Case Study: Generac
To maintain its stellar reputation for reliability, Generac needed to quickly deliver product and compliance training to its worldwide network of external dealers and distributors. The HR Learn learning management system enabled a smooth, efficient flow of information and instruction between the company and its dealership partners.
Generac manufactures the widest range of power products in the marketplace, including portable, residential, commercial, and industrial generators and power washers. In fact, the company has earned a reputation as the one of the most trusted manufacturers of power products for home and business owners.
To ensure customers continued to see its brand as dependable, Generac had to keep 6,000-8,000 staffers at external dealerships and distributors well informed about its products (e.g., features, benefits, and installation). In addition, Generac went public in 2010 and so also needed to provide relevant compliance training.
However, Generac’s dealership and distributor partners are located across the globe. That wide geographical scope made it costly and cumbersome to deliver all the classroom training required. Web meetings were an unsatisfactory alternative because they lacked the testing and tracking required to confirm that learners had understood and retained information. In fact, Generac’s corporate training department wanted to switch from manual tracking and recordkeeping to a more streamlined and accurate process.
Generac’s training team concluded that online courses were the quickest, most efficient way to instruct distributors and dealers worldwide. They also determined that a learning management system (LMS) could help them manage:
- Automatic enrollments in mandatory courses as well as self-enrollment options
- Learners’ selections of classroom sessions
- Recordkeeping and reporting
- Blended learning
- Standardized automatic tracking of training
The corporate training team began their search for an LMS that met those requirements. They set up trial accounts with selected vendors so that they could thoroughly evaluate each system: uploading courses and testing delivery, checking recordkeeping capabilities, generating reports, and printing completion certificates. After completing their evaluations, the Generac training team selected the HR Learn LMS as the best fit.
The training team automated enrollment to ensure each dealer took the correct online courses within the new dealer training program. They also customized the LMS to validate dealers’ account numbers before allowing access to course curriculum.
The company also exported course completion data to an external dealer web portal. That practice enabled distribution partners to monitor and address the learning progress of their own employees. In turn, dealerships imported information about the external training events that they held so that the Generac team stayed informed. Generac also connected the HR Learn LMS with the LMS of a third-party training company to deliver specialized manufacturing training.
Later, Generac created new sales-oriented classroom instruction for dealers. However, to fully benefit from the classroom sessions, attendees needed prerequisite knowledge. The training team delivered that preliminary training via the LMS.
Generac’s industrial dealer group also delivered training for electrical engineers via classroom sessions. Those learners completed final assessments online via the HR Learn LMS, facilitating automatic, accurate recordkeeping of their CEUs and PDHs. The LMS also provided course takers with online surveys so that they could provide feedback about the course and instructors.
Generac’s new LMS has enabled it to effectively reach its worldwide dealer and distributor network with training anytime, anywhere. Pre- and post-testing has increased by an average of 30% across all learner segments. Additionally, online training proved to be much more cost efficient than the company’s previous complete reliance on classroom-based training.
The company stores training resources such as manuals, catalogs, and job aids in the LMS so learners can easily locate and download them. The training team uses HR Learn to facilitate offline training as well; dealerships can access the schedules and enrollment forms for physical classroom events via the LMS.