Unilever Food Solutions keeps widely distributed sales team in the know with Mindflash

Posted by admin on Dec 1, 2017 7:32:00 AM
ldquo Mindflash is a very user-friendly system for both the trainer and trainees. It can save you a lot of time. rdquo
Beverly Looney
CD Capabilities Training Manager
Unilever Food Solutions

About the Organization

Unilever Food Solutions is a food service manufacturer that also offers solutions that creates delicious, time-saving ingredients and provides ideas and inspiration to help businesses keep menus fresh and exciting. The company, which has been at the top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 14 years running, delivers top-known brands such as Knorr, Hellmann’s, and Lipton to hotels, restaurants, businesses, schools, and independent operators in 74 countries. In addition to quality brands, Unilever Food Solutions support its customers with great service, market insights, and innovation.

Situation

Unilever Food Solutions has a widely distributed workforce across Canada and all 50 of the United States, with a diverse sales force led by Distributor Development Managers, Chain Development Managers, Business Development Team and Sales Leaders. Sales is further split into various teams with different areas of expertise, such as distributor, large chains, military, supermarket and deli, convenience stores, Club Stores, and healthcare facilities. The logistics of training are a major challenge since not only do courses need to be delivered across a vast area, they also need to be tailored to meet the needs of specialized teams.

“We don’t have the resources to get together all the time,” says Beverly Looney, Unilever’s CD Capabilities Training Manager. “We need a way to get out training materials easily and quickly, in a user-friendly format.” Previously, the company was holding a lot of live meetings over the phone. Training materials were not readily available, making it difficult for people to review courses without asking someone else to search for a file and email it. “Plus, it was very difficult to reinforce training,” says Beverly, “and it’s important that we ensure that employees not only understand the materials but also retain the information.”

Solution

Beverly uses Mindflash to create multiple variants of courses aimed at the various specialized sales teams. There are around 250 active trainees, all of whom have used the program. Most training programs are geared toward new hires and range in focus from finance and marketing to culinary ideation and food safety.

However, Unilever recently kicked off training program called UFS-University, which is focused on delivering continuing education to all of the salespeople at the company. Courses are created by a team of 5 to 10 people, and then Beverly uploads the materials to Mindflash. Trainees are required to complete courses, fill out related activity sheets and submit results through, while Beverly tracks progress to see who has completed the assignments.

For Beverly, the number one priority for training was that the tool be easy to use. “I didn’t want a complex solution that required an IT degree to be able to use,” she says. “Mindflash is very user-friendly–anyone can get the hang of it.” The company reviewed several other online solutions, but Mindflash was the easiest for both trainers and trainees to understand.

Beverly also likes that Mindflash:

  • is easily accessible to the sales team when they are in the field, and that they’re able to go back and review materials at any time
  • allows trainers to go back in and change a training program even after it’s been activated
  • makes it easy to copy pieces of one course to create another that’s slightly different
  • can be managed by several different people
  • offers the ability to stagger training times

Results

In about a year, Beverly has used Mindflash to create five series with a total of about 30 courses. Unilever is now able to send training materials in advance and offer Q&A review sessions, which has resulted in training review calls dropping from 90 minutes in duration to 30 minutes. Our sales teams are much happier with training since it saves them time and is easy to use.

Read More

Topics: reseller training, sales, Channel Partners, consumer goods, Unilever Food Solutions

Big Ass Fans took product training to new heights with Mindflash

Posted by admin on Jul 19, 2017 8:36:13 AM
ldquo Mindflash was a good choice for us because we could easily utilize the PowerPoints, videos, online content, PDF and Excel files we already had. Employees appreciate the flexibility of being able to take training from any computer or iPad with Internet access. And managers love that employees can fit training in around their already hectic work schedules. rdquo
Paul Curry
Learning Manager
Big Ass Fans

About the Organization

Based in Lexington, KY, Big Ass Fans is the preeminent designer and manufacturer of 6 ft. to 24’ diameter high volume/low speed ceiling and vertical fans developed to provide significant energy savings and improve occupant comfort year round in large commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional and residential buildings. For the last several years, Big Ass Fans has ranked among the top 25 Best Places to Work in Kentucky, and also regularly receives both domestic and international acclaim for its commitment to innovation, engineering and efficiency.

Situation

Big Ass Fans has a rapidly growing business. They have expanded their distributor network, doubled employee growth over the past 5 years, even hiring 100 new employees in a single year. They are also in the midst of expanding into a new 240,000-square-foot building where they project to be adding several hundred additional employees over the coming few years.

Until 2012, all corporate training had been presented as informal, on-the-job learning, developed and facilitated primarily by subject matter experts from within the management or engineering departments. Employees typically would receive a binder of information or hear a lecture, but there was no formalized training/learning approach.

With a newly re-designed product line set to launch in 4-months, senior management realized that they needed a more thoughtful approach to training. Good training is vital in the manufacturing and sales industry, and Big Ass Fans needed a more efficient and effective solution. A Learning Manager was hired and tasked with finding a learning solution and designing and developing a new training program in time for the product launch.

With only a 4-month deadline, Big Ass Fans needed a tool to help get their program quickly off the ground. They analyzed various training solutions but concluded that most were bloated software packages with features he’d never use, or whose expense couldn’t be justified with a solid return on investment. Security was also an important factor, so open source solutions were not an option.

Solution

While researching potential solutions online, Big Ass Fans discovered Mindflash. “Mindflash was a good choice for us because we could easily utilize the PowerPoints, videos, online content, PDF and Excel files we already had” Paul Curry, Learning Manager, said.

Well ahead of the deadline, Mindflash courses for every product line within the company were created. Individual Mindflash courses also cover topics such as installation techniques, company history, corporate culture and dress code. Recently, in addition to courses for employees, Big Ass Fans has expanded its Mindflash training program to include courses for a select group of external, international distributors. At any given time, the company has roughly 200 active trainees on the Mindflash program.

According to Paul, Mindflash has “become a core component of our new employee onboarding program.”

Results

Big Ass Fans has received very positive feedback from both training participants and from management. “Employees appreciate the flexibility of being able to take training from any computer or iPad with Internet access. And managers love that employees can fit training in around their already hectic work schedules.”

The Learning Management team at Big Ass Fans is constantly measuring outcomes and behavior. Since implementing the new Mindflash training program, managers have noted that employees are better utilizing knowledge and seem better prepared to craft tailored customer solutions. Further, managers do not have to spend nearly as much time performing basic training.

“It’s definitely the foundation of our training program” Paul says. “It’s allowed us to get courses up quickly that were definitely needed.” And due to the quickness and efficiency of Mindflash, Paul and his team are “now able to launch new programs we previously never would have had the time to create.”

Read More

Topics: employee training, mobile learning, Product training, reseller training, Channel Partners, Big Ass Fans and Mindflash

Start a free trial.

See for yourself why global brands choose Mindflash.

By clicking get started, you agree to our Terms of Service.