How can a midsize manufacturing company effectively train employees and increase their flexibility? A Coursepath customer case shows that managers and employees in the electrical industry benefit from upskilling by e-learning and blended learning.
GIFAS ELECTRIC GmbH from Neuss, is a German midsize company active in the manufacturing of high-quality solid rubber products such as technical lights, cables, transformers and distributors. The GIFAS Group has 260 employees across Europe, with customers coming from almost every industry. Main customers are active in construction, public service or are suppliers in the mechanical engineering industry.
Shortly GIFAS ELECTRIC chose the online training platform Coursepath to introduce e-learning in their company. With Coursepath, companies are presented with an online academy where they can create courses and invite employees, customers and partners to follow training on demand. Trainers and participants enjoy various interactive and social elements in the course. They can be enriched for example by adding video, pictures or slideshows. Collaboration opportunities such as comments and discussion, encourage participants to engage with the trainer and with each other. There are various question types such as multiple-choice and essay. Those provide individual feedback and enable tracking on learning progress.
GIFAS ELECTRIC recently introduced online training to their sales department. 45 employees are actively using online sales trainings at the moment. The aim is to assess the knowledge of each sales staff and make them better ambassadors of the brand, thereby increasing quality in customer service. Product updates need to be communicated on time as well, and the online training platform is the most effective and efficient tool to carry this out.
Besides introducing e-learning, newly hired staff gets easy access to existing sales and product training materials and can get themselves familiar with the company’s corporate rules, policies and values as well. New trainings are released every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the current state of the employees’ knowledge and their demands.
Like other companies, GIFAS ELECTRIC has made a decision to combine off- and online training activities, which in short is: Blended Learning. The company wants to maintain it’s face-to-face training programs, but needs to supplement these wiht online trainings. Employees continue to gather regularly in supra-regional sales meetings and in live-training sessions via desktop-viewer or telephone conferences. E-learning complements this by providing content that can be accessed individually online, before and after live meetings have been held, at their own pace and own time. As a result, trainings have become cost-effective, efficiently run and less time intensive.
Patrick Schütz, sales and product manager at GIFAS ELECTRIC, values the platform especially for its ability to provide autonomy in terms of place and time. Sales representatives are located across Europe and their working times can differ enormously since working hours are planned around customers’ demands. By introducing online training to the company, flexibility has increased. To be physically present during product trainings is no longer required, travel times and costs are reduced significantly.
Another benefit for GIFAS employees and training managers is the system’s usability: courses are created easily and can be updated anytime, anywhere. Because the Coursepath online training platform is highly intuitive, time to get to know the system is very short.
The company deeply values their employees’ feedback and acceptance in the introduction of new systems and processes. At GIFAS ELECTRIC, they started this off with a sales meeting where the Coursepath training platform was presented. A special support line was introduced where employees could ask for help and assistance. In a nutshell, the employees were very satisfied with the approach and with the platform’s usability and intuitiveness. There is less effort in the launching of the online training platform and travelling times were reduced. GIFAS ELECTRIC now plans on extending its training to other departments in the company in the areas of ERP and data processing equipment.