Case Study: Anne-Marie Daly, Exponential Training & Assessment, UK
Set up 20 years ago and undergoing changes to introduce a digital business model whereby 95 per cent of training, assessment and coaching is delivered on-line rather than face-to-face. ETA is literally under-going a digital transformation from the way we undertake bookkeeping and accounting, marketing and promotions, day-to-day office management and team-working, delivering training courses including supporting learners through on-line coaching sessions and assessment. This project has inspired ETA to accelerate its plans and to introduce two new on-line tools, LEAP and Management Direct.
What were the highlights of the course? Strengths?
Working on the development of the modules and designing the elf assessment exercise made ETA directors look at the opportunities for further digitalisation of the company and its processes. It has been a learn and development process for the whole company and not just the people who completed the modules.
Impact - How has being on the course helped you as an individual?
It has made me more aware of the opportunities for digitalising business processes. I now ask my students about their innovation and transformation plans, especially digitalisation when coaching them on units relating to organisation change and innovation – I also make more suggestions about how they can use digital tools to improve their own and their team’s performance.
Impact - How has being on the course helped your business?
As a result of this course, ETA has introduced Management Direct for our students. It is an on-line learning management system which contains unit-based learning journeys directly linked to the assessment criteria of the qualifications we use. Students are finding the learning process more targeted and valuable as they can focus on what they need to learn to improve performance and to meet the assessment criteria.
We have also invested in a new assessment and communication platform called LEAP. LEAP s short for Learn, Engage, Apply and Perform. It directly links students to their coach and assessment enabling them to upload assignments and receive feedback, up-dates and messages from their coaches and assessors. It includes moderation tools enabling moderators to evaluate the work processes and quality of assessment and to ensure quality standards are maintained and improved across all coaches and qualifications. Towards the end of 2019, Management Direct and LEAP will be accessible via a single sign-in making the use of the two systems seamless.
ETA commissioned an external digital marketing agency to run a Google Ad campaign which also linked into the company’s newly introduced Infusionsoft platform. We saw a 200 per cent increase in on-line sales enquiries and 150 per cent increase in like for like sales over last year.
Is there anything you do now in your business that you wouldn’t have otherwise done?
Yes. DiTEM has pushed ETA to explore how much further we can digitalise our processes. It has enabled us to embrace technology across all aspects of the business both back office and customer interfacing. In 2020, ETA will make the move to an e-commerce facility in 2019 and is currently asking existing students if they would have purchased their qualification in this way before making the change.
Would you recommend the course/online platform to other people?
I think the main value is in the reflection process triggered by the self-assessment tool.
Any new innovations in your business, particularly regarding digital technologies?
In addition to the impacts described above, ETA has also had a lot of success using a social media scheduling tool called Meet Edgar. This tool has enabled ETA to re-use old social media assets and to create an automated, multi-channel social media schedule of blogs, articles and postings. Meet Edgar is now saving hours per week and ensures we have a continuous flow of social media activities linked to both specific promotional campaigns and general awareness raising.
Advice that you would offer other businesses?
Look at your existing business processes and identify ones which could benefit from digitalisation remembering that NOT ALL processes will be improved by using a digital tool. Think about how you could use the potential tools and what other changes it might lead to BEFORE you implement them. Finally, monitor the impact and if possible, run them side-by-side in parallel with the old process for a period to make sure they are effective.