Extended Enterprise Training in Action

Extended enterprise training can help organizations promote brand image, increase customer retention, enhance agility, improve performance and sell their products to external audiences. Using a learning management system (LMS) to reach audiences outside of an organization is proving to be an emerging trend and good business for organizations in the financial services and insurance, manufacturing and health-care industries.

Financial Services and Insurance

The strategic management of workforce knowledge in the financial and insurance markets is complex and often times dispersed. In many organizations, this comprises a central headquarters and perhaps a few regional offices servicing a large external network of remote offices, brokerages, agents, financial advisors and customers. In such an environment, it is critical to consistently deliver a superior managed service combined with meeting compliance regulations in order to achieve profitable growth.

Armed with a true extended enterprise learning solution, insurance companies and financial services organizations can gain control over their far-reaching networks of brokers, dealers, advisors and customers. Knowledge and information can be made available to these audiences on-line as an effective means of managing certifications and upcoming expirations to avoid lapses in licensing. Additionally, workforce productivity can be maximized by accelerating delivery of knowledge on key skills, policies and mandated instruction.

A well-designed extended enterprise solution can often pay for itself or even directly generate revenue. In a financial services organization, for example, training puts your company’s message and value proposition front and center. While brokers may have dozens of packages to choose from, the addition of a relevant knowledge nugget or the right training element (either free or available for a small fee) as a value-add for the broker or potential customers can tempt many to select you as opposed to one of many alternative vendors. By aligning a simple content item to a sales or business goal, customer retention and acquisition can be enhanced.

Similarly, existing customers can be updated on the latest offerings in an interactive manner. They can be encouraged to view short pieces of on-line content to increase their knowledge and to keep them actively involved with your company.

Manufacturing

Manufacturers, of course, have unique business challenges. They must compete in a global economy and find lean and cost-effective processes to bring their products to market and manage their supply chains. At the same time, they must deal with corporate policies and strategies, and a seemingly endless stream of government regulations. To make matters worse, many manufacturers distribute products in a retail sector overrun by competing brands. As these staff work for the retailers and not the manufacturers, how do you ensure your message is front and center and your goods are the ones they instinctively reach for?

The answer lies in the GeoLearning Extended Enterprise solution. This solution provides a platform for the creation of a sustainable and scalable knowledge network. Such a network helps manufacturers efficiently sell and support their products.

Each manufacturer has probably prepared sales literature to ship out to all retail outlets. Some are diligently handed out to employees who then sit down and study them. Others are distributed but merely glanced at. In a few cases, the literature sits in a storeroom never to see the light of day.

Some companies attempt to circumvent this outcome by a variety of means. They post materials on-line and hope to entice staff to view them. They sometimes send their own personnel out into the field to train sales reps on the peculiarities and fine points of their product lines. They perhaps send out newsletters and e-mail in an attempt to engage external audiences. The issue, though, is that competitors are conducting similar efforts. Without the extended enterprise solution, it is impossible to gauge success and bring your goods to the front of the line.

The best way to boost brand image in this situation is to initiate an extended enterprise program. Captivating Webcasts and presentations can be made available on-line for training and retraining purposes. Progress can be tracked right down to how many reps have accessed or completed the content asset on a per-store basis, how many have started, how far they have gotten, their feedback and even how this is related to sales performance in that area. Consequently, programs can be adjusted to ensure maximum success through integration with incentive and award programs, using certifications to vest sales people in your offering, and providing a consistent and accurate message that can be evaluated for effectiveness.

This ultimately leads to sales personnel at a retail level that will push your products instead of those of a rival. Why? Because you have gained mind-share.

Health Care

The medical world is probably one of the most dynamic sectors of the modern economy. Constant changes are the norm as new technologies, procedures, and compliance requirements are introduced. Combine this with the complexities and pressures of health-care staffing shortages, a constant demand for cost containment and ongoing efforts at reform and you have an industry like no other.

Enter the GeoLearning Extended Enterprise solution. Uniting knowledge and information on-line allows doctors, nurses, technicians and support personnel in the field to work their way through the content they need during the small windows of time available to them. Whether it is a few minutes or a couple of hours, the extended enterprise solution keeps track of where each individual is at and makes it easy for them to return and complete their activity when time allows.

This is also important when it comes to continuing education and certification. Staff needs to put in a certain number of hours annually to maintain their certifications and licenses. The extended enterprise solution facilitates such activities, often bypassing the need to transport individuals with skill sets in short supply to a seminar on the other coast or, worst-case scenario, another continent.

When it comes to compliance with regulations and accreditation standards such as HIPAA, FDA, The Joint Commission, OSHA, and those of the EPA as well as state and local authorities, keeping track of compliance is a simple matter with the extended enterprise solution. Web-based assets within the solution can be tracked for external staff progress and completion. This can be vital when defending the organization against legal actions – success or failure in court can depend upon being able to prove that one person completed specific requirements of a given program at a specific date.

Additionally, the extended enterprise solution is of great value in customer acquisition and retention. Prospective patients, for instance, can view presentations on-line about the facility, their specific condition and available procedures to help them gain confidence in moving forward with treatment. Existing patients can be offered value-added information and knowledge on such topics as preventive medicine, or how diet and fitness can play a role in their recovery. Training external audiences also has proven successful for organizations for the retail, government and associations industries.

For information about these verticals, download the Extended Enterprise in Action whitepaper.

Conclusion

Fields such as insurance, real estate, financial services, durable goods manufacturing, associations, health care, technology, communications, government or any other area relying on channel, independent representative, or dealership networks can all benefit markedly from GeoLearning’s Extended Enterprise solution. For more information, visit www.geolearning.com/extendenterprise.

—The author of this article, Allison Evans, is a freelance research analyst and writer specializing in the learning and performance industry.

