Getting to Climate Neutral: Global Action Day Plus Professional Development
The Schaeffler Group, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, is a leading global supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors. True to its motto “We pioneer motion,” the company has been driving forward ground-breaking developments in the fields of motion and mobility for more than 75 years.
With innovative technologies, products and services for CO₂-efficient drives, electric mobility, solutions for automotive suspensions, Industry 4.0, digitalisation, and renewable energies, the company is a reliable partner for making motion and mobility more efficient, intelligent and sustainable.
The Schaeffler Group currently has about 84,000 employees spread across some 200 locations in over 50 countries. In 2022, it generated sales of approximately 15.8 billion euros.
90 minutes of climate neutrality brainstorming worldwide
Schaeffler aims to be completely climate neutral by 2040. Its in-house production will be climate neutral by 2030, and its entire supply chain will achieve climate-neutrality by 2040. “That’s a very ambitious goal, certainly, but we are utterly determined to achieve it,” emphasises Nadja Lemke, Schaeffler’s Senior Vice President Global Branding & Marketing.
“But, of course, we will only succeed if everyone gets onboard.” Which is why Schaeffler is seeking to harness its employees’ creativity and expertise. It wants to draw together ideas from all areas of the company worldwide.
This was the thinking behind Schaeffler’s Climate Action Day, a group-wide event staged in June 2022. On that day, all the company’s employees paused their normal work for 90 minutes. For 90 minutes, they jointly focused on the challenges posed for Schaeffler and for society generally by climate change. In over 4,000 workshops worldwide, they developed a wealth of ideas for reducing CO2 emissions in their respective departments.
Climate Action Day was also to be a day of learning. Employees were to improve their knowledge of sustainability and climate neutrality through in-person and online workshops. But how, exactly?
Fully integrated learning – Digital and in-person
An animated, integrated landing page complete with chatbot, curated content and direct interfaces with Microsoft Teams and the existing learning management system. That was the winning solution devised by imc.
imc project manager Melissa Hohmann explains: “It had to be completely learner-centric. All employees worldwide needed to know at a glance how to proceed directly to their learning content. The solution needed to come across as a coherent whole and be inspiring for the learners. The learner experience had to be so engaging that the passion for sustainability felt at Schaeffler headquarters in Herzogenaurach would carry across fully to learners as far away as Mexico, China, and Australia.”
The solution provided by imc took the form of a learning portal. On the big day, the employees logged in and watched video messages from the Board of Managing Directors. These messages demonstrated that the commitment to sustainability came from the highest levels of the company. After watching the videos, the employees were able to click through the portal to various options.
They could work their way through training content or take part in group chats. Or contribute their own ideas in the four categories of Green Products, Green Production, Green Materials and Green Behaviour.
Over 23,000 ideas and documented positive outcomes
“About 23,000 ideas – that was the outcome of Climate Action Day 2022,” says Hanna Peter-Regar, Senior Vice President, Schaeffler-Academy.
“The feedback from colleagues from all around the world was resoundingly positive. We were astonished at the innovative ideas that flowed in from the individual countries. The Teams chat absolutely exploded, and the engagement via social media was massive, too. People were proud to be contributing their ideas. They were excited to be lending their support to our drive for climate neutrality. What’s more, we’ve managed to implement a lot of their ideas since then.”
imc Executive Board member Sven R. Becker is likewise delighted with the results. “We count a project as a success only if the client achieves demonstrable and quantifiable positive outcomes. That’s what drives us. Why? Because the outcomes have to be there in order for learning and professional development to be an integral part of the digital transformation.”
Together we can: Next-Level Blended Learning at Vodafone
Vodafone’s purpose is to connect for a better world and drive innovation – as summed up by its “Together we can” global brand positioning.
The British mobile telephony company’s German subsidiary Vodafone GmbH was founded in 1990 in Düsseldorf. Today, the Vodafone Group has a global workforce of around 100,000, including 16,000 in Germany.
The group’s worldwide revenue for 2021 was 43.81 billion euros, 13 billion of which came from the German market.
Digitalising a five-day in-person onboarding workshop
At Vodafone GmbH, induction, orientation and training in corporate values for new customer service representatives used to take the form of a week-long in-person workshop. That was the case up until early 2020, when the pandemic came along and changed everything. Suddenly the company had to find an alternative solution.
Pre pandemic, new customer service representatives would spend their first five days with the company learning a great deal more than just the nuts and bolts of the job, like how to deal with difficult customers. They would receive instruction in Vodafone’s corporate values and its customer promise.
