At the stroke of 10 A.M. Terrell Carlton begins his surveyor training session. “Welcome to the Trimble Field to Finish webinar,” he says as he sits alone in the CSDS training center walking a half-dozen surveyors through a live demo of Trimble Business Center and Trimble Access. His trainees are all listening – and watching – from the convenience of their home or office.
The webinar allows participants to “raise their hand” electronically or type in questions, and if someone can’t participate in the live webinar, there’s always a replay available on the CSDS YouTube channel.
“Webinars make surveyor training a lot more convenient for everybody involved,” Carlton says.
Carlton leads a CSDS team of four who provide training and support for surveyors, mapping professionals, contractors, and other users of geospatial products. Their audience ranges from people who have never used the equipment before to field experts who need a little help with a specific issue. In addition to webinars, the training team also offers live classes at its training center or customized training at an individual customer’s location. They have also put together workflow guides and custom manuals that are focused on the actual step-by-step procedures for running geospatial equipment.
“The training makes us better at tech support, and the tech support makes us better at training,” Carlton says. “When I’m doing a training, I can point out, ‘Pay attention to this because we get a lot of tech support calls,’ and highlight the questions we commonly get.”
While surveyor training is more proactive – teaching customers how to use equipment correctly – the support division functions like “your backup crew,” Carlton says. “If something goes wrong in the field or you have questions on a project and need subject matter expertise on a specific question(s), that’s where we can come in and provide that. So that’s our value-add to buying equipment or software from CSDS. You have our expertise to back you up.”
Carlton’s father, Alan, is a land surveyor and professional engineer, so young Terrell literally grew up in the business. “I have a picture of me at 1 year old in my dad’s survey vest, sitting up in the front seat of the truck,” he says.
During his teenage years, Carlton worked summers on a surveying crew before heading to college to study business. His background and experience have all come together at CSDS, where he has earned the designation as a Trimble Certified Trainer.
“A lot of customers go out of their way to call me or send a nice message about the training and support they received from Terrell and the team,” says CSDS President Tom Cardenas. “Our focus is trying to make training as accessible as possible to our customers. We’re trying to get them the most relevant information for the equipment and software that they’re using. That’s how we can help customers realize more value for the investment they’ve made.”
As geospatial equipment becomes more sophisticated and capable – with more features packed into every version of the hardware – Carlton sees an increased need for surveyor training and support.
“This equipment will do an increasing number of things that you don’t want it to do – that is, if you don’t know how to tell it not to do them,” Carlton says. “The challenge is to know how to do exactly what you want to do and not get extraneous results that are not part of your solution that might create errors down the road.”
To take advantage of an upcoming webinar or live training session, contact CSDS at our toll-free number, 1-800-243-1414, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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