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How to Identify the Best eLearning Outsourcing Vendor – 3 Step Selection Process

Finding an eLearning Outsourcing Vendor that fits your specific eLearning needs is like stumbling upon a 4-leaf clover. Yet, with the right guidance, training managers can save time and effort to identify an eLearning outsourcing vendor that is the best fit.

Characteristics of a Top eLearning Outsourcing Vendor

Let us look at a few attributes and strengths that make top eLearning Outsourcing vendors stand out amongst the rest:

Resource Pool

A top-notch vendor will have a good mix of resources both in terms of technologies and manpower. A progressive vendor is one that invests in the latest learning technologies, rapid authoring tools, best practices in instructional design and always promotes upskilling of their internal workforce. Having an experienced leadership panel shows that the vendor is committed to the domain and has the right guidance. The necessary resources, expertise and leadership ensure the work delivered by the vendor is of high-quality and on-time.

Elements of eLearning that can be Outsourced

Open Communication

A dedicated vendor will keep engagement and communication channels clear, open, and available for you to reach out whenever required. An open channel enables all the parties involved to work through any issues, feedback, and resolutions promptly. Set up a schedule that works for your stakeholders and the vendor. Ensure you discuss expectations, deliverables, and deadlines well in advance to get the desired results.

Diverse Customer Portfolio

A successful vendor will have a diverse customer portfolio across a domain or geography. They will be open to sharing references and reviews. The customer base will help you understand the different types of customers the vendor has successfully catered to and the type of eLearning projects the vendor has handled before. Consider custom eLearning and tailor-made projects to analyze how the vendor handles unique requests. Ensure you cross-check the references and take feedback from customer references shared.

Cost Estimates

A reliable vendor will share budgets and cost estimates that are realistic, articulated, and well-accounted for with all the resources outlined. Unexpected costs can arise at any given time. A good vendor will also factor unexpected costs into the presented budget so as to help you understand what the cost projections would look like.

Cross-Cultural Awareness

With globalization on huge demand, it is best to invest in a vendor who understands cross-cultural sensitivity and awareness. Today’s mixed generation workforce comes together from various backgrounds and unique cultures. It is imperative for organizations to consider cultural differences that may arise. To determine the awareness, keep an eye out for the vendor’s customer portfolio, website, translation services, communication dialogue and level of comfort to address issues if any.

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Top eLearning Outsourcing Vendors – What to look out for

Choosing the right eLearning outsourcing vendor has its own risks. It may take your training modules on a whole new adventure, or you may sail smoothly with a top-notch eLearning program. Let us look in detail at the three critical steps in the vendor selection process:

Shortlist Vendors

Start by shortlisting a few vendors that you have come across. Review the list of vendors published by leading analyst firms and associations such as: eLearning Industry, Association for Talent Development, Brandon Hall Group, Training Industry. List out the common vendors from both the sets and you’ll have a unique list of vendors you wish to compare.

Pro Tip

Notice for hints of thought leadership initiatives. Vendors that facilitate customer education have a strong foundation of expertise.

Evaluate Vendors

Begin with evaluating websites and customer portfolios of the vendors. The website evaluation will help you determine:

  • Models used for eLearning design and development
  • Years of relevant experience
  • Leadership and Expertise Panel
  • Expertise in rapid authoring tools
  • Standards and Models used for development

Apart from glancing their core business, you will be able to figure out if they leverage the latest learning technologies and tools and how they have a competitive edge.

Popular Rapid eLearning Authoring Tools

A diverse customer base spread across the globe will help you gauge their capabilities to cater to clients globally, across different languages, different cultures and different time-zones. This also throws a light on their ability to incorporate translation services for eLearning programs.

Pro Tip

Release a Request for Proposal to invite vendors that commit to your requirements. Based on the responses you can easily narrow down your time taken in evaluation.

Request for a Prototype

Elect a pilot prototype that showcases how your eLearning solution will look and feel like. The hands-on experience on a completely functional sample will help you assess the real time learning technology expertise of the vendor. Here are a few parameters on which you can judge and assess the eLearning Outsourcing vendor:

Instructional Design Principles and Strategies:

  • Types of learning formats developed
  • Content Curation Skills
  • Style of content presentation
  • ID principles incorporated
  • Selection of multimedia assets

Project Management:

  • Clear Communication
  • Project Plan
  • Commitment to timeline and delivery schedule
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Collaboration Skills with stakeholders

Pro Tip

Examine the fully functional sample across multiple devices and platforms to analyze the cross-platform compatibility.

Watch a short video on How to tackle common eLearning Outsourcing challenges:

Take a Chance – Outsource eLearning

The most beneficial aspects of outsourcing your eLearning projects are faster turnaround time, cost reduction, without any compromise on quality. Now that you have a clear picture, take a chance! Outsource your training projects to a top eLearning Outsourcing vendor with ease. Here’s a handy and practical guide to help you assess the required parameters and choose the perfect eLearning outsourcing vendor for you. Download Now!

eLearning Development Outsourcing: A Comprehensive eGuide to Select the Right Vendor