Not just good – a Meisterpiece: How Jägermeister combines LMS and Blended Learning
Established as a vinegar factory and wine trader in the Lower Saxony town of Wolfenbüttel in 1878, the company launched its first herb liqueur under the name of Jägermeister in 1935. The secret recipe comprising 56 herbs remains unchanged from those early days.
Mast-Jägermeister SE grew from a small family business to an international organisation, and is now in the fifth generation of family ownership. In 2020, the company recorded global sales of 89.6 million 0.7 litre bottles, now selling the main product Jägermeister in more than 150 countries.
Jägermeister has around 1000 direct employees. Resellers and external distribution partners around the world add to the large number of people requiring training.
Top-quality training in line with the brand
Before corona, Jägermeister took a rather traditional approach to learning and knowledge-sharing. In most cases, new employees, distribution partners and resellers were invited directly to the headquarters in Wolfenbüttel to help them learn about the brand and understand it better. There, they would receive all the necessary training on the products and get a feel for the brand.
Yet, even before the pandemic, it was clear that this system needed to be optimised, and Jägermeister started to look into procuring a learning management system (LMS). Professional training courses in e-learning format were also on the wish list back then.
The range of training to be covered by the LMS, individual learning nuggets and web-based training (WBT) went beyond the offering for external distribution and trading partners. For instance, different target groups from apprentices and trainees to the CEO needed to gain an in-depth understanding of e-commerce.
At the same time, a coherent and strong brand image that all employees identify with is a top priority for Jägermeister. Therefore, the learner experience was considered crucial.
A blended learning journey masterpiece
Jägermeister decided to use the imc Learning Suite as its learning platform. The well thought out extended enterprise scenario in combination with the clear module structure was a major deciding factor in favour of imc. The Learning Suite also scored with its customisable configurability and great system reliability.
Simply sharing knowledge is not enough – it also has to be packaged right to reach all target groups and meet their needs. To this end, imc created a sophisticated blended learning scenario for Jägermeister.
Kathrin Heidler, Instructional Designer at imc, analyses the collaboration with Jägermeister: “What set the project apart is how complex it was. A blended learning journey embedded in classroom training, web-based training, performance cards and our BizQuiz is far from routine – even for us!
We were really able to go all out with this project. It was great fun helping to design such a complex project using a large variety of techniques.”
Learning that doesn’t feel like learning
The feedback for the initial platform tests was all positive. Users were especially taken with how the e-learning content triggered an emotional response. The consensus among the employees: Once you log in to MeisterAcademy, the training courses don’t feel like learning. The direct integration of LinkedIn learning courses was also received very favourably, as it gives employees an even greater choice of courses.
Philipp Terstesse, Manager Global Trade Marketing at Jägermeister, summarises: “Our goal was to create a learning experience that takes a new approach and motivates learners. The learner and employee experience were extremely important to us.
We firmly believe that our digital ambitions go a long way towards shaping the future of our brand. We are thrilled to have a strong partner in imc who will stay by our side as we embark on this journey into the future together.”
On the safe side with validatable processes in the Learning Management System
pfm medical ag is an internationally operating, medium-sized, family-owned company from Germany that offers special solutions in the healthcare sector. The company has enjoyed success in the development, manufacture and sale of quality products and has offered reliable services for nearly 50 years. Its portfolio covers the medical fields of surgery, histotechnology, cardiovascular technologies and infusion technology.
Therapeutic safety and therapeutic success are the core themes of all of pfm’s proposals. All solutions and products aim to contribute towards improving the quality of life for patients and of work quality for users.
Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, the company employs over 600 people at twelve locations worldwide.
pfm medical, a medical technology company, belongs to the pharmaceutical and medical technology sector, and this 'high-risk' sector is subject to a strict obligation to document evidence of all work and training procedures.
Depending on the market they serve, these sectors are governed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as additional regulations from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
In addition, in 2017 the EU issued the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) which also regulates the handling of the software used; the transition period for the MDR expires on 25 May 2021.
Comply with Medical Device Regulation without accumulating paper folders by the metre
"After just under two years, we had about ten running metres of A4 folders and had to file and enter every piece of paper by hand; that had to change". This is how Hans-Heiko Müller, Team Manager of Organisation Learning at pfm medical, describes the situation in mid-2020.
At pfm medical, the mandatory complete documentation of all training courses used to be implemented using paper records, as is still standard practice at many companies. After completing a training course, whether online or in-person, employees had to print out a paper themselves and confirm successful close-out with their signature.
The signed document was then delivered in person or by post to headquarters, where it was manually checked and entered into the existing learning management system (LMS). This was an error-prone job that tied up a lot of resources.
A validatable LMS in the SaaS cloud
In order to decrease the effort required for these processes while continuing to work in compliance with the rules, pfm medical decided in mid-2020 to convert the existing LMS into a validatable learning platform.
For this purpose, the company selected the imc AG Golden Master package which includes system set-up, commissioning and all updates for customers. Another special feature of the package is the validation documentation, which is provided by imc. This is the basis on which a system can be validated by the customer.
Specifically, this means that imc takes care of the overall configuration of the system and the documentation of the cloud setup. As part of this, imc documents that all the required steps for the proper installation of the system environment have been followed.
Hans-Heiko Müller explains, "In theory, we could have converted our existing LMS into a validatable system ourselves. But I would have had to have hired at least one full-time employee just for the documentation that would have been necessary at the beginning and as well as for every change and update in the future, because a few hundred pages each time add up quickly."
