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Re: RE: training question

The best source of credibility for equipment and processes can be found from the businesses that have used the equipment and not from the vendors. From my experience in the area of water-based cleaning equipment and cleaners in southern California, having a business provide a brief (5-10 minute) overview  on how well or poorly a product worked for a specific process conveyed a lot more credibility to her/his peers in the business community.  When a business responds to impromtu workshop questions in the language of that business, one is apt to get a more honest answer.

Vendors rarely volunteer regulatory information and requirements related to their products such as the testing of spent baths to determine their hazardous nature, permitting for on-site treatment including water evaporators or clarifiers and/or disposal to the sewer,  hazardous waste manifesting and transportation, and the unknown toxicity of  new cleaning chemicals.  I have observed cases where lack of conclusive toxicological data for various water-based cleaners has been marketed as a safe alternatives by vendors even when the cleaners contain organic compounds similar to known carcinogens or teratogenic compounds. Vendors are in the business of selling a product, not to get the business community in regulatory or health and safety compliance.

My training team, P&PS,  has used vendors many times to provide  credibility
to  in-depth P2 workshops and have almost always been very pleased with the
results.  We provide the P2 philosophy and an introduction to the technology
which is a shell around the kernel of information that the vendors provide.
If your audience is industry personnel, they tend to trust the knowledge of
vendors and are very familiar with how to separate hype from fact.  They do
not tend to trust the "industrial" knowledge (read experience) of
"government folk" or "those university people".

Remember that vendors are in the business to sell a product.  Their offer to
help provides them exposure, name recognition, and sometimes contacts.  A
few vendors do not realize that this is enough and try to sell their product
also.  But in my experience these are very few.

What do other trainers think?

Steve Hillenbrand
Industrial Waste Reduction Engineer
Process & Prevention Services, EESE
Environmental Research and Services
River System Operations and Environment, TVA

(423) 632-8489
(432) 632-3616 (Fax)
Internet address: sjhillenbrand@tva.gov 
TVA P&PS HomePage:  www.tva.gov/orgs/iwr 

> ----------
> From: 	Burton Hamner[SMTP:bhamner@mindspring.com] 
> Reply To: 	Burton Hamner
> Sent: 	Thursday, August 05, 1999 1:30 AM
> To: 	p2tech@great-lakes.net 
> Subject: 	training question
> Hi all.  A recent P2 training event leads to this question:
> Considering that P2 programs have reputations to protect, is it
> appropriate
> to have vendors with specific technical solutions participate in an
> industry-specific P2 course?
> I ask because I heard that the recent event sponsor refused to allow such
> vendor participation because it would be "too commercial", although there
> was a person ready to help who was not going to do a company sales pitch
> but a presentation on the specific applications of specific hardware.  As
> a
> result, the participants left with some ideas about basic technologies but
> no idea about who sells them, "inside" tips about how they work, what it
> is
> like to install and use them, what they cost, etc.
> How can this tension between "commercialism" and the real need for
> specific
> solutions be resolved in training in P2 training?  My own feeling is that
> P2 training should be "pure" as advertised, but that an OPTIONAL vendor
> presentation the next day, or after lunch, would be ok and useful as long
> as it was clearly advertised as complementary but not necessary.
> I hope this stimulates some good discussion.  The US govt and some states
> are sending people all over the place doing P2 training, and the local
> vendors of appropriate tech are asking to participate, and now often have
> the door shut on them.  This does not seem to be very helpful all around.
> How to balance these interests?  Any thoughts?
> Burt Hamner
> ********************************************************************
> Burton Hamner
> President, Hamner and Associates LLC
> Adjunct Professor, Asian Institute of Management
> 4343 4th Avenue NW, Seattle Washington USA 91807
> Tel/fax: 206-789-5499 (call before sending a fax)
> Email:  bhamner@mindspring.com 
> Web:  The Sustainable Business Webspace, www.mindspring.com/~bhamner 
> ********************************************************************

Robert Ludwig
P.O. Box 806
Sacramento, CA 95812-0806
(916) 324-2659 Fax (916) 327-4494
E-mail:  rludwig@dtsc.ca.gov
Please note my new e-mail address!