New, more efficient equipment is great, but it won't help your company until your employees have learned how to use it.

Quebecor America Inc.'s president and CEO John T. Collins has found a way to guarantee that the vendor's trainer, as well as his own managers and operators, work quickly to get the new machines on-line and the employees completely trained to run them. He withholds full payment until his operators confirm that they are 100% ready to go.

In addition to ensuring that the trainer works fast and well, the Needham, Mass., printing company's strategy ensures that employees take responsibility for fully understanding the equipment they'll be expected to make productive.

"It's as much psychological motivation as it is training," Collins says. "There's pride on the part of the employees when they tell their managers that they're ready to go.

Consequently, they're much more motivated to do the job well."