We recently highlighted 15 reasons why so many learning and development professionals are steering towards Managed Learning Services. In this study, conducted by Hemsley Fraser, they also identified some 14 key benefits of using Managed Learning Services. Our own research and feedback from our customers support these findings, it enables organisations to:
- Meet the strategic and operational learning needs of individuals, through better quality training. Several participants highlighted that, with managed learning, they are better able to match the right learning intervention to the needs of individuals and provide high quality training, when and where it is needed.
- Gain volume discounts on the cost of training. Through smarter procurement, the majority of the participants have achieved substantial savings on course fees, without compromising on quality. Some have reduced their spend on external training suppliers by as much as 35%. One participant in our study said their managed learning provider had rationalised 1,700 training suppliers down to a preferred supplier list of 60. Others reported that managed learning had lifted their supplier relationships to a more professional level; they no longer had to consider individual suppliers who had been recommended internally because they were someone’s friend! Managed learning is also seen as a much better option than having individual employees trying to source their own training, as they waste time on that and often they don’t get any discount.
- Gain other cost savings. Other cost savings have come from having a clearer ‘demand plan’ for training that is aligned to the business priorities, tightening up administrative inefficiencies, eliminating the duplication of training and ensuring that the right development needs are met through the most appropriate learning approaches.
- Benefit from simplified billing. Managed learning providers submit a single monthly invoice for all training. One participant said: “We used to raise around 1,800 purchase orders per year for external training. We now have monthly consolidated billing that’s automatically sent to each of our five cost centres, so there’s no need to raise individual purchase orders. The cost centres check and sign-off the amounts. Consolidating the invoicing of our external training courses saves us a substantial sum each year.”
- Evaluate training. Some managed learning providers offer an automated, online evaluation process. This provides data and metrics on aspects such as the effectiveness of the training, the quality of the trainer and the management of the event.
- Improve the return on investment from L&D. As well as gaining better value on the training spend, participants reported that L&D practitioners were able to spend more time understanding the learning requirements, supporting the core business competencies and aligning learning to the needs of the business. This was because they were spending less time on managing relationships with training suppliers.
- Increase the volume of training. Some participants had seen a 30% increase in delegate numbers. Many reported that, with their managed learning partner, more training was taking place now than ever before, partly because of more efficient training management and partly also because the right training could now be found and booked more quickly and with “less fuss”.
- Improve the utilisation of training. If an employee books onto a training course and then pulls out at short notice, it incurs a cancellation charge. Participants reported training courses were better attended and cancellation charges had been reduced through managed learning because of improvements to the way that training is scheduled, administered and marketed.
- Improve the consistency of learning support. When a managed learning partner provides a good helpdesk service, it offers a more consistent response to training enquiries.
- Understand and control their training activity. The management information from managed learning gives L&D teams increased visibility and control over the training spend. Often this includes details of the training undertaken as well as a financial analysis, a satisfaction analysis, booking statistics, supplier performance and a service level analysis. Participants reported that they now know where their budget is going and the value this provides. By analysing historic training activity, training booking/evaluation data and capability development priorities, they could forecast future training needs and likely volumes. These insights helped them to make more informed strategic decisions about learning.
- Gain access to learning expertise. Many participants reported that experts from their managed learning provider had given advice on learning in areas such as training needs analysis, developing e-learning strategies, blended learning, running development centres and analysing return on investment, as well as broader business issues. Their providers also help them to stay abreast of the latest developments in learning. As one participant said: “There’s value in working with someone who has a wider view of what’s happening in the industry.”
- Achieve accountability for learning. Managed learning providers can be held accountable for the quality of the training delivered via service level agreements and key performance indicators.
- Manage the peaks and troughs in learning. Managed learning offers a more flexible service, enabling L&D teams to increase or decrease their training provision as the needs of the business change.
- Benchmark their performance. Some managed learning providers offer benchmark data that enables L&D teams to see how their learning performance compares against other organisations.
If you would like more information on the benefits of using our Managed Learning Services, please contact us here or call 01920 460 211.