Up­skill your staff and build cus­tomer con­fi­dence – Wood So­lu­tions Cam­pus – a free on­line train­ing plat­form

Australasian Timber - - TRAINING -

Wood So­lu­tions Cam­pus pro­vides tim­ber in­dus­try em­ploy­ers and staff with the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess an in­te­grated on­line train­ing pro­gram de­signed to de­velop their sales skills – and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion - by in­creas­ing their knowl­edge of the char­ac­ter­is­tics, prop­er­ties and per­for­mance of tim­ber and tim­ber prod­ucts.

Re­search by the in­dus­try ser­vices com­pany, For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Ltd (FWPA), has shown that two of the ma­jor con­cerns about us­ing wood and wood prod­ucts in the built en­vi­ron­ment are dura­bil­ity and main­te­nance. Th­ese fac­tors are of­ten brought into play by the spec­i­fi­ca­tion and use of prod­ucts that are not fit­for-pur­pose, or poor ma­te­rial han­dling prac­tices. The re­sults are un­happy cus­tomers and a poor re­flec­tion on the tim­ber in­dus­try and the use of wood. While there’s no sim­ple ‘sil­ver bul­let’ so­lu­tion, a large part of the an­swer lies in equip­ping peo­ple in the sup­ply chain with the knowl­edge they need to en­sure that the prod­ucts they sup­ply are suit­able for the in­tended ap­pli­ca­tion and that their per­for­mance will meet or ex­ceed cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions. Another fac­tor driv­ing the need for more knowl­edge­able sales peo­ple is the in­creased use of tim­ber sys­tems in mid-rise res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion, rang­ing from tra­di­tional stick fram­ing to new mass en­gi­neered tim­ber sys­tems (in­clud­ing cross lam­i­nated tim­ber (CLT), lam­i­nated ve­neer lum­ber (LVL) and glue lam­i­nated tim­ber (glu­lam). While some large tim­ber sup­pli­ers have in-house train­ing, un­til now there has not been a sin­gle source pro­vid­ing a com­pre­hen­sive ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram, cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from the prop­er­ties of tim­ber, the range of prod­ucts pro­duced, ap­pro­pri­ate han­dling, fin­ishes and even the ba­sic re­quire­ments of build­ing reg­u­la­tions and stan­dards. WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus, a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween FWPA and the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia’s Cen­tre for Sus­tain­able Ar­chi­tec­ture with Wood (CSAW), has been cre­ated to meet this need by pro­vid­ing topic-based ed­u­ca­tion and skills de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to Australia’s tim­ber and wood prod­ucts sup­ply chain.

Strength­ened de­mand

“In­creased in­ter­est in sus­tain­able de­sign with wood com­ple­mented by changes to the Na­tional Con­struc­tion Code has strength­ened de­mand for im­proved tim­ber prod­uct knowl­edge,” said the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia’s Cen­tre for Sus­tain­able Ar­chi­tec­ture with Wood (CSAW) Di­rec­tor, As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Gre­gory Nolan. “The course mod­ules were de­vel­oped fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion with in­dus­try about the most ap­pro­pri­ate top­ics and depth of knowl­edge of each that are re­quired in ev­ery­day work­ing sit­u­a­tions,” Pro­fes­sor Nolan ex­plained, “they are de­signed so that users can select in­di­vid­ual mod­ules that are rel­e­vant to them, or work through the whole course.” “They are also ideal as part of a for­mal in­duc­tion process for new em­ploy­ees, or as a re­fresher pro­gram for ex­ist­ing staff and to date more than 350 peo­ple have reg­is­tered to ac­cess the cur­rently avail­able cour­ses.” De­liv­ered on­line through the global-lead­ing Moo­dle plat­form, WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus pro­vides em­ploy­ers and par­tic­i­pants with a record of mod­ules stud­ied and as­sess­ment re­sults. This gives em­ploy­ers the op­tion of as­sess­ing the progress and re­sults of their em­ploy­ees as they move through the course mod­ules.

Self-paced

WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus is free-of-charge, self-paced and com­prises stand-alone mod­ules, each in­clud­ing video lec­tures and as­sess­ment tasks. The tim­ber mer­chant mod­ules in­clude:

Introduction to Build­ing Reg­u­la­tions and Stan­dards

Tim­ber Prod­uct Stan­dards

Build­ing Reg­u­la­tions De­sign for Dura­bil­ity De­sign for Bush­fire Manag­ing Tim­ber’s Mois­ture Con­tent

Tim­ber and Wood Prod­ucts

Tim­ber and Wood Prop­er­ties

Tim­ber’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Char­ac­ter­is­tics

Se­lect­ing Fit-for­pur­pose Tim­ber for Ap­pli­ca­tions

Tim­ber Grades and Grad­ing

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity for the tim­ber sup­ply chain,” said Eileen New­bury, FWPA’s Na­tional Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager, “and it’s some­thing that FWPA, as the in­dus­try ser­vices com­pany, can pro­vide to the ben­e­fit of not only our im­me­di­ate stake­hold­ers, but the wider in­dus­try base.” “Through other WoodSo­lu­tions ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing tech­ni­cal de­sign guides and other pub­li­ca­tions, the web­site and sem­i­nars, we’re work­ing hard with build­ing spec­i­fiers to ex­plain the new op­por­tu­ni­ties for tim­ber, es­pe­cially in mid-rise res­i­den­tial projects. In­creas­ing the knowl­edge and skills of peo­ple in the sup­ply chain will en­sure that they are well-placed to an­swer en­quiries from the de­sign and con­struc­tion sec­tors and max­imise sales op­por­tu­ni­ties.” Ms New­bury con­tin­ued to say that new mod­ules were be­ing added to WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus that pro­vided ex­tended knowl­edge for peo­ple in the sup­ply chain, while also be­ing suit­able for ter­tiary stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als, such as ar­chi­tects, build­ing de­sign­ers and engi­neers, who were in­volved in the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of wood and wood prod­ucts. “Even­tu­ally we see WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus as be­com­ing a re­source for tim­ber mer­chants, de­sign­ers and other spec­i­fiers, builders, trades­peo­ple and even owner-builders and en­thu­si­as­tic DIY’ers,” Ms New­bury said. For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit the WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus - www. cam­pus.woodso­lu­tions.com.au.

Eileen New­berry

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