Training your employees to use the latest version of computer software is a major challenge. Meeting this challenge is critical for Diva Garza, president of International Team Consultants (ITC), a personnel services firm, based in Houston. The 5,000 temporary employees Garza sends to customers each year must have up-to-date computer skills.

Most employment agencies train their temps by using self-paced computer tutorials. Garza differentiated her firm from the competition in 1996 by investing in a state-of-the-art training center that provides live instruction. The result: readily available, well-trained temporary workers for ITC's customers.

Garza offers empty seats in the classroom to her customers free of charge to train their permanent employees as well. Coupons for the free training are distributed to customers on the basis of how much business they do with ITC. This value-added service doesn't cost ITC much, but it's a powerful incentive for customers to choose the agency.

"Firms can't rest on their laurels," says Garza."They must continually find innovative ways to add value to their relationships with customers." The training has paid off for ITC: Revenues are up 28% from 1996.

Copyright 1997 G+J USA Publishing