- What does the Vodafone brand stand for?
- What is Vodafone’s mission?
- What are the dos and don’ts of dealing with colleagues, superiors, external partners and customers?
All of this learning content would be imparted by trainers in in-person training workshops. But once it became apparent that the pandemic was not going away any time soon, and that steps therefore needed to be taken to protect employees, Vodafone decided to digitalise these training workshops.
That was at the start of 2021. Vodafone HR Learning Manager Sabine Fusenig remembers the decision well: “Even before the pandemic, we had been considering digitalising our onboarding programme in order to improve quality and standardisation. A key requirement was that our trainers retain their central role but be given more time to provide one-on-one support. We had already worked with imc Learning on a number of successful projects and were keen to see what they would come up with to meet these requirements.”
A blended learning experience featuring an interactive 3D map, learning diary and portal page
It was immediately obvious to imc that an undertaking of this complexity and scope called for an extremely well-thought-out blended learning concept. Keeping learners engaged over several days of at-home online learning was clearly going to take more than run-of-the-mill online lectures or hours of video content. Because to deliver 2030 minutes of learning, you need variety.
With this in mind, the team from imc’s content department put their heads together with the Vodafone team. They developed a blended learning concept called “Basic Customer Care”, or BCC for short. This new onboarding programme is strong on variety, comprising such varied components as a trailer video, performance cards, a four-day challenge, a learning diary, a central portal page and a “Vodafone Island” 3D map.
“We soon realised it was going to be a truly mammoth project. Loads of different formats were needed and it was going to take quite a bit of time. Not to mention a great deal of active input from the project team at Vodafone,” says Thomas Faas, a Project Manager in e-learning content at imc.
“You see, while we can certainly help structure the learning content, selecting that content is a decision only the client can make. Not every client understands that. But Vodafone does. Everyone on the team understood exactly what they were getting into, and there were clearly defined contact persons and lines of responsibility. As a result, the project went off without a hitch, plus we had a lot of fun.”
Sabine Fusenig agrees: “imc has been a very constructive, pleasant and reliable partner to work with. The project managers defined clear structures, including timelines, so everyone knew exactly what they had to deliver, and by when.”
It was also a special project experience for the business-side team at Vodafone, which consisted of the Training Specialist Manuela Jeschke and the three trainers Monika Arenz, Rene Schmelzer and Dirk Winkler. They spent many weeks compiling and reviewing content and providing feedback.
“Here on the Vodafone project team, we have a really good handle on things and are very well coordinated. But we are a learning organisation, and this was a learning opportunity,” says the HR Learning Manager. “We had half-hour sprint meetings with imc twice a week and were given ‘homework’ to do after each session. Also, we had separate kick-off meetings for each day of the onboarding programme so that we could define clear goals and structures for each day of programming at the outset.”
Measurably improved results
All the hard work has paid off. By ensuring careful, detailed coordination, avoiding unnecessary reworks and keeping to the tight project timeline, it proved possible to complete the entire blended learning programme in the space of just seven months. Vodafone’s objectives were to achieve measurable improvements in training quality and increase the already very pleasing scores achieved in the metrics it typically assesses for all training courses.
Net Promoter Score: Increased
For example, after each training course, Vodafone calculates the net promoter score – a commonly used metric that indicates how likely consumers are to recommend the product or service in question to others. Previously 82%, this score increased to an extremely pleasing 88% following implementation of the digital onboarding programme.
Similarly, Vodafone wanted to increase the programme’s practical applicability scores from the already above-average 4.3 to 4.5. The programme actually exceeded this target, and the new score is 4.7 (out of 5).
These scores are reflected in the favourable comments from users:
- “The first BCC round went really well!”
- “Brilliant all round! 😊 …and it’s great fun training with the new programme!"
The feedback from the trainers, too, has been positive without exception:
- “The learners really like the self-learning phase (SLP) as they are free to organise their own time and work at their own pace.”
- “The content has a clear, easy-to-follow structure. The group tasks have also been extremely well received. It’s not excessively content-heavy, which allows learners time to ask questions and actively engage with the content.”
- “The concept also gives us the flexibility to catch learners up if they miss a session here or there. We didn’t leave anyone behind!”
The last word goes to Sabine Fusenig: “The project was a resounding success, and I personally would like to see it used as a blueprint or example of best practice for future projects and rolled out in other countries.”
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.”
Ensuring high quality across global operations
The Hansgrohe Group is a major player in the bathrooms, kitchens, and wellness industries, generating €1.4 billion in sales annually. The company lives and breathes premium quality and design. It needed a best-in-breed learning platform to ensure the highest quality delivery across all its global operations with over 5,400 employees in 34 companies and 20 sales offices.
