Not just good – a Meisterpiece: How Jägermeister combines LMS and Blended Learning
Established as a vinegar factory and wine trader in the Lower Saxony town of Wolfenbüttel in 1878, the company launched its first herb liqueur under the name of Jägermeister in 1935. The secret recipe comprising 56 herbs remains unchanged from those early days.
Mast-Jägermeister SE grew from a small family business to an international organisation, and is now in the fifth generation of family ownership. In 2020, the company recorded global sales of 89.6 million 0.7 litre bottles, now selling the main product Jägermeister in more than 150 countries.
Jägermeister has around 1000 direct employees. Resellers and external distribution partners around the world add to the large number of people requiring training.
Top-quality training in line with the brand
Before corona, Jägermeister took a rather traditional approach to learning and knowledge-sharing. In most cases, new employees, distribution partners and resellers were invited directly to the headquarters in Wolfenbüttel to help them learn about the brand and understand it better. There, they would receive all the necessary training on the products and get a feel for the brand.
Yet, even before the pandemic, it was clear that this system needed to be optimised, and Jägermeister started to look into procuring a learning management system (LMS). Professional training courses in e-learning format were also on the wish list back then.
The range of training to be covered by the LMS, individual learning nuggets and web-based training (WBT) went beyond the offering for external distribution and trading partners. For instance, different target groups from apprentices and trainees to the CEO needed to gain an in-depth understanding of e-commerce.
At the same time, a coherent and strong brand image that all employees identify with is a top priority for Jägermeister. Therefore, the learner experience was considered crucial.
A blended learning journey masterpiece
Jägermeister decided to use the imc Learning Suite as its learning platform. The well thought out extended enterprise scenario in combination with the clear module structure was a major deciding factor in favour of imc. The Learning Suite also scored with its customisable configurability and great system reliability.
Simply sharing knowledge is not enough – it also has to be packaged right to reach all target groups and meet their needs. To this end, imc created a sophisticated blended learning scenario for Jägermeister.
Kathrin Heidler, Instructional Designer at imc, analyses the collaboration with Jägermeister: “What set the project apart is how complex it was. A blended learning journey embedded in classroom training, web-based training, performance cards and our BizQuiz is far from routine – even for us!
We were really able to go all out with this project. It was great fun helping to design such a complex project using a large variety of techniques.”
Learning that doesn’t feel like learning
The feedback for the initial platform tests was all positive. Users were especially taken with how the e-learning content triggered an emotional response. The consensus among the employees: Once you log in to MeisterAcademy, the training courses don’t feel like learning. The direct integration of LinkedIn learning courses was also received very favourably, as it gives employees an even greater choice of courses.
Philipp Terstesse, Manager Global Trade Marketing at Jägermeister, summarises: “Our goal was to create a learning experience that takes a new approach and motivates learners. The learner and employee experience were extremely important to us.
We firmly believe that our digital ambitions go a long way towards shaping the future of our brand. We are thrilled to have a strong partner in imc who will stay by our side as we embark on this journey into the future together.”
A slightly different kind of
Audi is one of Germany's leading premium car manufacturers. Based in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany, the company has been producing high-quality vehicles since 1909 and is now part of the Volkswagen Group.
Motivation for an unloved topic
When employees learn that they have to attend compliance training, their enthusiasm is often limited. The trainees are usually hostile to the training even before it begins.
Audi therefore wanted to train employees with an unusual compliance training course in such a way that the necessary knowledge is clearly conveyed to them and, ideally, they also have fun during the training.
Web-based training of a different kind
“Welcome to Fraud City. The city “eats” its residents – skin, hair and all. We hope you’re up to it. Enter at your own risk.” This intro sounds ever so slightly different to the traditional “Click here to start your training”.
The entire web-based training course with motion design adopts the style of “Sin City”, and takes the brave participant to a corrupt city full of dangers and suspect colleagues – accompanied by Detective Fraudless who is always on the brink of solving yet another crime and starts off by explaining the rules.
