KEEPING UP WITH COMPANY GROWTH
Edward Jones is a retail financial services company that is distributed widely across the U.S. in Canada. The company has approximately 12,000 branch locations that consist of a financial advisor and one or more branch assistants to help customers plan for their financial needs. Additionally, the company has administrative and support associates in its home office.
In 2007, the company was experiencing double-digit growth annually and determined they needed a moreeffective way to deliver and track training. They wanted a learning management system (LMS) that would make training much more interactive and reach a geographically dispersed workforce that may not be able to visit the home office for training. The primary goals for its new LMS were to support the company's organic expansion, reduce costs and meet the financial services industry's stringent federal regulations for training and continuing education.
RETHINKING HOW TO DELIVER TRAINING
Edward Jones selected SumTotal Learn: Maestro (cloud) to meet its business needs. The company implemented the solution integrated with WebEx in 2007.
The company developed a new catalogue of online courses to replace many of its in-classroom trainings, including newhire and continuing-education training for financial advisors. The company also transformed its training for branch assistants on the firm's systems from 80-hours of on-screen reading into an interactive series of courses.
Ken Dude, Edward Jones HR principal, said branch assistants had often complained it was difficult to learn all of the firm's systems in the time required and listed that as a reason
for leaving the company.
“Since SumTotal's LMS has been implemented, we have seen a reduction in turnover in that role to our lowest rates ever,” Dude said. “We believe having a training resource that is interactive and allows them to complete various phases of the training in segments has helped decrease that turnover.”
IMPROVING RESULTS, REDUCING COSTS
Edward Jones has seen tremendous results since implementing SumTotal's LMS. The company successfully delivers 700,000 training classes to more than 30,000 associates annually and has seen its on-time completion rate for required training jump from 72% to 90%.
Edward Jones also has seen significant savings in travel costs and employees' time. Dude estimates that delivering some training online has saved more than $1 million in travel costs alone. He said employees have also saved thousands of hours of class time because SumTotal's solution allows the company to provide a better method of identifying electives needed to meet credentialing requirements.
Previously, the company provided a large list of electives that made it difficult for employees to identify how many of each type of class they needed, and they often signed up for all electives even though they only needed to take a few. Edward Jones now is able to identify which courses are substitute electives, so employees avoid inadvertently taking courses they do not need.
“Our users have been able to take 12,000 fewer elective courses and still accomplish their credentialing requirements for continuing education,” Dude said. “Those 12,000 classes translate into 12,000 hours, which is a lot of time for our associates to have back for their regular business.”
Dude said that as they look ahead, the firm's growth, which is expected to double in size by 2020, will require significant investments in training. He believes they will be able to meet those needs with their LMS and the continued strong relationship with SumTotal.
“We very much appreciate the opportunity to bring our evolving needs to SumTotal,” said Dude. “We are always pleased with their ability and readiness to address those needs rapidly and transparently with us.”