BlueVolt has implemented its e-Learning platform for WernerCo—a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of consumer and professional products for climbing, fall protection, and storage—to educate its distributors about selecting and safely using the company’s products. According to WernerCo, the company sells approximately 85 percent of the ladders bought annually in North America.
“We began investing in online training as early as 2009. The early online educational efforts didn’t meet our learners where the work was,” says EJ Fromer, marketing and eLearning content manager for WernerCo. “With our new e-Learning platform, learners can be on any device anywhere, including an airplane, and take training. We’ve developed 25 courses across the company’s global brands, including instruction in English and Spanish.”
Having worked with nearly 15 learning management systems, even open-source ones, in previous roles, Fromer says he’s learned that training learners who aren’t employees requires a system that is:
- data compliant, and
- equipped with a user interface that trainer’s can easily modify.
When it comes to ladder safety, usually a person’s knowledge is variable if they have any formal training at all, which is why WernerCo offers a course called Ladder Safety 101. Since launching Ladder Safety 101 with its e-Learning platform via www.mywernerco.com, WernerCo has seen nearly 30,000 people finish the course. The lesson includes videos showing how to select and set up a ladder, and how to select the correct height – the optimal staging ratio for an extension ladder, for example, is 4:1 (i.e., for every four feet in ladder height, the ladder must be one foot away from vertical).
While a WernerCo course about pump-jack safety might tally merely 1,000 course completions, the course can still be a success. Pump jacks are simply a smaller percentage of the company’s total product offering. WernerCo also evaluates training in terms of how learners react, what they learned, which behaviors they’ve changed and what benefits the company is deriving.
“Training is a tool for selling to our channels, which vary in their interest and buying patterns,” says Fromer. “Online training can be an integral part of a company’s strategy for product marketing, too.”
“If, for example, WernerCo launches a new fall-protection product, they can use our platform to send and track an online training module to distributors ahead of the launch," adds Douglas Gastich, president of BlueVolt. "Distributors are prepared with the product benefits and can share what they’ve learned with contractors, so WernerCo makes a sale.”