CHICAGO — The National Cattlemen's Beef Association here has offered its “Beef Training Camp” program for four years now, but only recently has it taken its efforts online. Since converting into an electronic format in October, page views of the Beef Training Camp page have doubled.
“Nearly all of the major retailers have either conducted a Beef Training Camp session or have incorporated Beef Training Camp into their own training programs,” said Randy Irion, director of retail marketing for NCBA.
“As we were updating it, we decided to make it Web-based, and that has definitely struck a chord with our audience. I don't think anybody can afford anymore to have just volumes and volumes of books out there dedicated to various topics. What they want to do is, when they're ready to find out information or share information with their staff associates about crating, cooking or safe handling, they can just bring that information up on an as-needed basis. It also gives us the opportunity to update the information at a much reduced cost vs. updating printed materials.”
The program, offered on www.beefretail.org, gives retailers the tools to create customized training sessions for meat associates using fact sheets, slide presentations and videos. It also helps gather information about new beef cuts, including preparation pointers and cooking methods to pass on to consumers in addition to quarterly graphs and charts on consumer trends in the meat case.
Besides converting into an electronic format, NCBA added Customer Service and Hispanic Marketing modules, as well as up-to-date consumer trend data and information on new cuts such as the Ranch Steak. The Beef Training Camp modules can be customized for various training scenarios, including new employee introductions, refresher courses on specific topics, periodic customer service training and preparation for the various selling seasons, such as summer grilling, Irion told SN.