Next-Level Training: Why Your Manufacturing Team Needs a Modern LMS

Next-Level Training: Why Your Manufacturing Team Needs a Modern LMS

Caroline Van Dyke
April 30, 2024
Customer Success

Let's cut straight to the chase. If you're in the manufacturing space, especially if you’re playing in the B2B arena with complex, technical products, you know the drill: Your training program can’t just be good—it needs to be exceptional. Why? Because both your employees and your partner network need to be well-trained while selling and servicing products that are anything but simple.

Here’s the truth: Traditional training methods—those in-person-only, one-size-fits-all sessions—are becoming far too inefficient to keep pace with their perceived benefits. They’re outdated, expensive, and don’t scale. What you need is a Learning Management System (LMS) that’s as robust and innovative as the products you’re making. 

Why Your Current Training Might Be Missing the Mark

Can you relate to any of the below?

  • You’ve got teams and partners all over the map. Your training method? It shouldn’t require everyone to be in the same room, or even the same time zone.
  • The tech in your products evolves faster than a blink. If your training content can’t keep up with the latest and greatest, neither will your people.
  • Particularly in sectors like automotive or heavy machinery, a lapse in training can lead to more than just downtime—it can lead to life-threatening incidents or security risks.

Quick 7-Step Guide to Implementing a Modern LMS

Step 1: Assess Your Current Training Landscape

What to Do: Evaluate all existing training programs, including content, formats, effectiveness, and learner feedback (this might be tough if you've been doing things traditionally, and you can work with an LMS expert to set a new baseline).

What you Can Expect: This thorough review establishes a baseline, identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement that a traditional approach might miss.

Step 2: Define Clear Training Objectives

What to Do: Establish specific, measurable objectives for your LMS, such as increasing training reach, improving learning retention, implementing certifications, and exploring potential revenue streams from training.

Why It’s Better: Clear goals ensure your LMS is aligned with strategic business outcomes, unlike traditional methods that often lack focus on scalability and monetization.

Step 3: Choose the Right LMS for Your Needs

What to Do: Select an LMS that supports essential features like scalability, ease of integration, robust reporting, and the ability to issue certifications.

Why It’s Better: A carefully chosen LMS can adapt to your specific needs, offering flexibility that traditional training methods cannot.

Step 4: Plan Your LMS Rollout

What to Do: Develop a phased implementation strategy, starting with a pilot program to adjust and refine the approach based on real-world feedback before wider deployment.

Why It’s Better: Gradual implementation minimizes disruption and allows for fine-tuning, which is often not feasible with all-at-once traditional training rollouts.

Step 5: Migrate and Customize Content

What to Do: Transfer and update existing training materials to the LMS. Create new, interactive content tailored to the platform, and design courses that end with certifications. It's important to realize you don't have to have everyting perfect when you start!

Why It’s Better: An LMS supports dynamic content creation and updates, keeping materials current and engaging, which is a significant upgrade over static traditional methods.

Step 6: Certify or Monetize

What to Do: Leverage the LMS to offer paid training courses and certification programs that can serve as additional revenue streams. Ensure the certification process is rigorous and recognized within your industry. Of course, you can offer certifications fee-free as the certification alone may be required for your partners to use your product effectively.

Why It’s Better: Monetizing select training programs and offering valued certifications can transform your training program from a cost center to a profit center, a strategy not typically feasible with traditional training.

Step 7: Monitor, Evaluate, and Iterate

What to Do: Utilize the LMS’s analytics tools to track learner engagement and the effectiveness of training programs. Regularly update training based on data-driven insights and user feedback.

Why It’s Better: This step allows for ongoing optimization of training programs, ensuring they remain relevant and effective, which is a dynamic improvement over the static nature of traditional training.

LMS Features That You Can’t Compromise On

Now that you understand the landscape of getting started with an LMS, here's what you should look out for in your selection:

Robust Analytics: What’s working? What’s not? Who’s completed what? If your LMS isn’t giving you these answers, it’s not doing its job. After all, keeping tabs on your training population can help you tie it to key business outcomes like reduced support inquiries, faster time to installation, and ultimately, higher revenue. 

Scalable Learning: From e-learning modules to virtual instructor-led training (VILT) to certifications, your LMS should scale as effortlessly as your production does. 

Compliance and Safety Tracking: Especially where safety is contractually mandated, tracking compliance isn’t optional—it’s essential.

What a Killer LMS Does Differently

Adaptability is King: Your LMS should deliver training that molds itself to the needs of a diverse, global workforce. Think multilingual support and localized content that speaks everyone’s language—literally.

Integration, Not Isolation: It should play nice with your existing systems (like Salesforce). Your LMS needs to not just store info but also provide actionable insights that help your partners sell more and your teams do more.

Real-Time Updates, No Delays: When a product update rolls out, your training content should be hot on its heels. If your LMS isn’t built for speed, you’re already trailing behind.

Wrapping Up

If you’re in manufacturing, settling for a subpar training program isn’t an option. Your LMS should be as dynamic and robust as the products you create. It’s time to gear up with a training tool that not only meets but exceeds the demands of the modern manufacturing landscape.

Remember, in today’s competitive market, an effective LMS is your best ally in ensuring your partners are not just prepared but are leading the charge.

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