eLearning is a New Concept!
eLearning has been in operation in Ireland for decades and the most efficient corporations already have some form of eLearning solution in place. All you have to do is look at organisations from the HSA to the HSE, from universities to primary schools, from the very large organisations such as ABB to the smaller accountancy practices that complete CPD’s online.
In reality most corporations are far more open to change than traditional training companies with the reluctance to embrace eLearning by traditional training companies predominantly because they see it as a threat to their existing business. One of our guilty pleasures here at dulann.com is to see the look of surprise on our training partners face when a client says that they have been doing eLearning for years. This happens every week now but it is still something that seems to catch our training partners unawares.
Change, particularly using a new technology is often daunting, but the market is already sifting the sands of change. The reality is that if traditional training companies don’t change direction, they will end up exactly where they are heading. eLearning is only a threat if you pretend it’s not there.
That is not to say that eLearning is for every course or every person but the cost efficiencies that it delivers coupled with the increase in learning achieved, make it an unstoppable force.
Switching costs for organisations is quite high so the first traditional training company in the door is often the company that ends up with a long and profitable relationship.
Exclusivity in any area is dependent on performance so today is the day you can start to protect your future revenue streams from your competitors. The expense in creating “Best in breed” eLearning means that traditional companies who offer such a service will always be one step ahead of the older inefficient video based versions or the newer “next, next, next” merchants that are already starting to appear on the landscape. Companies like Intuition have been in the financial services sector for years, and let me tell you Dermot Desmond is generally seen as someone who is ahead of his time. The examples are all around us, in fact it was an Irish guy who started one of the world’s largest eLearning company’s. Today it employs over 2,000 people and has annual revenues of almost half a billion euros. Change is upon us people!
eLearning will Cannibalise my Existing Business!
I suppose this depends on whether you are a “glass half full” or a “glass half empty” sort of person. It is true, without doubt, that eLearning will cannibalise some of your existing business. But there are two sides to every story and the commercial advantages of eLearning to traditional training companies, far outweigh the disadvantages:
- Typically your “Tier One” targets are carrying out their own manual handling, inductions and tool box talks. In reality you are seeking a slice of that market, not cannibalising your existing business. These typically provide monthly turnover with very little servicing. I think that’s what they call “Money for Jam”!
- Clients are moving in this “Tier One” direction in greater numbers and if you don’t service your existing clients then chances are a competitor will do so. This isn’t cannibalisation but securing your position as their provider. Being first mover in their company raises barriers to other training companies as you offer a full 360 service. This week alone we had three training partners ask us about the one global food company. First come first served is our motto.
- When aiming at the SME market, it is important that profitability delivered instantaneously through eLearning is far far better than a book full of names for a course that hasn’t yet happened. The reality is that when you ring those clients back a significant portion of those will have got their training elsewhere already and as such you will have actually lost money on that transaction. Again this isn’t cannibalisation but an ability to service this market more quickly and efficiently.
- More and more our traditional training partners are starting to sell on a national level so if you are not in their first, arguably you run the risk of losing the business that you do have. We have seen this already on a number of occasions. Typically training partners sell within 20 kilometers of their base or satellite base so a sale 100km away is hardly cannibalisation.
The list goes on and on. We hope that this blog will alleviate any fears that you may have in this regard. As the blogs will disappear after two days, please just ask for back issues. Till next week!