As the employee navigates through the training course, the criteria for identifying cases of fraud are revealed, as are the behavioural patterns that call for special attention.
Positive feedback on the intranet
Audi demonstrated great courage with this unconventional concept – and reaped the rewards: The elaborate and polarising concept leaves a lasting impression, creating a buzz among almost all employees. Similarly, the intranet feedback was predominantly positive, and many employees praised the web-based training, as Laura Schumacher from the Audi compliance department confirms.
- “Great job! This makes ‘learning’ fun!”
- “Very pleasant WBT, executed superbly. That’s what I’d call modern. Let’s have more of this.”
- “I thought the presentation of the WBT as a homage to Sin City with L.A. Noire elements was extremely original. A great example for knowledge transfer in an entertaining package. Keep it up!!!”
- “We need a lot more web-based training in this style. It gets the message across in an entertaining and easy-to-understand manner, well narrated with cool stories!”
A holistic learning management experience for Australia’s national rugby league
Reinvigorating the learning centre of Australia’s second largest professional sporting association
The National Rugby League (NRL) is the world’s premier rugby league competition run by the Australian Rugby League Commission. It is the second biggest professional sporting association in Australia and is the dominant sport in the states of New South Wales and Queensland.
With sixteen teams in Australia and New Zealand, the NRL is synonymous with Australia’s sports culture and is the best-attended rugby league in the world. It was founded in 1998 as a merger of two competing leagues, but its roots reach right back to 1908.
A learning management solution with limited functionality
The NRL needed to reinvigorate its NRL Learning Centre, which provided training for coaches, referees, trainers and volunteers.
The Learning Centre also offered accreditation programmes for aspiring NRL referees, and
LeagueSafe: an online safety awareness course for parents and volunteers at children’s games, which was designed to help create a healthy and safe rugby league environment for young players.
At the heart of the LMS was an outdated Content Management System (CMS) which at the back end did not give users much autonomy over their content or integrate effectively with the league’s membership database.
Modernising the Learning Centre System
There were several challenges for the NRL with their current suite of technology, and they were using multiple systems for differing purposes, many of which were not performing well.
The LMS included a coach reaccreditation programme which was poorly organised and did not effectively address many different skill levels. It also included a referee training programme that had a high dropout rate, which indicated a poor user experience.
In addition to the LMS they were using for the NRL Learning Centre, the league also needed to use a third party system to manage all of their certifications, and it was proving very difficult to track and report on these internally.
A fully-integrated NRL Learning Centre portal
Our solution was the implementation of a new LMS to combine the functions of the two previous systems it was using. The new system enables users by giving them greater control over content, certification management, and syncing with the membership database
The system consists of an interactive e-learning programme using imc’s Chatbot framework, with options for all experience levels. The programme contains scenario-based learning modules that account for different personality types and the challenges they present at games.
The Coach Reaccreditation and Referee Training programmes are now also using imc technology to provide an entertaining and informative journey to users. The new system provides students with the opportunity to learn through a variety of real-world scenarios that best fit their interests (for example, age-appropriate training for children or teenagers). Each learner has access to video examples of real-life, correct and incorrect performances.
As part of the redevelopment, we reinvigorated the referee-accreditation programme with real game footage and used an authoritative subject matter expert (SME), Kasey Badger, to attract referees from all walks of life.
A rejuvenated approach
This project successfully helped to rejuvenate the learning approach for our client, and the LMS solution was delivered both on time and within budget.
Not only did NRL meet its original objectives, but post-implementation, there was an uplift of the participation rates for online learning and positive feedback from users of the upgraded NRL LeagueSafe courses.
Culture Change Through E-Learning on the Factory Floor
The RONAL GROUP is a leading manufacturer in the international market for light alloy wheels and has about 7,000 employees worldwide.
Founded in 1969, the Swiss-headquartered company has 13 production locations on three continents and is an OEM for all the world’s leading manufacturers of cars.
RONAL produces some 18 million wheels annually, and generated sales of EUR 1 billion in 2021.
