Most people learn how to use a new piece of software through the process of trial and error. Playing with the capabilities of the software until they become comfortable. Generally this process does work, however, it always leaves an element of the software untapped which means that the software is never used to its full potential. This may be acceptable for office-based applications, however, in the production environment, not knowing how to do something can result in lost revenue due to work being turned away.
Local cutting systems specialist AM.CO.ZA realises that customers need to be able to make full use of the software it supplies in order for them to achieve their full earning capacity. As such it has developed a website dedicated to offering customers training videos on how to use the software they buy from the company and to achieve maximum productivity. Softwaretraining.co.za is dedicated to assisting customers in achieving the maximum productivity from their software. It is a repository of training and instructional videos presenting everything from the basics through to the most complex topics for users of all skill and knowledge levels.
The site sets out training videos on a number of subjects and topics, all of which are offered to existing customers completely free-of-charge depending on the systems and applications they are using. The website works hand-in-hand with other offerings where customers can access libraries of templates which they can use, also free-of-charge, to give their business the initial boost while they are learning how to use their systems.
An example of one such training series is that which addresses TruCut RDWorks – a design software application which works with and for the range of laser cutters supplied by AM.CO.ZA. When customers purchase a laser cutter from AM.CO.ZA, they receive the standard operational training from the technical staff which will allow them to carry out the very basic operating procedures of the laser and the design software. This is standard with most suppliers. However, in order to assist customers to learn the additional functionality of the laser and the design software, the dedicated website hosts extensive video series on a range of software solutions in short and easy to assimilate pieces which users and operators can watch and learn in their own time.
The series on TruCut RDWorks covers every aspect of using the software in small, topic-specific segments designed to explain, in plain language, how the application works and how specific results can be achieved. Apart from basic operational computer knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of design software, the user does not need to have any prior knowledge of the software. Included in the series is an overview of the Main Menu and what it entails. The series of videos starts at the very beginning outlining the various tools and explaining how and what they can be used for. It then goes through each tool in detail to allow the user to become fully proficient in their uses.
As an example, with the text tool – the first tool introduced – an overview is given followed by the different aspects of working with text including, among others, Text Location, Fonts, Editable and Non-editable text, Spacing, Scaling and gradually moving through the various elements until more complex items such as creating numbers which start with Zero. All of these lessons are designed to allow the user to become totally comfortable with the software and to attain a high level of proficiency in their own time and at their own pace without the time constraints imposed by a paid instructor. Users can watch the videos as often as needed.
The next section is the Image Library where users are shown how to import and export images, how to work with and use Vector images and how to work with the Raster process and the Vector process. File Parameters shows them how to achieve things like image rotation and graphics editing before moving onto the more complex concepts such as Auto-close Curves.
While most training courses offered by suppliers will focus on a structured learning programme, the videos on Softwaretraining.co.za are presented by an existing user, someone who has learned all the short cuts and as such, the series includes a Tips and Tricks section where new users can benefit from the short cuts which have been found by an experienced user. These include handling light layers, grouped cuts and language settings among other things.
In addition to understanding how the software works, there is a section which deals specifically with the use of the software as it relates to the laser cutting process with sections on cutting speed and power, laser position, file loading and cutting. There is also a section which addresses engraving preparation which looks at the process of using external design applications such as PhotoShop as well as, importing those images into TruCut RDWorks.
There is even a section for customers who use the two different design applications supplied by AM.CO.ZA – TruCut and VinylCut to see how the applications differ and where their specific strengths lie.
Once users become more proficient, there are videos available on how to do things faster and more efficiently such as using short cuts and hotkeys which give users the opportunity to increase their productivity. Other more complex processes such as shape transformation and nesting of cutting patterns for cutting multiple items at once are also dealt with.
AM.CO.ZA does not believe that customers should be left to their own devices when it comes to learning how to use the systems and solutions it provides. By presenting customers with the library of training videos, which they can use – in their own time and at their own pace – to learn proven methods of how to achieve optimum results from both the hardware and software solutions they have purchased, AM.CO.ZA helps to ensure that its customers will be productive and profitable.