Total Cost of Training & Purchasing Power - Consolidating Your RAMP Training Decisions

We know about RAMP Training, for Server/Sellers and Owner/Managers. And we know how important it is, both for maintaining licensee compliance with the PLCB, but also with protecting your customers, staff, and public safety in general. Sometimes making decisions about, and keeping on top of training (and all the rules that go with it) might be a hassle, to say the least. It might even be a major pain in your neck. There’s a way to make it a lot easier on both yourself and your staff, while maintaining compliance and ensuring safe and responsible service and sales.

The Reasons We Need to Train
You know what can happen in an establishment that deals with alcohol - just about anything, right? So, we have to take certain precautions that are preventative in nature. We can’t just be reactive. Every time some kind of trouble breaks out, THEN we do something about it? That won’t work, and it might even cost you your license. Read our blog “PLCB Compliance Means Risk Management for Your Business” for some pretty good reasons why training is the number one proactive risk management tool to protect your establishment - and your livelihood. There’s also the legal - both civil and criminal - aspect of furnishing alcohol in the Commonwealth. We need to know the rules and abide by them - which is why we train our staff; bottom line - to keep everyone safe. Our blog “Dram Shop Liability Laws in Pennsylvania” gives some insight on just how long regulation of alcohol has been around and how important it is to public safety.

Making the Most of Your Training
So, it’s been established that we need to train - it’s the law (for a reason). How do you make sure you’re making the most of your training? That is, getting the quality and risk management you need to not only make the compliance grade, but also educate and inform your staff so they can protect themselves and your business? One way is to know what your “Total Cost of Training” (TCT) is. What is TCT? It’s basically a holistic equation of the time and money and quality of training your employees (even if you don’t personally cover the cost of their training). Let’s take a look at how it works.

What Does the Total Cost of Training Look Like?
Here’s an illustration. Let’s say you have multiple locations, and you cover the cost of your employees’ training. You purchase an online course that takes 2 hours to complete. You pay the employee for those two hours. During the training, the employee logs off and can’t remember their username and password to log back in. The employee calls support and spends 10 minutes on the phone (or worse, has to submit a tech request that has a 24-hour response time). An hour into the training, the online course freezes. Another call is placed to support, and another 20 minutes is spent trying to “fix” a broken course (again, this could have at least a 24-hour response time). The employee finally makes it through the training, and fails the exam - hey, it happens! The employee re-takes the exam and passes. Now where is the certificate? Can you download and print it immediately? Can a manager instantly view an employees’ stats? How much time did that ONE employee just have to spend in a two-hour course? If you multiply this by ten, twenty, one hundred or a thousand employees - you’ve got a problem. This is going to be like herding cats.

How Training Can Be a Solution
At the 2018 Retail Licensee Seminar, the PLCB said “From a risk management perspective, your first line of defense should be RAMP training for ALL employees”. This is not only coming straight from your regulatory agency, it’s sound business advice for any company. Now more than ever, applicants are searching for companies that are willing and able to train them. Ripplematch (an agency that works to align high school graduates with jobs and internships) did a recent survey of 2019 high school graduates, wherein professional development was ranked as the number one factor in applying for and accepting a job. In the hospitality industry you probably already know turnover is extremely high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2018 report, Accommodations and Food Services industry was at 74.9% turnover. Annual 2019 data has yet to be released. It’s worth noting that this number can rise to well above 100% turnover, (e.g. the fast food sector being one of the higher turnover segments in the industry). The BLS only segments as far as Accommodations and Food Services in general. “Normal” turnover in other industries is considered anywhere from 10 - 30%. So, what does that mean? Very high turnover in our industry means that we have to deal with a constant influx of new personnel, and how best to equip them to make your business succeed? Teach them. Train them to succeed, and to help you succeed. That’s one reason why the PLCB’s RAMP Certification program for licensed establishments has 3 different types of training as a requirement for certification - Server/Seller, Owner/Manager, and New Hire Onboarding/Orientation. Our blog “The Benefits of RAMP Certification” outlines the steps to get certified (and why you should, if you’re not already). Training is a solution to issues like high turnover, especially if you partner with the right training provider, and consolidate your training choices.

Consolidating Your Purchasing Power
Here’s an example of consolidating your training choices and your purchasing power. Although your operation may not be as big as this giant, the theory of top-down training decisions is the same. Marriott International Inc. (a name we all know) was recently ranked on Monster as one of the Top 10 Companies for amazing training development programs. Their training programs are rigorous, plenty, and widely available to ALL staff. For example, they claim to provide 15 minutes of training every day to every hourly international employee, as well as dozens of other training programs for all tiers of staff. And it pays off, with Marriott not only being one of the most recognized hospitality names (in history) but also a $45.3 Billion company with tons of other well-known subsidiaries. They’re doing something right - and one of those things might be training. It’s streamlined and efficient and the overall system comes from Marriott Corporate HR. A consolidated training system puts everyone on the same page. Large companies like Marriott, that are multi-layered, with subsidiaries and franchisee locations, (AND smaller companies with maybe just a few locations) can make their training budgets effective and powerful through the use of a consolidated enterprise approach with one provider who is a true ally and partner. “Software as a Solution” (SaaS) and cloud-based training is the new normal now, and can make things a lot easier on employees and owners. For example, bulk-purchased voucher systems, branded training sites, and integrated training portals through the companies’ existing online HR systems can make things like reporting, recordkeeping, and manager access seamless. More importantly, a meaningful relationship with an expert provider whose sole purpose is to maintain compliance and reduce risk management can take an establishment’s business to the next level, no matter how successful they already are.

Recognizing your Total Cost of Training (TCT) (in terms of time, money, and quality - remember the example above) and Consolidating your Purchasing Power (making decisions from the top down instead of letting folks find their own way) - these decisions are tools in your risk management toolkit. You know you have to train - it’s the law, and it’s the right thing to do. You know this industry has high turnover, so we’re training a lot of people, all the time. So, it makes sense to go the next step to making unified decisions about how we train. The answer lies in who you choose to partner with for your training. You want a training provider who’s an expert in the industry and willing to go all the way with you on every level of risk management and compliance - for the success and safety of you, your employees, and your business.

If you have any questions at all concerning RAMP Certification or RAMP Server/Seller Training, we’re here to make your life (and your business) worry-free. We’re currently offering a FREE 15-minute telephone consultation with our Compliance Expert, in which you can talk about anything and everything RAMP-related and get solid business advice. No Strings Attached. You can grab this opportunity just by clicking here and reserving a calendar spot, or fill out the form below to have us call you directly. Either way is fine - and it’s up to you! is the largest and most widely used online RAMP Server/Seller training provider in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with over 75,000 people trained. Our team collectively has over 25 years of regulatory compliance training experience and 95% of our users pass the RAMP course on the first attempt. We’re experts in the industry and we’re here to help you and your business succeed.

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