Cross-departmental training for all workers, from white to blue-collar
“We make the best wheels in the world.” The RONAL GROUP’s vision statement is an uncompromising commitment to top quality. To live up to this claim, all the company’s employees need to be committed to quality and work to defined standards.
This applies to all employees, wherever they are based, whether in Switzerland, Taiwan, Mexico or elsewhere, and whatever their role, whether office or factory worker. Everyone throughout the RONAL GROUP needs to live and breathe quality so that the company can live up to its quality promise and meet the demanding standards of the automotive industry.
That was one part of the challenge. At the same time, the company wanted to digitalise its systems for documenting training completion. It wanted to do away with the labour-intensive, manual processes of keeping lists and gathering, signing and scanning paper certificates. Going digital would not only give the company a clearer overview of its training landscape, it would also reduce the error rate inherent in manual processing.
An enterprise-wide blended learning strategy
In order the better to administer, sustain and document its training courses, the RONAL GROUP decided to digitalise all learning-related processes using a learning management system (LMS). First and foremost, the managers in charge of the project at RONAL were looking for an LMS that could be integrated into the company's existing system landscape and that was easy and intuitive to use.
As well as the LMS itself, they were looking for a provider who could develop tailored training courses and enable the company to create its own learning content.
imc Learning Suite, the LMS provided by imc Learning, met all of these requirements and has now been implemented at the RONAL GROUP as an employee development centre (EDC). The EDC is now used to administer all the company’s online training courses, as well as analogue courses.
Where once the various steps involved – everything from participant invitations by email to course completion to certification and verification – could only be accomplished by switching between media, they are now all digitalised and can be coordinated via a single system.
HR managers with the relevant access privileges can now log in to get an overview of which training courses have been started or completed, and by whom. And employees can use their personal log-in credentials to check their learning progress. As well as this, all employees can independently search for and request courses from within the platform.
The beginnings of a culture shift through targeted anytime, anywhere training
Philipp Leupoldt from Group Learning & Development at the RONAL GROUP provides support for the learning platform and also had a hand in the development of the first digital training courses. He has noticed that carefully targeting the training to key groups of employees encourages new ways of thinking that lead gradually to a culture shift throughout the company.
This is clear from two e-learning programmes in particular.
One is a training course on quality awareness which, in terms of methodology and didactic approach, is specially designed for blue-collar workers and can be undertaken either using tablets while on the shop floor or using PC workstations located nearby.
The other programme is a training course for all RONAL GROUP employees designed to raise awareness of social engineering – the risk of being manipulated into disclosing sensitive information, such as passwords. The online content is supported by a poster campaign that specifically targets blue-collar workers.
The posters, which are displayed in staff cafeterias, production halls, common rooms, and staff facilities, summarize the learning content in the form of a comic strip. They also feature a QR code that employees can scan to receive further information on an internal page.
Leupoldt is pleased with the outcome. “We can see that the various measures and digital training courses are slowly giving rise to a genuine shift in culture,” he says. “Many of our blue-collar workers have demonstrated a matter-of-fact and pragmatic attitude to digital learning. The feedback from many other of our employees has been positive as well. Interest in work-related content is increasing, and the innovative methods are fostering independent learning.”
Upscaling an organisation’s LMS in the time of crisis
The Department of Health plays a critical role in the health system of the state of Victoria in Australia and is responsible for meeting the health needs of Victorian locals.
Capability-building a new response unit in record time
With the rise of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia in March 2020, the Department had a sudden, urgent need to upscale their learning management system (LMS) to accelerate the transfer of knowledge to a COVID-19 task force.
The speedy nature of the national emergency created many major challenges, which included recruiting new staff, implementing various new systems, the rapid development of new learning content, training an influx of newly recruited staff members, and the ongoing challenge of developing processes for combatting an unknown and quickly evolving virus that was threatening the health of Victoria.