How to achieve a consistent delivery worldwide
The Hansgrohe Group is committed to top quality. Delivering on this commitment entails communicating the quality message to all employees at multiple locations around the globe. To that end, the company needed to guarantee the same high level of expertise in all its divisions, whether in the USA, Europe, or China.
Face-to-face professional development was another challenge: shift workers in production had few options for attending courses held at remote locations during their normal working hours.
A top-tier distributed learning system
In 2006, Dynamic Media GmbH (later merged with imc) developed an LMS for Hansgrohe. Since that time, all employees have been able to learn independently, free of time constraints. They have access to industrial safety courses, fleet training programmes, and diverse learning offerings for topics in IT security, quality management, and staff development. More recently, the company introduced its employee app, giving its production workers easy access to the learning platform and relevant training content.
But that’s not all. In 2021, Hansgrohe adopted the imc LMS. This opened up a whole new category of learning to its installers, resellers, designers, and others. These users can now access a wealth of e-learning content and information on the company’s entire hansgrohe range and its AXOR luxury range.
Each division of the Hansgrohe Group is able to design its own training content. The company uses imc’s content authoring tools – Content Studio and imc Express – to create engaging e-learning content. Hansgrohe chose Content Studio because of its impressive user-friendliness and wide range of options for interactions.
Thanks to imc Express, the company can now automatically translate user-generated content and integrate it directly into the LMS. This is possible because imc Express is browser-based. The system also includes approval workflows to ensure that only approved high-quality content gets shown to learners.
Flexible corporate training a big hit with employees
During the pandemic, Hansgrohe hit on the smart idea of using their imc LMS as a vaccination booking tool. The platform gave employees and their families an easy and convenient way of booking appointments, enabling them to take advantage of the company’s in-house vaccination offer.
The project manager in charge, Jasmin Gargano, is pleased with how the system worked.
“Our main criterion was to give our employees a fast, bureaucracy-free booking system so they could protect themselves and their families. And the imc Learning Suite seemed the perfect choice for the necessary central administration capability. Our employees were already familiar with the system, so they found the booking process very easy. The resulting personal data was deleted from the system afterwards. Needless to say, the offering was very well received by our workforce.”
At Hansgrohe, learning ties in with the company’s core value of mutual appreciation and respect. A key tenet of the corporate culture is for all employees to be empowered to learn independently. Thanks to the adoption of the imc Learning Suite and imc authoring tools, this is now a reality at all the corporate locations.
The company also continually expands its learning paths and optimises internal processes with regard to skill and competency level. Hansgrohe plans to focus ever more closely on the needs of its employees to provide them with even better training.
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!”
How the latest authoring tools can ‘change the game’ in scaling global e-learning creation
mybreev is a cutting-edge company that offers pioneering solutions in the field of online
duty of care training (security, safety, cyber education, and compliance e-learning) across the globe.
Our comprehensive e-learning programs ensure that our clients stay ahead of the curve
and are well-equipped to tackle the challenges of today's rapidly changing liability environment.
Producing e-learning that keeps pace with learner needs
Uwe Roniger, CEO of mybreev with more than 25 years of expertise in the industry, had been looking for a super-fast authoring tool that could provide a cool, engaging content experience for global learners for more than 2 years.
As Uwe explains: “Even though only 10-15% of the off-the-shelf content that mybreev supply to their clients needs customisation, it is this 10-15% that is most important for both the learner and the client company, to personalise their content and provide the best learning experience.”
Around 50% of mybreev’s clients request customisation or language localisation so finding the right authoring tool would have a huge impact on mybreev’s efficiency. However, this solution was proving very difficult to find. “In our own private media consumption, we can view anything we want, instantly in our own language, for free. So why, in the professional sector, are clients still having to invest huge amounts of money and time in translation? In an age of technology, this doesn’t make sense,” Uwe says.
Using AI super-powers to create limitless, global e-learning
As a future-focused, innovative organisation, mybreev’s CEO, felt strongly that an automated tool using the power of technology was the solution and tasked his senior manager, Jutta Nowak-Strauch, to find the ideal authoring tool.
Jutta’s many years of experience in e-learning content creation meant she understood fully all the problems that can occur in the production process. The frequent changes needed to create the optimal learner experience, especially where multilingual content is required, are the most time consuming. She explains “all learners learn better in their own language”.
As soon as Jutta saw imc Express in action and tried the system, she was convinced.
