Manage the Complexity of Your Workforce Training with an Enterprise LMS

Businessman using laptop to manage business workflows | managing complex training programs with an enterprise LMS

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) often rely on external networks to sell, service, and support their products. In the automotive industry, these are the dealer networks. In the heavy equipment or AG business industries, these are resellers and equipment leasing companies. In HVAC, they are represented by the individual technicians, small brand specific HVAC companies, and even large national HVAC service organizations. In all cases, these networks are referred to as the extended enterprise, or partner networks. 

While the OEMs rely on these networks for the success of their business overall, the members of these networks have built their companies on the products they sell and the quality of service they provide to their customers. It is a very symbiotic relationship and very complex, and one that presents a lot of difficulty to the OEM training organizations that are charged with keeping these networks trained.

The complexity is a result of many factors, including size, geography, skills, business structures, individual personnel, and overall talent. One of the more challenging aspects is that within a single partner an individual can wear many hats and fill many roles. A person can be a service manager, but also have a role in parts. A person could work on the sales team, but also pickup hours in the service bay. Whatever the situation, multi-role and matrixed-manged organizations present challenges.

What Are The Differences Between Multi-Role and Matrix-Managed?

In a multi-role scenario, an individual performs 2 or more jobs with a partner that require training, certification, and tracking. OEMs define the requirements for each, but there are several considerations:

  • Which takes priority? 
  • Is there the concept of a primary job? 
  • Is there relief to not fulfill the training requirements?

With matrix-management, most OEM’s don’t simply have one network or one lens they view their partners through. Often there are product/sales, service, and parts organizations — and each one places demands on their partners for business performance as well as training. Add multi-role employees to the matrixed-manage mix and you have a recipe for a very complex training program.

Struggles With Managing Training 

These roles come with several challenges when it comes to managing training. Most learning platforms and corporate learning management systems (LMS) that are commonly used are predicated on a singular hierarchical structure. 

Network members have one spot in the organization chart, meaning that they have one person who they report to who will assign and approve their training and performance. With multi-role or matrix-managed learners, it is difficult to find a place for them in an organizational chart because they are technically fulfilling more than one role and/or reporting to multiple managers. 

Developing a training program for these roles is difficult because you now have to have the appropriate signatures, approvals, and measurements of competency with a system that assumes that your learners only have one immediate supervisor. 

Compiling the roles and responsibilities of these learners also brings about the problem of confidentiality. For those who operate in different roles that may have confidential aspects or proprietary information within a specific department, combining their training opens it to be viewed by all managers associated with that learner’s progress, regardless of the department or area it corresponds to. 

This often results in the learner being assigned two IDs to an LMS, which interrupts the learning experience for the network member, making it confusing and frustrating to manage noncohesive training records as they pertain to their position in the organization. 

Best Practices to Overcome These Struggles

The best way that you can avoid the frustrations of managing training for these employees is to expand to an enterprise learning platform that is customized to manage these types of roles and the complex structure that comes with extended enterprises. 

LMS platforms that cater specifically to the structure of extended enterprises offer an alternative to the rigid corporate LMS you might be familiar with. In the case of multi-role and matrix-managed learners, the most effective way to manage the complexity of these roles is with multiple profiles under a single user in your enterprise learning platform.

This allows the user to toggle profiles based on their role and still have a cohesive training experience that honors the confidentiality that specific roles may require. This feature allows the supervisor or managers that are relevant to the learner’s specific role only to access the training relevant to their area while keeping other training or learning assessments achieved in other areas confidential to the learner. 

The Best Tool For The Job

When choosing an LMS with the functionality that your organization requires, LatitudeLearning offers one of the best solutions. With the ability to craft a personalized training experience for your learners accompanied by helpful algorithms that assist in filling skill gaps identified by the software, LatitudeLearining takes the guesswork out of managing your training program. 

With the ability to tailor a custom learning path to any learner in your organization, this is especially helpful for learners who need more than one path to develop. Assigning specific training that is pertinent to their job functions under different profiles can keep them on track to developing both roles simultaneously without facing any lapses in their training or accreditation needs. 

With the complexities that are present in extended enterprises, LatitudeLearning offers a wide range of integration capabilities. With the ability to merge customer relationship management (CRM) tools, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and supply chain management software, LatitudeLearning provides the ability to streamline the necessary training for these platforms along with workflows and data sharing. 

Nothing is better than seeing how your training program is paying off in your organization. LatitudeLearning offers advanced reporting and analytics that allow administrators and training managers to gain insights into training performance across the enterprise. With this information, you can easily identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, as well as monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) that are impacted by your training program. 

LatitudeLearning is committed to the future of learning and development in your extended enterprise and partner networks. With this dynamic industry and the changes that it has experienced in recent years, you might be wondering what the best way to adapt your training program might be. Take a look at our ebook: Back to Normal? The Future of Extended Enterprise Learning for Partner Networks

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