Dealing with many unknowns
The major challenge facing the implementation of new training content was the scale of which COVID-19 was evolving throughout Victoria in 2020. This then lead to the up-scaling of the Department’s COVID-19 response group, who also had to pivot away from face-to-face training to consuming their mandatory compliance training and other important information via a largely online environment.
Building the COVID19LMS in several days
The Department’s solution was to work with their existing LMS vendor imc to develop an additional system (referred to as the “COVID19LMS.”)
The LMS was set up and ready to use in several days to assist with the rapid response to COVID-19. It was set up to accommodate a rapidly expanding workforce who were in need of individualised training through a role-based learning pathway.
A successful system that is still in use today
The successful delivery of COVID19LMS enabled the Department staff to access and complete their compliance training, in rapid response to the unfolding pandemic.
After onboarding the initial COVID-19 response team onto the system in March 2020, the Department has continued using the LMS for compliance training and it continues to provide a critical service for the Department to this very day!
imc and the Department of Health Victoria were recognised as Gold winners in the 2021 LearnX awards, in the category Best pandemic response: Compliance Training. The international award program honours innovative and creative projects in the fields of learning and design every year.
Delivering an impactful driving experience
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is a Victorian Government-owned organisation whose role is to promote road safety, support those who have been injured on Victorian roads and help them get their lives back on track.
An ageing program that was failing to engage its audience
In the 1990’s, the TAC launched DriveSmart, a computer-based simulation training tool designed to support learner drivers develop skills for safe driving.
The program was originally delivered on CD-ROM, and then transitioned to an online resource in 2014. However, as the program aged, so too did its effectiveness in engaging an audience that had grown up in the age of gaming.
Even though the research within the program withstood the test of time, the tool was now outdated for a Gen Z audience who have come to expect a good user experience, interactivity, and mobile accessibility, which are necessary factors to deliver an impactful learning experience for this up-and-coming generation.
Rebuilding content from the ground-up
The major challenge of the project was to build a new system that was primarily aimed at a Gen Z audience. Therefore, the platform had to be fully mobile-optimised, with intuitive UI, a custom interface, and be accessible to all participants.
To effectively connect with the intended audience, the development of new content had to include realistic learning scenarios, gamification elements, interactivity and feedback and had to be embedded in research.
A portal with media-rich content
Our solution was the implementation of the imc Learning Suite, as the front end portal (website) for the TAC.
This portal was combined with a mobile-first interactive video format which was designed in a way that was easy-to-use, playful and mobile-optimised.
There were gamification elements included within the development of content such as badges, storytelling and driving games which enabled the learner drivers to build up their driving knowledge. They also had the ability to share badges on social media to share the safe driving message with their peers.
New video footage of driving conditions and risks were filmed for the scenarios. The videos were to be adapted into interactive scenarios by imc. These scenarios were designed to resonate with real-world examples that a young driver might experience whilst driving and be exposed to common dangers on the road.
A successful transition to mobile-first
The project was delivered on time, on budget and in its initial launch phase in March 2019, where over 8,000 users had been onboarded.
The successful redesign of the DriveSmart program has resulted in management who are very satisfied with the modernisation of the website and the mobile-first platform.
There has been a lot of positive word of mouth from the program’s users. The consensus within the community is that the bright colours and design of the website are very engaging, and it seems that users are more open to absorbing the information because of the way that the scenarios have been designed.
Unifying an Organisation Under One Learning Management System
KiwiRail is New Zealand’s national rail network operator and one of the largest transport employers in New Zealand. They have over 4,200 permanent staff and more than 6,500 contractors.
Their employees are split over five distinct business units: KiwiRail Freight, Interislander, KiwiRail Passenger, KiwiRail Infrastructure & Engineering and KiwiRail Corporate.
Replacing ageing systems
KiwiRail required a single Learning Management System (LMS) for its five business units and over 5,000 users.
They had been using ageing and inflexible systems which were inefficient for the business because they did not communicate with one another.
Ensuring that the LMS met compliance
imc needed to ensure that the new platform, based on their Learning Management System imc Learning Suite, met critical safety business processes, skill competencies and compliance with legislation.
