BUILDING SKILLS THAT EVOLVE WITH THE BUSINESS
In recent years, Smith’s international expansion strategy has been highly successful, enabling the company to become a global leader in the electronics distribution industry. To support this strategy, the company needed to overcome a number of scalability-related challenges.
Mark Bollinger, chief globalization officer, explains: “The market that we’re in moves very quickly. There’s innovation every single day, and it’s important for our people to be on top of every new development in the industry. However, as we grew, training our teams was becoming more and more difficult.”
Dr. Lisa Cairns, director of e-learning, adds: “Face-to-face training wasn’t reaching all the people that we needed to reach. It was a huge challenge to try to get trainers in front of new employees in 16 different offices around the world.”
Smith decided to find a learning platform that would empower its entire global workforce to enhance their knowledge and skills, and enable them to learn whenever, wherever and however was most convenient for them.
“Corporate learning needs to be truly global,” says Bollinger. “Everyone across all offices should have access to the same level of information and the same opportunities. We wanted a platform that would give us an efficient, consistent way to achieve those goals. That’s why we turned to D2L.”
MEETING THE KEY REQUIREMENTS
As Smith researched its options for a learning platform, it became clear that D2L would be able to meet all the key requirements.
Since the company’s learners and trainers had not used a learning platform before, it was critical that it be easy to use and quick to develop new course materials.
Dr. Cairns says: “What makes a company able to thrive and grow is the knowledge that it has internally. We saw the potential of D2L to empower our Smith U team to record our subject-matter experts and then to build our own courses instead of just relying on third-party content.”
Equally, since the company would be reducing its emphasis on in-person training, it was vital that the solution provide ways to support customized, robust assessment and reporting capabilities to enable the company to monitor course performance and ensure that learners were gaining the skills they needed. Accessibility was also critically important.
“In some cities, our employees need to commute long distances by train, for example,” says Bollinger. “The fact that D2L would enable them to make that time productive by accessing their courses from their mobile phones or tablets was really important to us.”