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The Challenge

Burke Distributing is a team of premier beverage distribution professionals that has been serving the Boston area since 1935 with a wide range of domestic, craft, and imported beers, along with a large assortment of spirits, ciders, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Five years ago, Burke Distributing’s training program was nearly nonexistent. Feedback from employees showed a consistent theme… everyone wanted training. Enter Dan, Burke’s new Training and Development Manager. Dan’s challenge was to build a training program from the ground up. His plan was to tackle onboarding and orientation training first, then create departmental training based on the needs of each department head.

Two years later and Burke is already outgrowing their training. Reporting was a hassle, training needed to be consolidated, and they had no real access to a training library. Dan was creating training on an as-needed basis, throwing together PowerPoints and hands-on training events, but he knew he needed to find a new, more efficient and engaging training solution.

Meanwhile, the company was in the process of rolling out a new competency program. It became clear to Dan that in order to successfully roll out competencies, there needed to be training and development opportunities tied to them. The final challenge was to find a way that Burke Distributing’s many on-the-road employees could participate and engage in training without access to a desktop computer. ej4 was ready and waiting with a “just right” approach for Dan.

Up and Running in No Time

Burke Distributing began their search for a learning partner in October 2017, and their goal was to be up and running by January 2018. Dan learned about ej4 from the team of consultants he was using to build out his company’s competencies. As a beverage distributing company, Dan saw the advantage of using ej4’s beverage-specific training “Beer Campus.” The ej4 sales team was a reliable resource throughout their process, acting as a support tool for any questions or concerns Dan had.

The efficient implementation process allowed Burke Distributing’s training to go live in December 2017, leaving one month of extra time for the L&D team to get acclimated with the site and all it’s features. Throughout this process, Dan had his own personal ej4 Learning Consultant as a resource to help him prepare everything he needed to go live company-wide in January.

 

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A Convenient Solution that Had Leadership On Board

“The pricing plan couldn’t be beat,” Dan said. “The beverage industry pricing is what really helped me sell the overall idea to our CFO.” But another aspect that sold ej4 as a good fit was the mobile-ready learning that came with the LMS. Finding time to pull sales people off the road for onsite training was a major challenge for Dan.

Burke University would allow salespeople to complete their training on the road with their iPad. “As a beer distributor, Burke University offered the best solution for our needs.” It doesn’t get more convenient than that!

Engaging Content All in One Place

Apart from a quick implementation and leadership buy-in, ej4’s training solution appealed to Dan for a number of reasons. The microlearning model would allow employees to engage in training that would not take up too much time, but also that could be used during leader-led programs. He also liked the modern, engaging, and up-to-date content that ej4 offered.

Another added benefit was the free LMS that came with the purchase of our content. Thinkzoom provided Dan with an easy, convenient way to build out learning paths for Burke University based on different competencies. ej4 gave him the resources he needed to plug specific training into an employee’s development plan, with all the content together in one easily-accessible place.

 

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Increase in Engagement

After launching the new training, Burke Distributing experienced a drastic increase in engagement. Dan spent a lot of time doing in-house training on Burke University to get the whole organization on board with the program. He wanted everyone to understand the benefits of microlearning and how easy it is to access with ej4’s mobile-friendly platform.

This increased engagement even resulted in some employees going above and beyond the required training by engaging in self-directed learning. Some of his “power-users” engage in this kind of training on a daily basis! Employee feedback shows that learners are provided with just the right amount of reminders in the form of 4tify Your Learning emails that remind them to take follow-up quizzes and jump back into their training.

Embracing Blended-Learning Experiences

Since launching Burke University, Dan has adopted the approach of using a blended learning experience to his training curriculum. Learning paths and required training on the online campus allow employees to engage in independent learning or complete pre-work before an instructor-led session. Dan also offers special “training lunches,” hour-long work sessions over lunch that help employees get in a training session in a more informal setting. Dan uses some of ej4’s microlearning videos during these sessions to spark conversation about important topics.

Since Burke Distributing has began using ej4’s learning solution, Dan has been able to create competency-specific learning paths that are unique to his organization, experienced an increase in training engagement, and has found a solution for his on-the-road employees.

Summary of Success

  • A 'just right' training solution for Burke Distributing
  • A learning platform that allowed the L&D department to create competency-specific training paths
  • A blended-learning solution that combines traditional instructor-led sessions with microlearning content
  • An increased level of learner engagement

 

 

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For additional reading on blended learning experiences, check out this content!