Another challenge was ensuring the system reduced administrative efforts and costs whilst also improving KiwiRail’s data quality and availability.
One source of truth for all business functions
imc built one system which helped KiwiRail to undertake a variety of business functions. These included:
- A way for employees and contractors where they can find and register for training
- The ability for employees to track their progress and manage their career training goals
- A method for the business to manage skills, certificates and competencies
- Enhancing managers’ ability to monitor and report on what their staff are completing
This system also helped to reduce costs across the business through the synchronisation of the HR system within the LMS.
Another highlight of implementing this new system was the topic of compliance. The system tracks safety, regulatory and legislative compliance training requirements. It helped to ensure that all of these are met with the ability to deliver company-wide reporting.
Efficient management of all rail personnel
The integration of all old systems into one new LMS helped to ensure the efficient management of all certifications and career developments across all business units. In addition, it gave KiwiRail the opportunity to further enhance their training access within their organisation.
This meets the individual requirements of the five different business units by providing one complete view across the enterprise. The new system is still being flexible enough to allow creativity and innovation across business units.
With chatbot and WBT to the
Villeroy & Boch is one of the leading premium brands for ceramic products worldwide. Founded in 1748, the family business based in Mettlach, Germany stands for innovation, tradition and abundance of style.
As a renowned lifestyle brand, Villeroy & Boch has a presence in 125 countries with its bathroom, wellness and fine tableware products.
Fit for the leading trade fair
The ceramics manufacturer Villeroy & Boch needed to train around 400 sales representatives worldwide for a trade fair. Each employee attending the fair had to complete mandatory virtual product training so they would be able to present the new products.
The greatest challenges were:
- Time pressure: training had to be complete by a certain date
- Ensuring mandatory participation
- Subsequent testing of learning success
- Catering to different ages with different e-learning skills
Virtual product training
Two different web-based training courses (WBT) were created for the predominantly technical products. For all other new developments a chatbot was developed.
The chatbot was filled with short learning units aka learning nuggets, each taking 3 minutes to complete. Each participant moved through different topic areas and product training units.
Each employee arriving for the trade fair was required to complete these training courses in advance and demonstrate in a test that they had understood the learned content.
The training received a strong response and achieved high levels of acceptance. Employees provided extremely positive feedback.
Villeroy & Boch therefore plan to work with equally innovative, digital training concepts for future trade fairs.
Training internal and external audiences
Headquartered in Hamburg-Eppendorf, Eppendorf AG develops, produces and distributes products and services for laboratories all over the world. These products are often used in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food sectors.
The company is the world market leader in many areas of laboratory technology. Across its global operations, the group has more than 3,000 employees at 34 locations.
Knowledge acquisition in record time
Increasing legal requirements, fast global growth, more employees, a more extensive portfolio and a shorter time to market – A few years ago, Eppendorf AG faced all of these challenges. To fight these challenges, it required not only the employees to be trained but also the network of external partners and service providers to be educated. Only when this network of both internal and external groups (together the so-called "Extended Enterprise") is up to date with the latest products, services and developments, at all times, Eppendorf can provide the quality that it strives for. Time and efficiency are essential in this training process.
Mastering these challenges is even harder when old-fashioned and time-consuming training processes slow down the progress. This is where the professionally set-up blended learning concept within a cloud-based solution comes to the rescue.
An open professional development concept
As part of an integrated e-learning strategy, the imc Learning Suite was implemented across the entire company as “Eppendorf Academy”. Hosting in the Microsoft Azure Cloud ensures virtually unlimited scalability and immediate availability
The objective was to systematically complement or replace existing face-to-face training courses with e-learning offers to create a blended learning experience.
The imc authoring tool Content Studio was chosen for the creation of interactive and multimedia learning content.
90 % of users rate the courses
In order to facilitate swift identification and rectification of gaps in the content, obtaining continuous feedback from the course participants was very important for Eppendorf AG.
