June 21, 2019

Whitlock’s Farrell Wood explains why CTS training means better business.

Few integrators invest in staff training to the extent of Whitlock. Of its 800+ U.S. employees, more than 300 hold a CTS®, CTS-D, or CTS-I certification, says Farrell Wood, PMP, CTS-D, CTS-I, Whitlock’s National Quality Assurance & Training Manager. It’s Wood’s job to analyze educational needs and implement company-wide trainings to ensure that staff are fulfilled, their work is at the highest level achievable, best practices and standards are followed, and customers receive a service above and beyond expectations.

Farrell Wood, PMP, CTS-D, CTS-I | AVIXA Farrell Wood, PMP, CTS-D, CTS-I

The company’s CTS training program is a collaboration with AVIXA that provides scheduled CTS Prep classes held onsite and taught by AVIXA instructors. The convenience of holding the trainings close to home and on company time pays off in many ways, ultimately resulting in more certified employees.

“At our most recent training, we took advantage of onsite testing immediately following the class. Twenty people attended the class and 18 got their CTS right after it. That was the first time we’ve taken advantage of AVIXA’s mobile testing service and it was really impactful. We’re adopting that model going forward,” he says, noting that in the past, class attendees have taken the test at their local testing centers up to a month following the training.

Whitlock’s main goal, says Wood, is to increase knowledge in its team members; having a high number of CTS holders also positively impacts the company’s marketing and recruitment efforts.

“We have increased our certified staff by 150 in the past two and a half years,” says Wood. “We have a balanced and diverse employee base of technical staff, account managers, and project coordinators who have taken the trainings and earned their CTS. It allows them to understand the business and the technology better, which benefits everyone.”

Wood says he would like to see an even greater proportion of CTS-certified staff, and the company is adding more resources to its training programs, including investing in AVIXA educator training for several of its own employees so it has certified instructors in-house.

“Our next big push is to train at the high-end level, and we are looking to add CTS-D and CTS-I training to what we have already implemented with the CTS. A few years ago, we started training our technicians, particularly new hires, with AVIXA’s installation skills credentials training, and that has been going well, but we identified a need for employees with higher-end skill sets. Rather than go outside of the company to find those people, we can provide consistent and frequent trainings to elevate our own staff. It’s truly worth the investment.”

Interested in adding more CTS holders to your organization? Contact AVIXA’s Customer Service Team, +1.703.273.7200, to create a customized plan to meet your goals. Ask about how to bring the CTS exams right to your office.