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Andre Philpot


Operations Director

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How elearning helps training companies manage delivery


Elearning provides the ideal solution to the thorny issue of late registrations in the world of business training today, says Andre Philpot.

Late registrations are a fact of life in the world of training today. Gone are the days when course providers could refuse anyone who applied less than a week before the start date. Now companies have to be more flexible.

Today when time is of the essence for business, they need the flexibility of late registration. After all, it’s now an accepted inevitability that many students will delay their registration or have their registration delayed by budget challenges to go on training courses. We are now seeing student registrations very late in the sales cycle of a typical course, perhaps even on the day before a course starts.

This presents significant challenges both to the training company itself and its courseware provider in organising the delivery of materials for the training event. Typically, the training organisation will need to quickly place an order on its courseware provider to deliver the necessary materials before the individual concerned arrives on the course.

Even if the request can be facilitated, it is going to be hugely expensive to manufacture materials and then deliver them, all within 24 hours. It’s one of the major differentiators of elearning in any case that it enables training companies to make significant savings by removing the need for them to use couriers to ship materials physically to students. This can in itself represent a significant saving as shipping costs across the EMEA region can average around 20% of the total material spend on training content delivery. If you factor in the need to deliver at short notice then it’s likely that the cost will rise still further.

That increased cost will inevitably get absorbed by the training company and rarely to the end customer – resulting in reduced profitability at a student level. With the recognition of virtual or virtual instructor-led training (VILT) as a viable training delivery model for many training providers – the need to be able to respond and fulfil a last minute student registration is even more critical. Speed of delivery becomes a key differentiator.

Elearning provides the answer to this seemingly intractable problem, removing the requirement to manufacture and ship goods by ensuring the content can be delivered electronically and made immediately available in real time anywhere in the world. This increased agility means that it’s not unusual today to see delegates booking places on courses as little as half an hour before the official starting time. They don’t have to wait days to have the course materials sent over to them. Instead, they can be in receipt of them within seconds of making a purchase.

For the training provider, there are a raft of benefits. One of the key advantages of virtual is that they are economical to run. There is significant cost saving from not having to hire a venue, bring in an on-site training team and incur related travel and accommodation costs. Virtual courses run at a hugely higher profit level than instructor led or onsite courses.

But on top of this training providers can push the profit levels up higher by ensuring that courses are fully subscribed wherever possible. Extra registrations mean extra profit. Course uptake is potentially high at least in part because of the ease of the registration process. With online click-to-buy courses where the student can register online to the course, pay online and join almost instantly, there are very few barriers to enrolling.

Ensuring that students have the courseware in front of them is the only potential stumbling block from the provider’s perspective – and it’s precisely this barrier that elearning is able to address, providing students with the critical information they need to gain optimum value from a training course while at the same time making sure that providers deliver courses that offer a potent combination of high-quality content and optimum value for money.

Andre Philpot, Operations Director of KnowledgePoint

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Andre Philpot

Operations Director

Read more from Andre Philpot

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