Training is a key component to our distributor relationships. It has definitely increased our partnership and is a significant value add. --Anne Winter, Manager of Digital Training, Milwaukee Tools
Before working with BlueVolt, Milwaukee Tool was struggling to scale their training initiatives with customers. They needed to educate more people in their channel in a shorter period. This meant rethinking their processes and reconsidering their eLearning platform. They needed a complete eLearning solution tailored to their channel structure and strategy.
Milwaukee Tool has an employee Learning Management System (LMS), but it was not integrated into their ecosystem of distributors, buying groups, and trade associations. They were missing out on access to a wider audience of customer-facing individuals who could be learning about and selling their products.
As Winter explains, "Previously, I had the 'ball field,' but the people weren't there. BlueVolt had the people and the ball field. We decided to jump into their system for customer training because it alleviated a lot of heavy lifting that we would have had to do on our own. Since they're so ingrained across all of our industries, it's very easy to tap into that ecosystem. That is their true value proposition."
In 2013, Milwaukee Tool partnered with BlueVolt to launch Milwaukee University. The engagement began with a strategy phase to align on objectives, channel structure, brand considerations, and learner experience needs. BlueVolt then worked closely on migrating all data and content. Finally, the launch was supported with training on platform administration and integrated reports to track success.
By loading all training content into Milwaukee University, Winter could easily share training courses not only with distributors of all sizes, but also with buying groups and associations that have learners in the BlueVolt ecosystem. "It's a very simple matter of making a few clicks, and sharing it," says Winter.
The BlueVolt Learning Management Platform allows Milwaukee Tool sales leaders to customize training programs for each distributor.
For example, if they are looking to increase sales of a particular tool (or family of tools), they can bundle a set of courses into a program. Milwaukee Tool and their channel partner are then able to look at usage and sales reports to understand effectiveness — by branch, product, or learner.
"To measure the effectiveness of these programs, we look at the sales for that quarter. Then tie the training directly to the sales results of that sell-through," says Winter.
Milwaukee Tool can now offer a robust learner-experience from a modality perspective. They utilize everything from quick videos to podcast-style trainings (for those on a mobile-device), to an interactive course requiring user participation from start to finish. "We develop courses that fit into busy schedules. From a short three to five-minute video to a more involved, interactive experience, we can cover it," says Winter.
Winter notes a great deal of traction with their eLearning initiative since moving to BlueVolt. Sales and marketing leaders understand the direct correlation between online learning behaviors and the impact on sales, which further strengthens relationships with distributors.
Additionally, Milwaukee Tool can tie course enrollments and completions to recognition and awards for their distributor partners. "There are some groups that we do business with, where training is a heavily-weighted component on who receives their Supplier of the Year award and other recognition," Winter explains.
Since 2014, Milwaukee has grown course volume by 516%, enrollments by 245% and completions by 366%.
"I love working with BlueVolt," Winter says. "They've become a great partner and the group is spectacular. I hope they're all very happy in their jobs and stay there because they help me make my job easy. BlueVolt's position in the marketplace and in our industry is their true value proposition."
About Milwaukee Tools
Since 1924, Milwaukee Tool has led the industry in durability and performance, providing heavy-duty tools and accessories for professional users. Milwaukee Tool is dedicated to delivering a continuous flow of advanced, trade-specific solutions.
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, BlueVolt is a pioneer in the eLearning industry. BlueVolt’s solutions help a wide range of organizations increase sales, build brand awareness, and enhance employee knowledge. Along with its learning management system and channel learning and readiness (CLR) SaaS platform, the company offers a range of client-focused services, including course and curriculum development, strategic support, business intelligence, and unique channel-training innovations.