In the United States, the average amount of money spent on training purchasing and procurement professionals is about $800/year and 28-30 hours per year. The biggest and best companies provide about 100 hours per year in training. That’s much better, but by comparison, sales professionals take an average of 200 hours in training for their profession. What can you do personally to educate and train yourself to become more valuable to your company? What can your company do to provide more training to its employees? There are many different training programs available for various cost levels. Today we thought we’d explore some nontraditional methods you may want to consider to engage your employees. There was a service called Extranormal Technologies that just closed their business in July 2013. It provided a way to turn a text script into animated videos. Here are a couple of samples from YouTube: Here are some other resources for you to do similar things with videos to create additional education and training for your employees: GoAnimate: Founded in 2007, it has now grown to service over 5 millions individuals, schools and businesses. At the time of this posting, business plans are priced at $25/mo, $38/mo, and $50/mo. Muvizu: Users can create videos in as little as 20 minutes and just recently came out of beta in April 2013. The software can be downloaded and used at no charge, but you do have to pay to remove the watermark from your videos and with that you get full commercial rights, are able to sell or make profit from the use of the videos. Moviestorm: This company has been around since August 2008 and has about 160,000 registered users. It is used primarily by film students to learn, develop and build their portfolios. However, businesses like Oracle Corporation and Fujitsu have used this software to create low-cost training videos. You can download a 14-day free trial and then there is a one-time fee of $225. Additional content packs are available for $75/each. But once you but it, unlike others, all creations, content and otherwise are your property. No watermarks or other fees. iClone by Reallusion: iClone is one of only 3 (Muvizu, Moviestorm, and Autodesk Motionbuilder) animation software programs that allow animators to see the results of their work immediately using real-time WYSIWYG. You also get royalty free use of anything you create even when you use their asset library. Download a free 30-day Pro trial and then after that select from Standard ($79.95) or Pro ($199.95). Autodesk Motionbuilder: Originally named Filmbox, it was renamed Motionbuilder when acquired by Autodesk. It is primarily used in film, game, and television. Real life use includes Assassin’s Creed, Killzone 2, and Avatar. You can download a free 30-day trial, but will have to go through a local reseller to purchase. Powtoon: PowToon utilizes cloud-based software with its beta version being released in August 2012. It is free to use, but you will have a watermark, only SD video, and limited assets library. You can upgrade to your choice of two premium services. The Pro is $59/mo or paid annually equates to $19/mo. The agency plan is very feature rich and is $130/mo or paid annually works out to $57/mo.