Choosing a Managed Learning Service Provider isn’t always a straight forward task. You are entrusting another company and need to be confident that they will be the best for you and your company.
At Optimus Sourcing, we are working with companies who have chosen us as their Managed Learning Service provider and are aware of the challenges they have encountered. Therefore, we decided to create this guide to help you choose a Managed Learning Service provider for yourselves so that you don’t have similar problems.
Our experience as a Managed Learning Service provider for some of the leading UK companies has taught us that these following 5 five things must be considered by any company before choosing a Managed Learning Service.
What is it that you want from the relationship? A very common problem in all aspects of business is that managers don’t really know what they want from a strategy before they implement it. Therefore whatever results come out from it are hard to measure as a success or failure or are just completely ignored. Therefore solid numbers need to be formed alongside the Managed Learning Service. Are you looking to cut down on administration more as you have a small L&D department or has the budget been cut and you are looking to save every penny possible? Are you looking for smaller, more niche courses or large scale rollouts for more common courses? Each provider will be better at different aspects.
Is a Managed Learning Service actually what your company needs? Don’t just do it because you heard others have done it and have saved money – your company is likely to be completely different. If the amount of time you spend dealing with training is minor and in general your training needs are low – then it might be best to deal with it in-house. However, if you have a large supplier base which takes a lot of your time communicating to, you are spending time dealing with training administration such as rearranging courses and sorting out cancellation fees and you aren’t getting very good deals on the prices then a Managed Learning Service could be perfect for you.
How much assistance do you require in order to become effective and focus on implementing a learning strategy? Is it just one form of training in one department or a companywide deal forming a long-term relationship? There is no wrong answer here – sometimes a small scale quick transaction is best for your business whereas sometimes the benefits of a longer term relationship are required. Managed Learning Services tend to offer different degrees of help ranging from the simple training sourcing (booking and handling courses) to larger scale integrations that can lead to a Training Needs Analysis – so decide which is best for you.
Is the company reputable? Do they have a list of clients, case studies and testimonials available to you on demand? Have they worked with similar companies? How do they develop their own staff? Who will be the main contacts? How are the service level agreements they provide? All of this should be looked at as you are handing over a large piece of responsibility to someone else so you need to be sure they aren’t going to let you down. Speak to their clients to get an idea of what their service is really like, what problems they overcame and how they have helped other companies.
Possibly the most important thing is can you see yourself building a strong relationship with this Managed Learning Service provider? A lot of the time these deals will be longer term and you are handing over a lot of trust to the provider so do you trust your account manager to pull through for you every time? If you have a good relationship with your provider everything will move along a lot smoother. Remember you are a client and not just another number on a screen so make sure you are treated as such. This goes both ways however – although looking after you is their job, your provider will always appreciate information in advance and recognition for going the extra mile. Make sure you keep each other happy.