Extended enterprise training can help organizations promote brand image, increase customer retention, enhance agility, improve performance and sell their products to external audiences. Using a learning management system (LMS) to reach audiences outside of an organization is proving to be an emerging trend and good business for organizations in the financial services and insurance, manufacturing and health-care industries.

Financial Services and Insurance

The strategic management of workforce knowledge in the financial and insurance markets is complex and often times dispersed. In many organizations, this comprises a central headquarters and perhaps a few regional offices servicing a large external network of remote offices, brokerages, agents, financial advisors and customers. In such an environment, it is critical to consistently deliver a superior managed service combined with meeting compliance regulations in order to achieve profitable growth.

Armed with a true extended enterprise learning solution, insurance companies and financial services organizations can gain control over their far-reaching networks of brokers, dealers, advisors and customers. Knowledge and information can be made available to these audiences on-line as an effective means of managing certifications and upcoming expirations to avoid lapses in licensing. Additionally, workforce productivity can be maximized by accelerating delivery of knowledge on key skills, policies and mandated instruction.

A well-designed extended enterprise solution can often pay for itself or even directly generate revenue. In a financial services organization, for example, training puts your company’s message and value proposition front and center. While brokers may have dozens of packages to choose from, the addition of a relevant knowledge nugget or the right training element (either free or available for a small fee) as a value-add for the broker or potential customers can tempt many to select you as opposed to one of many alternative vendors. By aligning a simple content item to a sales or business goal, customer retention and acquisition can be enhanced.

Similarly, existing customers can be updated on the latest offerings in an interactive manner. They can be encouraged to view short pieces of on-line content to increase their knowledge and to keep them actively involved with your company.

Manufacturing

Manufacturers, of course, have unique business challenges. They must compete in a global economy and find lean and cost-effective processes to bring their products to market and manage their supply chains. At the same time, they must deal with corporate policies and strategies, and a seemingly endless stream of government regulations. To make matters worse, many manufacturers distribute products in a retail sector overrun by competing brands. As these staff work for the retailers and not the manufacturers, how do you ensure your message is front and center and your goods are the ones they instinctively reach for?

The answer lies in the GeoLearning Extended Enterprise solution. This solution provides a platform for the creation of a sustainable and scalable knowledge network. Such a network helps manufacturers efficiently sell and support their products.

Each manufacturer has probably prepared sales literature to ship out to all retail outlets. Some are diligently handed out to employees who then sit down and study them. Others are distributed but merely glanced at. In a few cases, the literature sits in a storeroom never to see the light of day.

Some companies attempt to circumvent this outcome by a variety of means. They post materials on-line and hope to entice staff to view them. They sometimes send their own personnel out into the field to train sales reps on the peculiarities and fine points of their product lines. They perhaps send out newsletters and e-mail in an attempt to engage external audiences. The issue, though, is that competitors are conducting similar efforts. Without the extended enterprise solution, it is impossible to gauge success and bring your goods to the front of the line.

The best way to boost brand image in this situation is to initiate an extended enterprise program. Captivating Webcasts and presentations can be made available on-line for training and retraining purposes. Progress can be tracked right down to how many reps have accessed or completed the content asset on a per-store basis, how many have started, how far they have gotten, their feedback and even how this is related to sales performance in that area. Consequently, programs can be adjusted to ensure maximum success through integration with incentive and award programs, using certifications to vest sales people in your offering, and providing a consistent and accurate message that can be evaluated for effectiveness.

This ultimately leads to sales personnel at a retail level that will push your products instead of those of a rival. Why? Because you have gained mind-share.

Health Care

The medical world is probably one of the most dynamic sectors of the modern economy. Constant changes are the norm as new technologies, procedures, and compliance requirements are introduced. Combine this with the complexities and pressures of health-care staffing shortages, a constant demand for cost containment and ongoing efforts at reform and you have an industry like no other.

Enter the GeoLearning Extended Enterprise solution. Uniting knowledge and information on-line allows doctors, nurses, technicians and support personnel in the field to work their way through the content they need during the small windows of time available to them. Whether it is a few minutes or a couple of hours, the extended enterprise solution keeps track of where each individual is at and makes it easy for them to return and complete their activity when time allows.

This is also important when it comes to continuing education and certification. Staff needs to put in a certain number of hours annually to maintain their certifications and licenses. The extended enterprise solution facilitates such activities, often bypassing the need to transport individuals with skill sets in short supply to a seminar on the other coast or, worst-case scenario, another continent.

When it comes to compliance with regulations and accreditation standards such as HIPAA, FDA, The Joint Commission, OSHA, and those of the EPA as well as state and local authorities, keeping track of compliance is a simple matter with the extended enterprise solution. Web-based assets within the solution can be tracked for external staff progress and completion. This can be vital when defending the organization against legal actions – success or failure in court can depend upon being able to prove that one person completed specific requirements of a given program at a specific date.

Additionally, the extended enterprise solution is of great value in customer acquisition and retention. Prospective patients, for instance, can view presentations on-line about the facility, their specific condition and available procedures to help them gain confidence in moving forward with treatment. Existing patients can be offered value-added information and knowledge on such topics as preventive medicine, or how diet and fitness can play a role in their recovery. Training external audiences also has proven successful for organizations for the retail, government and associations industries.

For information about these verticals, download the Extended Enterprise in Action whitepaper.

Conclusion

Fields such as insurance, real estate, financial services, durable goods manufacturing, associations, health care, technology, communications, government or any other area relying on channel, independent representative, or dealership networks can all benefit markedly from GeoLearning’s Extended Enterprise solution. For more information, visit www.geolearning.com/extendenterprise.

—The author of this article, Allison Evans, is a freelance research analyst and writer specializing in the learning and performance industry.

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