell product,” Cloud said. “We’re interested in making your plant more efficient—and making your life easier—for the long-term.”