According to Forbes, the global eLearning market is estimated to reach $325 billion by 2025, up from $107 Billion in 2015. As days pass by, organizations are realizing the benefits of delivering training using eLearning and taking steps toward implementing it. But often organizations end up confused if they should fulfill their eLearning requirements in-house or if they should outsource it. I can in fact imagine a lot of questions lurking in your mind right now – “Why exactly do I need an eLearning vendor?”, “Even if I need a vendor, how am I supposed to choose one in this huge sea?”
Why Do You Need eLearning Vendors?
According to the 2017 Training Industry report, instruction/facilitation was outsourced more (66%) than handled in-house (35%). This proves that indeed organizations prefer outsourcing their learning requirements.
Focus on your core business
It is always better to stick to your core competencies. Once you decide to outsource your eLearning development, you no more have to worry about developing eLearning coursess. You no more have to worry about purchasing authoring tools or hiring employees to support your L&D team.
Instead, you can focus on running your own business and managing current employees. You can focus on evaluating your previous training programs and look out for ways to improve your current training programs. No eLearning vendor can perform these tasks for you. Hence, focusing on your core business should be your only focus.
eLearning vendors have better expertise
You might be having the subject matter expertise, yet you might be completely unaware about the process of developing an eLearning course. eLearning vendors cater to the needs of several organizations, having spent years perfecting the various mechanisms involved in designing and developing a course. Be it expertise in the entire development process or the usage of authoring tools – they master it all.
Outsourcing your eLearning requirements to a vendor will definitely result in the development of a gorgeous, fully-fledged eLearning course which will in turn help rollout better training.
Achieve faster turnaround time
Imagine you are hiring a set of new employees in 2 weeks and you have no online training in place. All you have to do is contact a vendor and let them know your requirements and boom! You get your course all ready to be delivered.
Since eLearning vendors have a high level of expertise and also a dedicated team to develop courses, faster turnaround time is achieved. Wondering how such a quick turnaround can be expected? Well, let all the praises go to rapid authoring tools that are used to design and develop these courses. Using these tools will not only lead to a faster turnaround time but also extremely high-quality courses that are extremely engaging.
How Do You Choose the Right eLearning Vendor?
As the demand of eLearning is growing by the day, so are the number of eLearning vendors in the market – each one promising to deliver exactly what you need. Choosing among the hundreds that exist can indeed be a hard task.
How do you choose among them?
Check if eLearning is their core business
As you surf the websites of eLearning vendors, you might notice that eLearning might not be the core business of a vendor. It might just be one in their long list of services they offer. Well, this should be avoided at any cost. Such vendors will lack a specialized team who can cater to your specific needs which will lead to a delivery of courses that are far from perfect.
Always ensure you choose a vendor who is into full-time eLearning development. Only they can provide your requirement the complete attention it requires for the appropriate delivery.
Check their project management process
No project will be successful if the process followed is not streamlined. Hence, before choosing an eLearning vendor, ensure you get a clear idea of the processes they follow. Have a look at how they handled their previous projects, how they handled discussions and reviews, and also if they have a QA process in place. Ensure that the vendor can provide a dedicated project manager for your project.
Check for similar samples and testimonials
Every eLearning vendor will have a portfolio of samples. Before you choose a vendor, take a look at these samples to gain a complete understanding of the quality they will deliver. Once you take a look at them, question yourself if it matches up to your requirement.
You can also present the vendor with some content and ask them how they would present it within a course. Once this is done, ensure you properly understand and like what they suggested. If required, you can also share your own samples if you have a particular idea in mind.
Besides samples, request the vendor for client testimonials as this will give you an idea of how successful they were in delivering courses as per clients’ requirements.
How Do You Establish a Successful eLearning Vendor Partnership?
Avoid pointing fingers
“Nothing erodes vendor relationships more quickly and more effectively than an us vs. them mentality,” states Nick van Dam in the eLearning Field Book. I couldn’t agree more with this. You might come across various situations such as missed deadlines or technology upgrades which might seem frustrating. But blaming the vendor or rather blaming each other is not the appropriate thing to do. Instead, collaborate and brainstorm for ways to arrive at logical solutions to overcome the issues.
Communicate constantly with your eLearning vendor
Ineffective communication during the entire eLearning development process will only lead to a whole lot of confusion and the end result? A poorly developed eLearning course. Hence, always ensure you communicate your goals and vision clearly to your vendor so that you get your desired result. You also need to convey to the vendor any preferences and/or restrictions you have regarding the development of the eLearning course.
Always have a dedicated point of contact
To ensure the best results, you need to stay involved throughout the development. You should always have an individual ready to clear the doubts of the vendor. But one thing you need to specifically take care of is not to juggle between people; instead fix a single point of contact throughout the development process. Be it the project manager you assigned for the project or the lead developer – the point of contact should be the same individual throughout the process.
Outsourcing your eLearning requirements to an eLearning vendor is the best, and the right, choice to make. Hence knowing all about working with them is extremely vital and will make things a lot easier for you. Now that you have taken the decision to implement eLearning in your organization, wouldn’t you also be keen on knowing how exactly to use eLearning to achieve your business goals? Download this free eBook and know how to, and a lot more!