October 25, 2001, 12:00 AM

Sailing through the test: Boat retailer tests store staff online

MarineMax, a recreational boat retailer, is using a web-based system from Test.com to measure how well store and headquarters personnel know the computer systems that MarineMax uses.

MarineMax, a recreational boat retailer with 50 sales offices in 14 states, is using the web to test how well store and headquarters personnel know the computer systems that MarineMax uses. MarineMax is using a system provided by Test.com Inc.

MarineMax was created from five boat retailers who came together in 1998. They were all using the same computer systems, but were using them in different ways, says Ted Schwartz, director of training. "With this, we can gauge what level of knowledge our people are at and make sure that we are all on the same page about how we want our business to be run," Schwartz says.

Test.com provides its services on an ASP basis, maintaining the material and administering the tests from its own servers. MarineMax has access to the system so it can create its own tests. Test.com provides the results of the tests to MarineMax, then transfers all the test data to MarineMax`s own system so it can analyze the results to find where numbers of people are having trouble.

MarineMax has introduced the test system to senior and regional management and expects to roll it out to the stores within 10 days, Schwartz says. MarineMax expects as many as 600 sales, service, parts and administrative staff will use the testing service out of 1,000 store staffers.

Until now MarineMax did not test employees` knowledge of systems and procedures, Schwartz says. MarineMax pays a flat fee of $3,000 a year for unlimited use.

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