The dialogue with the learners directly shows to what extent the learning content helped the learners perform their daily tasks, and where further improvements were needed.
The participants’ feedback has been impressive: A staggering 90% of users to date rate the courses as helpful or very helpful.
On the safe side with validatable processes in the Learning Management System
pfm medical ag is an internationally operating, medium-sized, family-owned company from Germany that offers special solutions in the healthcare sector. The company has enjoyed success in the development, manufacture and sale of quality products and has offered reliable services for nearly 50 years. Its portfolio covers the medical fields of surgery, histotechnology, cardiovascular technologies and infusion technology.
Therapeutic safety and therapeutic success are the core themes of all of pfm’s proposals. All solutions and products aim to contribute towards improving the quality of life for patients and of work quality for users.
Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, the company employs over 600 people at twelve locations worldwide.
pfm medical, a medical technology company, belongs to the pharmaceutical and medical technology sector, and this 'high-risk' sector is subject to a strict obligation to document evidence of all work and training procedures.
Depending on the market they serve, these sectors are governed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as additional regulations from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
In addition, in 2017 the EU issued the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) which also regulates the handling of the software used; the transition period for the MDR expires on 25 May 2021.
Comply with Medical Device Regulation without accumulating paper folders by the metre
"After just under two years, we had about ten running metres of A4 folders and had to file and enter every piece of paper by hand; that had to change". This is how Hans-Heiko Müller, Team Manager of Organisation Learning at pfm medical, describes the situation in mid-2020.
At pfm medical, the mandatory complete documentation of all training courses used to be implemented using paper records, as is still standard practice at many companies. After completing a training course, whether online or in-person, employees had to print out a paper themselves and confirm successful close-out with their signature.
The signed document was then delivered in person or by post to headquarters, where it was manually checked and entered into the existing learning management system (LMS). This was an error-prone job that tied up a lot of resources.
A validatable LMS in the SaaS cloud
In order to decrease the effort required for these processes while continuing to work in compliance with the rules, pfm medical decided in mid-2020 to convert the existing LMS into a validatable learning platform.
For this purpose, the company selected the imc AG Golden Master package which includes system set-up, commissioning and all updates for customers. Another special feature of the package is the validation documentation, which is provided by imc. This is the basis on which a system can be validated by the customer.
Specifically, this means that imc takes care of the overall configuration of the system and the documentation of the cloud setup. As part of this, imc documents that all the required steps for the proper installation of the system environment have been followed.
Hans-Heiko Müller explains, "In theory, we could have converted our existing LMS into a validatable system ourselves. But I would have had to have hired at least one full-time employee just for the documentation that would have been necessary at the beginning and as well as for every change and update in the future, because a few hundred pages each time add up quickly."
Of course, the topic of data security also played a major role for pfm medical. But the imc cloud solution was convincing: With a 99% guaranteed availability, certifications according to ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 and a 24/7 service time, there was nothing left to wish for. The cloud solution creates an even higher level of security than the classic paper filing system, as it is secured several times and cannot be destroyed by a fire, for example.
The end of the paper economy
After the successful changeover, the time had finally come; the end of the paper economy could be initiated. Instead of having to print out and sign each certificate, pfm medical employees can now enter their courses into the system themselves. All they have to do after a course close-out is confirm via e-signature that they have successfully completed the course.
In addition, entire groups of employees can be enrolled on certain learning paths together and automatically receive reminders about upcoming mandatory training courses. Although these features had already existed in the company's original LMS, regulations prevented them from being used for validation-related training.
Hans-Heiko Müller sums it up: "We learned quite a bit during the conversion process. We have adapted our processes to the system, not the other way around, and have evolved as a result. But in a way, we also had to accept that we will lose a bit of flexibility.
Little things that I used to change myself in 20 seconds now run through a change process and are checked and documented within the context of a four-eyes principle. The total process now takes a little longer. Still, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages for the company. With the system and the documentation created by imc, we err on the side of caution during audits and save a lot of work and time at the same time in the process."