“I was astonished to find how much AI was already available within imc Express, compared to other solutions, especially the AI voices. All our in-house content producers are now using imc Express as part of their suite of expert tools.”
No more learning boundaries thanks to imc Express
Uwe explains, “previously we had no limitations in what we and our clients could create in terms of content experience. But we did have limitations in what we could offer the client in terms of customisation and language possibilities and of course our clients had budget limitations. Since the discovery of imc Express, the boundaries have been lifted and our clients are now able to offer an amazing, customised content experience to any learner, anywhere in the world, instantly and without additional budgets.”
The new digital brand training at imc Learning: Understanding through experiencing
Using gamified brand training to reach and lastingly inspire a highly diverse target audience
In business it’s generally a good idea to stick with what you do best. And that’s precisely our approach to internal brand training here at imc Learning. We have taken our expertise in learning, something we normally offer other companies, and used it to help our own employees.
At imc, we’ve been working with digital learning for about 25 years. We strive to make learning better by redefining how learning happens. Experts in technology, e-learning content and strategy work hand in hand to offer holistic and tailored e-learning solutions – worldwide.
Having started out as a spin-off from Saarland University in Germany, we now work with more than 1,300 companies and public and educational institutions from all sectors and of all sizes, providing them with holistic support in the planning and implementation of digital training strategies.
Enabling employees worldwide to understand and engage with our values and purpose amid the demands of hybrid work and new onboarding methods
imc has changed a lot over the years, both in terms of our brand image and the core values on which it is built. This change in culture is reflected in all areas of our company and therefore needs to be understood and actively supported by all employees – including new hires, who need to be able to connect with and internalize our values.
Achieving this outcome requires learning in the following main areas:
- Company history: What defines us as a company? Where do we come from?
- What are imc’s goals and vision?
- What are the values that shape us, and how do we communicate those values?
- What is our business purpose, and what can each and every employee do to further that purpose?
- What does the imc brand feel like?
We needed a learning solution that could both impart this knowledge to all new hires right from day one and make it available to all existing imc employees on an ongoing basis. The obvious approach was to create an interactive, digital training course that was fun while still getting the imc brand and culture across.
The challenge in designing the course was not just to find a way of disseminating the informational aspects of the training content. The main challenge, in fact, was to give the content emotional power and authenticity, but without overdoing it, so that the very diverse target audience here at imc could identify with it.
A brand experience that invites engagement using a dedicated mascot
No sooner said than done. Kerstin Steffen, Director Brand Strategy at imc, initiated the training course and helped with its implementation. Teaming up with experts from our Content department – people who normally create digital learning content of this type for external clients – she set her sights on developing a training course that inspires all imc employees.
“It was extremely important to develop something that did more than merely disseminate information,” she recalls. “People need to be able to understand and ‘feel’ the brand. New employees should be able to instantly understand what drives us here at imc, what our values are, and what kind of cooperation and collaboration we practise and expect of others.”
Oliver Steinhilber is an instructional designer at imc and provided support for the conceptual design of the training course. “We’re currently seeing strong demand for training courses of this type among our clients,” he says. “Onboarding, change, new work and the like are a big deal at the moment, and managers in HR, marketing and internal communication are looking for ways of communicating these messages with authenticity and emotional power.”
So, it was immediately obvious what we needed to do. But we had to make a number of key decisions before we could start with the conceptual design and creation work.
Excitement and engagement among newcomers and old hands alike
The first step was to select a suitable tool for creating the training course. We chose Articulate Rise, and the team undertook two in-house workshops on how to use it.
Next, the team agreed to use storytelling as the course’s definitive stylistic device and to adopt a mascot as the narrator and companion for learners on their learning journey. Max – that’s the mascot’s name – looks a little like a ghost and emerges from the dot on the “i” of imc. He starts out very pale but gradually takes on more colour as the learner progresses through the course and learns more about the imc brand.
Max features in all elements of the training course. For example, in the history section, he reads from a book telling the story of the company’s founder, Professor August-Wilhelm Scheer. As the training course progresses, Max draws the learner deeper and deeper into the imc brand experience. The course also includes quizzes at regular intervals to gauge comprehension of the learning content.
The result is an entertaining and explorative 25-minute training course, split into four chapters, that teaches the learner everything they need to know about imc.
“We’re really pleased with the result, and the initial feedback from users is extremely positive,” says Kerstin Steffen. “The newcomers are engaging enthusiastically, plus it has sparked the interest of the old hands, who feel inspired to do the course right away. The time invested – it took about three months from initial idea to implementation – has well and truly paid off!”
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."