Allied Building Products

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Background


Allied Building Products Corp. is a leading distributor of a wide range of building products for remodeling and new construction in both the residential and commercial markets. The company started in 1950 as a family-operated roofing and custom sheet metal fabrication business and through a strong commitment to both customers and manufacturers, the company is one of the largest and most successful distributors in the building materials industry. Allied Building Products has over 3,100 employees and operates in over 200 locations, across the United States.

Business Problem


Allied Building Products has always taken great pride in offering customers timely delivery of products, often within 24 hours. With new compliance regulations for electronic record keeping coupled with and an increase in customer demand, the company implemented a new transportation management system — to easily track deliveries, improve shipping efficiencies, and increase customer satisfaction.

The training rollout for the new proprietary software required Allied Building Products’ six person training team to train dispatchers and truck drivers across 200 locations around the country. The company could not risk having the entire team inaccessible for such an extended period of time. “We knew we needed training support to accelerate our training schedule but we were apprehensive about using external resources for such an important project,” said Debbie VanderClute, Support Services Manager at Allied Building Products. Furthermore, employees were concerned about adopting the new software and tablet application so the right training approach was critical to the success of the project.

Selection Process


At first, Allied Building Products planned to use the software company’s specialists to provide the training because of their product expertise, but soon realized the team had time and resource constraints that could negatively impact the project. The company began exploring several training providers for consideration. After several in-depth discussions with a dedicated specialist at The Training Associates (TTA), the decision was made to partner with TTA. Allied Building Products was impressed with the quality of the training professionals presented, TTA’s training delivery expertise, and cost-effective training delivery approach.

TTA Solution


TTA provided a flexible and cost-effective training delivery solution. To supplement Allied Building Products’ training team, two experienced software trainers were carefully selected and deployed for the twelve month project. The company’s training team facilitated a Train-the-Trainer session for the TTA trainers to master the training content and to ensure a uniform training experience for the employees. The trainers were strategically based in areas needed to cover the geographical region of training in fifteen states.  The Allied Building Products and TTA project teams collaborated to manage the logistical details, successful delivery of training at each location, and weekly quality assurance communications.

The training program blended instructor-led and virtual instructor-led training for  two distinct groups of learners. Six to eight weeks before the software launch, the dispatchers received ninety minute virtual instructor-led training sessions for five days. The truck drivers received onsite instructor-led training for the software and tablet training. This training schedule allowed employees to receive the interactive training, practice the application, and get one-on-one support. “TTA trainers were real road warriors, often traveling two weeks at a time,” said VanderClute. “The trainers were always where they needed to be and I never had to worry about the training logistics or travel details.”

Business Results


By adding TTA’s training professionals to the team to deliver the proprietary software and tablet training, Allied Building Products was able to decrease the company’s time-to-training – saving time, money, and internal training resources. The training project was completed five months earlier than scheduled which meant the company complied with regulation standards sooner, realized shipment efficiencies earlier, and improved customer shipment tracking faster.  Also, the company’s training team was able to focus on other important company training projects during the twelve month project. “The caliber of TTA’s training professionals was impressive and their training expertise really made the training project a success,” said VanderClute.  “The consultant trainers were professional, self-sufficient, and acted seamlessly as part of my training team.”

The employees were initially apprehensive about using the new software, but the trainers eased any concerns by delivering engaging and interactive training sessions. “The training was adopted successfully by our truck drivers who really valued using the new software and tablet technology,” stated VanderClute.