It’s easy to be an IBT outside sales rep, inside salesperson or store manager. All you have to do is know nearly everything.
You have to understand electric motors, be knowledgeable about power transmission, be able to identify bearings at 20 paces, know how to explain how drives, controls, starters and clutches function. It doesn’t hurt to be pretty experienced with conveyors, warehouse equipment, material handling systems and automation.
You’ll also have ample opportunity to display your knowledge about conveyor belting and other industrial rubber products, as well.
And of course, familiarity with safety, fluid power and lubrication is just another piece of the day-to-day working knowledge you’ll need.
Oh, and by the way, this isn’t theoretical knowledge we are talking about. It is as practical as it can be. The purpose of all this information is to maintain complicated machinery and equipment – spread all through your territory. So, when your customer calls you because something isn’t working, you have a pretty good idea of what it is going to take to get it back in shape – pronto.
Although the amount of knowledge needed to perform as an IBT associate is daunting, the Company has developed a tried and true way of instruction. With a history of more than 50 years of developing people’s effectiveness at work, IBT has detailed curriculum, extensive training materials, dedicated resources and – most importantly – a total organizational commitment to learning and personal development.
The training ideal starts with a philosophy:IBT makes an investment in educating our people – and the people make the commitment to achieve extensive knowledge and capabilities in IBT products and the industries we service.
IBT even goes so far as to have our own complete media facility, including a 2,000 square foot studio, multiple computerized editing suites and a trained and experienced staff. Some of our outside clients include The Oprah Winfrey Show, ESPN and CNN.
As a result, IBT has long had a group of people who take pride in working with the organization and stay with us for most of their working life.
Each individual coming to work for IBT enters a five-year training process that involves class time, self-study, videos, tests and regular benchmarks of progress.
During the first year on the job, the new hires have on-the-job exposure to the products, brands, applications, specifications and solutions that make up the day-by-day business of IBT. They also use workbooks and videos developed by IBT in a self-study program that expands their knowledge of the business.
When they enter the intermediate phase of their education, they spend two weeks in the IBT Academy. This is an intensive training program that lasts all day, includes hands-on exposure to the products and equipment, includes nightly homework assignments and requires passing grades on daily tests and two comprehensive four-hour finals.
Graduation from the Academy doesn’t end the training process by any means. IBT people then begin a sequence of Product Educational Programs (PEP). These twenty-five training programs, which include a detailed exam at the end of each module, are to be completed within a two-year period. And, we take it very seriously. Each individual’s progress is tracked and the advancement they make within the organization is reliant upon how well they progress in the PEPs.
Promotions, bonuses, raises and evaluations take training accomplishment and completion into consideration. Since everybody knows how seriously the Company takes this process, they all seem to respond with diligent study and regular progress.
PEP is not the end of the training process, either. Individuals can enter into advanced training for management skills and/or advanced product knowledge.
There’s even a Masters Program that offers advanced product knowledge on an individually planned curriculum basis.
IBT’s commitment to training our people has extensive planned programs. But, the logic that fuels the program also permeates other aspects of our operations.
We maintain a library of training materials, in audio, video and printed formats. The material offered covers a broad range of knowledge about products, business operations, management, personal development and self-improvement.
By having a corporate culture that values knowledge, demands excellence and rewards progress, IBT has built a workforce that is dedicated to helping our customers solve problems. Our extensive inventory of parts and components is crucial to our success, of course. But we have always felt that knowing how things work is equally important in enabling us to make a difference. When time is of the essence – and it seems to always be – the additional expertise of IBT associates helps keep customer downtime to minimal levels and makes us proud and happy to respond quickly and correctly to the challenges we encounter every day.
And our continuing dedication to training means that the future of IBT will emphasize the professional development of our people’s knowledge, for the betterment of our customer’s operations.
In addition to internal training programs, IBT also offers a Customer School several times each year. This two-and-a-half day event at the Central Distribution Center in Greater Kansas City features theoretical and practical knowledge of a variety of components. Held in connection with select IBT suppliers, students get detailed and critical knowledge of bearing and power transmission specifications, technologies and systems. Ask IBT about the next scheduled session.