Good question. Maybe what you really need isn’t a vendor, but rather a part-time strategic partner or developer who is there when you need them, and not when you don’t. What do I mean? Allow me to explain.
It’s nearly impossible to staff for every role and depth of resource that a typical organization requires over the course of a few years when trying to successfully meet the eLearning demands of various internal clients. There are often infrequent special needs that can range from specific content or skill knowledge to instructional design, professional videography and audio, to 3D animation – that could make staffing for these situations costly.
That’s why a provider like Illumen who specializes in “meeting you where you are at”, can be that flexible missing team-member behind the scenes, helping you achieve success for every type of initiative. In addition, for those times where the workload becomes unexpectedly heavy, we also have the ability to perform full project implementation- from analysis through instructional and creative design through content development.
Here are just a few ways a partner like Illumen has helped organizations by meeting them where they were at and playing the role of that flexible specialty player on their team’s bench.
1. Effective Efficiency
As an L&D manager, it’s fun to boast about adding training talent to the team. But at a time when salaries and health benefits are on the rise and good talent is becoming scarce, adding a new dedicated L&D or IT professional has become increasingly cost prohibitive. And adding one resource who has the skill of an entire eLearning company isn’t realistic. An eLearning partner like Illumen has all the software and design knowledge and skills required for any eLearning situation. That partner is a good investment when weighed against salaries, benefits, vacation and overtime pay, repeated learning curves, and tool maintenance (such as authoring software). And in return, you are rewarded with a high-quality course! For example, a focus for a lot of organizations right now is Flash conversion into Storyline. An Illumen specialty!
2. The Edge Goes to Expertise
This benefit is twofold. First, you’ll have access to a wealth of instructional and creative design experience. A good eLearning partner like Illumen knows how to create effective training based on your actual needs. They are also familiar with the content and learning management systems, authoring tools, and other tools and systems for video, audio, photography, 3-D, and animation. In other words, they have expertise in what you might not even if you leveraged multiple internal resources. Secondly, you have now freed up your existing resources to concentrate on other responsibilities. This might include their normal job-related tasks, having time to be a focused subject matter expert or even to supervise a comprehensive online course, rather than trying to totally design and develop it.
3. Tackling Turnaround
eLearning partners and consultants have already invested in the tools and approaches needed to design your online training course quickly and efficiently. We live in an “on-demand world”. If your organization has courses or updates that require immediate attention, an outside partner fills that need. Situations that can demand this type of immediate attention could include post-merger needs, an influx of new hires who need to be onboarded, and new products that need to be launched effectively to gain or keep a competitive edge.
4. Regulation Ready
Compliance eLearning is becoming increasingly popular, preventing costly violations and improving workplace safety. Also, many product and process courses have a compliance element. Outsourcing to an eLearning partner ensures that your course will meet industry standards. This is particularly true when your eLearning partner is an expert in that field. For example, at Illumen we have designers with particular expertise working with regulatory standards for industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and hospitality. This added expertise can help you increase eLearning effectiveness while avoiding common development and workflow issues that can leave employees unsure of their role and responsibilities, which leads to on-the-job errors, issues, PR problems, and legal complications.
When you develop eLearning in-house, you are required to have a dedicated team. They must be on-hand for several duties: new course development, course design updating, and the updating of various systems. A great deal of time, effort, and resources go into the process. When you outsource corporate eLearning, it’s much easier to scale your online training course to meet your organization’s ever-changing training requirements. Your eLearning partner may already have your online training content in their systems. They can simply access the materials, make the necessary changes, and deploy the latest version. Experienced eLearning professionals will offer options for a standardized user interface and templates that improve scalability and cost.
Finding the Right Partner
Once you’ve decided you need help outside of your organization, remember that the next step is not to find a vendor, but the right partner for your organization. They must be a good potential fit, understand your needs, bring something extra to your eLearning design, and help you achieve a sound ROI. We cover ROI in our White Paper-Four Factors for Finding a Partner. A great way to get started is to schedule an intro call using the form below!
By Steve Harker