Globalized workforces are the new normal, and so is global training. The data is clear: in 2010, 52% of global GDP was produced in developed economies, but by 2030, today’s developing and emerging countries will produce 65% of the global wealth! Companies have always looked at international expansion as a fruitful avenue for growth. But the fast growth of emerging markets is shifting the global economic power structure. With sluggish growth and increasing pressure on margins in developed economies, tapping into new markets is becoming a necessity.
No industry exemplifies this trend better than the financial industry, one of the most interconnected industries on the global stage. After a period of rapid expansion, the financial services industry, now faces multiple pressures: diminished profits caused by low interest rates, increasing costs related to new regulatory and compliance requirements and a shortage of skilled employees in fast growing economies. How can a company manage, train and develop people worldwide while maintaining a consistent quality and productivity? Even more importantly, how can it achieve this goal while keeping the training budget in check?
At Training Orchestra, we work with worldwide clients, so we know a thing or two about managing global training departments and we think Jeff Bezos has a lot to teach us. In this article, we want to help you become the “Amazon” of training.
- An expert in planning, logistics, and operations, delivering the right training, at the right time, on a global scale.
- Ruthlessly frugal and data-centered to make the most of each training dollar.
- Always customer-centric, delivering training that delivers results for your employees and your company.
1. Leverage economies of scale
Reducing operational costs improves profitability. For some companies it’s an added bonus, for others it’s a matter of life or death: going back to our initial example, 15 to 20% of operational cost savings are needed to restore bank economic viability.  No one likes throwing money out the window. But if you are managing a global training operation without leveraging economies of scale, you’re getting all the added complexity with none of the cost-cutting benefits. So how do we do optimize training on a global scale?
Optimizing resources is the first step to save money, free up time, people and brain power to innovate. To become a logistics and operations expert, consider optimizing the efficiency of each session by using a global repository of all resources. It allows you to track and compare the occupancy rates of sessions but also all resources worldwide. Second, design common project management best practices by creating a list of steps to follow before, during, and after each training session. You can then pursue and measure a coherent set of global training objectives.
Boost your administration’s efficiency
The heavy training administration workload is present at all levels. It concerns single training administrators who have to schedule, plan and organize training while using and producing data in different formats, teams collaborating in different time-zones, and CLOs managing the overall training operations with dispersed, sometimes unreliable information that complicates a consistent global approach. A few steps can make a big difference in handling a heavy administrative workload. Automate the scheduling request system: a shared digital dashboard creates consistency across teams and the same type of information becomes available worldwide instantly. Implement a graphical calendar that allows the team to plan sessions and manage scheduling conflicts in minutes. Create customized checklists with all the tasks to complete before and after each session.
Increase collaboration among teams
As most companies lack a unified technology to manage their training operations, it is almost impossible for different teams, especially those working in different time zones, to be on the same page. To improve collaboration, ensure data is centralized and accessible to all and substitute spreadsheets for collaborative tools to make sure that logistics, scheduling and financial processes integrate seamlessly.
How Training Orchestra does it: Training Orchestra manages planning and logistics to optimize all training resources, automates administration, centralizes all company data and enables teams to collaborate in real-time through a unique web-platform. Compute expected gains for your company with our Training Management Performance Calculator.
2. Plan and monitor performance on a global scale
Another key capacity which makes Amazon successful is its data-obsession. As your organization scales, monitoring is crucial to improve performance and ensure alignment with the strategic plan and budget. When managing a global training operations, you might need to track performance at an enterprise, region, or business unit level.
Manage currencies to consolidate costs
Tracking costs in 14 different locations worldwide may not look like a very complicated task at first. But, if you have to dig through 14 different excel spreadsheets, written in different formats, and containing different categories of information, a simple task can become very complex. If an organization has venues charged in US dollars, training charged in British Pounds and instructors charged in Euros, they are likely spending an inordinate amount of time to manage payments and integrate different exchange rates into the budget. To reduce the extensive amount of time spent in managing these issues manually and get a consolidated picture of your expenses, multi-currency management is an absolute must.
Manage your budget optimally and forecast future costs
CLOs of global companies are often confronted with total expenses higher than projected budget. For example, annual L&D spend is typically 1.5–3x greater than the amount visible to the learning function for insurance industries. To keep control of and optimize your budget, not only post-hoc tracking but proactive anticipation of training volumes and associated budget forecasts are needed.  All your investments across different populations, business units, and countries need to be accounted for. You should also track improvements of KPI year after year to see if goals are being met. The complexity of these operations can easily produce chaos if handled manually. A training management system includes extensive budget management capabilities that allow CLOs to forecast their training volumes and adjust budgets, track all expenses and benchmark against the planned budget, and analyze the profitability of training in real -time.
How Training Orchestra does it: Our advanced budget forecasting, multi-currency cost-tracking and reporting features help worldwide L&D departments control and optimize their budget. You can check out financial and reporting features in our ILT management checklist
3. Ensure regulatory compliance locally
Many US-based companies are currently gearing up for GDPR compliance. But labor laws, training regulations and industry-specific requirement can also vary extensively from one country to another. Consider training regulations in France and Germany.
Companies operating in France need to offer training to their employees, report expenses and hours of training delivered. Training can take place outside of working hours, but in this case, employers may have to compensate employees for the training time. A percentage of revenues from each company is then collected by the State to fund training programs. In Germany, the ‘Purge Deleted User Audit History’: allows employee data to be kept for a maximum of five years after the employee left the company. While we cannot ask the CLO to be aware of every local regulation where her company operates, many software facilitate compliance with local legal training requirements. Many of our clients at Training Orchestra operate globally and consider this feature of our Training Resource Management System crucial to their training operations.
How Training Orchestra does it: Training Orchestra integrates all local and sectorial regulations, and offers unlimited reporting, one-click legal declaration, advanced co-funding and cashback management and a natively compliant request system. Learn more about how we manage regulations in this Securing Compliance in an Interconnected World brochure.
4. Strengthen your corporate culture
Having a strong corporate culture is becoming an increasingly integral valuable asset. The values that differentiate your company count: again, Amazon is ruthless in emphasizing its 14 leadership principles. In a context of evermore distributed workforces, one way in which you can do this is through a strong corporate university. Successful corporate universities are specifically designed to bring employees together, promote company’s values and employees around the commitments of the company as a whole. However, a corporate university is costly and must be well managed. Indeed, “Most executives are business people. They want to know how much they have to spend and what they will get in return.” To justify the costs of a corporate university, ‘we need to be able to articulate how learning aligns to strategy and how it supports the business.”  Rigorous budget management, resource optimization and operational efficiency will help you in getting the highest bang for your buck.
How Training Orchestra does it: Our dedicated solution for Corporate Universities synchronizes with HR and offers training request automation, streamlined logistics processes and resource optimization, profitability monitoring and easy internal invoicing management.
So why are we the ones to talk about global training operations? The majority of our 500 clients, such as Axa, New York Life, Havas and Capgemini have operations abroad, and we’ve developed best practices to support them. Our Training Resource Management System (TRMS), is specifically designed to serve companies who train a global workforce.
Specifically, Training Orchestra:
- Centralizes in a unique web-platform all data coming from all parts of the company
- Manages planning and logistics to optimize all training resources
- Standardizes processes across all business units, languages and currencies
- Allows complete cost-tracking in multiple currencies and forecast of the budget
- Monitors all training services, giving you global visibility over sales and expenses with live profitability indicators
- Offers advanced reporting at different levels, from the global organization to specific business-units
- Ensures compliance with country, state and industry regulations
- Supports Corporate Universities to manage administration, logistics and planning on a global scale