AkzoNobel: Empowering Industrial E-learning in a Multinational Company

Sep212011
Written by mark — Posted in Case Studies, Customers

This blog post is by Mark Schwartz, Articulate EVP.


How do you ensure that your subject matter experts are armed with what they need to share their knowledge across the entire organization? If you’re Jeffrey Kortenbosch, manager of global e-learning for AkzoNobel, the answer is as easy as a smart strategy and the right tools.

Jeffrey Kortenbosch
Jeffrey Kortenbosch

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel is the largest global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. They supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products that include well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International and Eka. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AkzoNobel is a Global Fortune 500 company and is consistently ranked as one of the global leaders in the area of sustainability. With operations in more than 80 countries, AkzoNobel’s 55,000 employees are committed to excellence and delivering Tomorrow’s Answers Today™.

Jeffrey works in AkzoNobel’s Global Learning and Development (L&D) organization and is responsible for defining and overseeing their global e-learning strategy. His challenge? Develop and implement a strategy to enable subject matter experts around the globe to create rapid e-learning to share their knowledge inside and outside the company.

French-based Articulate course created by AkzoNobel
French-based Articulate course created by AkzoNobel

Jeffrey outlines his plan: “We wanted to facilitate our L&D professionals, subject matter experts and sales and marketing people to share their knowledge in a practical and affordable way. When I undertook this effort, there was no way for them to properly do this, and there often was no budget available to go to a third party.”

The Solution: Articulate Studio ’09 Pro, internal promotion, training, leverage the Articulate Community

Articulate Studio ’09 Pro was selected as the tool of choice to create e-learning because it is easy to learn and simple to use, yet produces professional looking e-learning. The L&D team also created AkzoNobel Corporate Rapid e-Learning templates to ensure the courses shared a similar brand and looked great while making course authoring easy and fun.

View screencast on Screenr.com

Jeffrey uses Screenr to train AkzoNobel employees on how to use Articulate software

“Using Articulate Studio ’09 Pro combined with our corporate templates empowers our authors to create on-brand, quality training materials for colleagues and customers ensuring internal knowledge retention and increased customer service,” notes Jeffrey.

Jeffrey also actively promotes Articulate Studio ’09 Pro’s capabilities and the useful Articulate community resources via internal newsletters, social media (internal and external), Screenr (Articulate’s free, web-based screencasting tool), webinars, live demos and by creating Articulate-based global courses that are highly visible. He adds, “Articulate’s outstanding support and the incredible Articulate community are real differentiators. It makes my job easier and greatly assists our Articulate users. With Articulate’s support team and community, users have free, ready access to other experienced and helpful Articulate users and thought-leaders. It is customer service at its best — and has played a key part in our success.”

AkzoNobel employees who want to create e-learning are provided an Articulate Studio ’09 Pro license by the L&D team. First, they must agree to author at least two e-learning courses while also taking the pre-requisite product training. The training consists of internally created e-learning (authored with Articulate Studio ’09 Pro) as well as the free Articulate online tutorials and community resources.

AkzoNobel creates Articulate Studio-based online courses to teach users how to use the software
AkzoNobel creates Articulate Studio-based online courses
to teach users how to use the software

E-learning adoption and success — well beyond all previous efforts

Jeffrey had initially forecast that AkzoNobel users would create between 50-70 courses within the first year, but after only six months, AkzoNobel users were well on their way to creating more than 375 courses.

The conservative estimate was based on similar, previous, internal efforts with other tools such as Adobe Captivate, Flash and Photoshop; Lectora; Outstart, and other local authoring tools. “These were not as intuitive and user-friendly as Articulate Studio for our subject matter experts so we never ramped up as we had hoped. While these other products are still being used by some of our training developers, as it was not our strategy to mandate the use of only one tool, Articulate Studio ’09 Pro quickly became the tool of choice for our emerging group of highly motivated e-learning enthusiasts,” states Jeffrey.

“I’m surprised by the overwhelming amount of course materials that are being created,” he concludes. “It still amazes me to see the high quality modules that our people are developing themselves and how eager they are to share their knowledge and experience throughout the company. Articulate has most assuredly filled a major gap in our organization.”

In our knowledge-based economy with aging workforces and frequent employee turnover, organizational knowledge retention is critical. Congratulations to AkzoNobel for implementing an effective process to empower their employees to easily capture and share their learned knowledge with current and future generations of AkzoNobel personnel. We’re delighted to learn that Articulate Studio ’09 Pro is playing a key role in that critical initiative.

Author’s note: I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge and thank Jeffrey Kortenbosch for his meaningful contribution to the Articulate community. Jeffrey shares his Articulate knowledge in the Articulate community forums, via Twitter, and by creating useful Screenr screencasts that are relevant to users throughout the Articulate community. That’s what I call giving back and what makes the Articulate community the envy of the industry. Thank you, Jeffrey! You are an e-learning hero .

View screencast on Screenr.com

An example of one of Jeffrey’s many contributions to the Articulate community

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