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Not every partner make, sell or service all of your brands. When using a partner learning platform, it's important the system can support branding.
With the right LMS, your partner's staff can be defined naturally without system interruption - using generic terms like sales person and technician versus brand A sales person or brand B technician. This logic is beneficial when designating brands, especially as multi-brand carrying partners can be complicated to express in an HR LMS.
Field support is commonly used among the Original Equipment Manufacturing industry. It's usually structured geographically, meaning different partners receive different field representatives in terms of personnel and services. Field organization structures need to be supported within your learning platform.
Depending on the complexity of your partner relationships, you may have more than one relationship with each partner. For example, Vehicle OEMs frequently have three relationships with their dealer partners that require field organization representation: sales, service and parts. Each are organized independently and absolutely need their structural nature expressed in an LMS.
The use of performance metrics is extremely useful when training the people that make, sell, service and use your products. Some common metrics may include: sales performance, customer satisfaction rating, performance based-certification, fixed right the first time percentage and customer usage.
Since these performance metrics are vital to your training, there's a desire to incorporate these metrics into your training program. Having these metrics at your call allow for automated workflows including assigning training once a partner's performance falls below a certain threshold, or, on the contrary, waiving training if performance is up to par.
With product training and performance metrics' closely knit relationship, it's important to engage a learning platform that allows performance metrics to be incorporated into your training program.
It's customary for a partner in a partner network to own thousands of locations (dealerships, stores, manufacturing warehouses). It's essential that these types of partners have seamless access and functionality to all of their location's training without having to log into multiple environments with multiple login IDs.
Employing a learning platform that can support partners that own thousands of locations is crucial to a successful partner training program.
It's very common for employees to take on multiple roles in an organization. Assuming more responsibility is closely tied to an individual's abilities rather than job title alone. This means two employees with the same job title may need different training. These multi-role learners must be supported within an LMS so that training isn't mishandled.
With the right learning platform, employees can possess multiple job positions, or roles, within their user profile. This way training is assigned according to all job roles, not just an employee's formal job title.
With the rise of multi-role learners comes matrixed employees - employees with multiple bosses across multiple dimensions. Since HR LMSs assume a single hierarchy structure, matrixed organizations have a very hard time fitting into traditional learning management systems.
A learning platform that can support matrixed organizations allows for each boss, or manager, to only track training relevant to them. If both managers assign the same training goal to the employee, and once the employee has successfully passed the course, the system should grant the employee credit for both goals. Rather than having to take the course twice, or gaining credit from an administrator on the backend.
When dealing with partner training programs, all employees are not created equal - and therefore should not be treated equal. Partner training programs require a learning platform that won't force you to treat your internal learners as you would each partner's external learners.
Internal learners have different learning paths than those of external learners. Typical internal learning paths include compliance training, career development training and training tied to performance reviews. Your external partner learners may also focus on these independently, but this type of training is not provided by you. It's important for your LMS to be able to assign this type of training without interfering with the training paths set for external learners.
Having different relationships with different partners means different approaches to training and separate audience-specific workflows. How partner employees are assigned login credentials, how they're organized, what their training goals are, how you report on their training and so much more is vastly different from each of your partners. The right LMS will allow you to define how each training audience is setup within the system in order to keep the integrity of your unique business model.
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