Of course, the topic of data security also played a major role for pfm medical. But the imc cloud solution was convincing: With a 99% guaranteed availability, certifications according to ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 and a 24/7 service time, there was nothing left to wish for. The cloud solution creates an even higher level of security than the classic paper filing system, as it is secured several times and cannot be destroyed by a fire, for example.
The end of the paper economy
After the successful changeover, the time had finally come; the end of the paper economy could be initiated. Instead of having to print out and sign each certificate, pfm medical employees can now enter their courses into the system themselves. All they have to do after a course close-out is confirm via e-signature that they have successfully completed the course.
In addition, entire groups of employees can be enrolled on certain learning paths together and automatically receive reminders about upcoming mandatory training courses. Although these features had already existed in the company's original LMS, regulations prevented them from being used for validation-related training.
Hans-Heiko Müller sums it up: "We learned quite a bit during the conversion process. We have adapted our processes to the system, not the other way around, and have evolved as a result. But in a way, we also had to accept that we will lose a bit of flexibility.
Little things that I used to change myself in 20 seconds now run through a change process and are checked and documented within the context of a four-eyes principle. The total process now takes a little longer. Still, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages for the company. With the system and the documentation created by imc, we err on the side of caution during audits and save a lot of work and time at the same time in the process."
Learning management system helps
cut red tape
S&G was founded in 1898. In 1998, on its 100-year anniversary, it was renamed S&G Automobil AG.
The subsidiary S&G Automobilgesellschaft established in 1990 is now the biggest Mercedes-Benz representative in Saxony-Anhalt. Today, around 1,400 employees including almost 300 trainees and apprentices at 11 locations in Baden-Wuerttemberg and 8 sites in Saxony-Anhalt ensure that we keep our promise every single day:
“With S&G, you are in for a good drive.”
Meeting documentation obligations
with mobile learning
S&G wanted to bring the company’s professional development and training measures up to date and drive digitalisation. The objective was to quickly and directly provide information to around 1,300 employees across 19 locations. This required reductions in email traffic while ensuring that employees really do receive information on training courses. Furthermore, all employees regularly need to complete training courses on topics such as money laundering, compliance and data protection. This process was to be uniform and clear to map.
In addition, solutions were needed to equally train employees without permanent access to a desktop computer.
Uniform processes and time-savings
The solution came from imc, featuring a central platform and the learning management system – which S&G named “Lernwelt” – world of learning. Once implemented, the LMS ensured that employees actually receive information and are able to complete the right training courses.
The allocation of training courses and instructions is automated, and employees are assigned groups and receive course information and bookings automatically depending on the group they belong to. For instance, an automated reminder is sent out when its time for an employee to refresh their training on a particular topic.
“Lernwelt” brings greater acceptance
S&G was able to achieve some of its goals immediately after implementing the LMS: The paper and email overload decreased significantly. S&G intensively uses the automated allocation, and automatically assigns advanced training and instructions or sends out reminders for mandatory training to individual user groups. This also simplifies verification and documentation of mandatory training on topics such as money laundering, compliance, and data protection.
The fact that employees can now register for training courses directly rather than having to go through their line manager also helped to cut administration costs. Moreover, transitioning some of the face-to-face training to an online format resulted in major time savings.
The Content Studio also helped to improve course quality, and employees highly appreciate the training units designed by their own colleagues. This boosted acceptance of the LMS.
Knowledge sharing with
Exel Composites, a global technology company headquartered in Finland, is the world’s largest manufacturer of pultruded and pull-wound composite solutions. They design and manufacture composite products using carbon fibre, fiberglass and other high-performance materials.
Exel Composites produce a full range of standard and custom sized composite tubes, tool handles, profiles, and laminates. These are used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Exel Composites’ global manufacturing, R&D, and sales footprint serves customers across a broad range of industries and applications.
New tools and more knowledge sharing
Over the last two years Exel Composites implemented a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which was planned to be carried-out in several phases. The project required a lot of staff training and writing of instructions on how to use the new system.
But although comprehensive process instructions had been prepared, some people found it easier to simply ask a more experienced user than read the available instructions.
Additionally, a Product Data Management System was implemented and it was necessary to controll different workflows and processes.
Filtering information with
imc Process Guide
Due to these challenges Exel Composites looked for a solution that would help their business and decided on imc Process Guide, since it allows people to easily find the information they want when they need it. Consulo (imc’s partner in Finland) provided a Process Guide implementation project to all Exel Composites’ Finnish employees, establishing a baseline.
With imc Process Guide, users can much easier find information and instructions, plus, the threshold of accessing instructions is now much lower. Additionally, it allows people to easily find the information they need for their job on demand.
Positive business impact
In general, the feedback across the business has been positive. Kimmo Puoskari, Exel Composites’ R&D Manager, summarised: “We feel that Process Guide is a nice way to document process instructions and have them all in one place, in a central depository. Because Process Guide has been a very easy and straight forward project to get up and running, it required very little IT/infrastructure effort.
Measuring business impact is not so straight forward, however my ‘gut feeling’ is that the business goals of having easier access to instructions and guidelines and getting people to focus on using our systems and processes correctly has had a positive impact.”
Kimmo also points out, that employees’ skill sets have increased, plus their learning curve has reduced. Another positive side effect: Calls for on-site help have reduced, meaning the IT team has more time to focus on more challenging issues and important system development work, instead of basic user assistance.
Taking off safely with LMS and
Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa AG, providing training and development for flying personnel in a global market since 1997. In addition to the flight operations of the Lufthansa Group, more than 200 other airlines also have their crews trained by LAT.
The product portfolio includes basic training of pilots and flight attendants, flight simulator training, emergency and service training.
Strict guidelines and highly flexible
Highest quality standards for pilots and flight attendants: That is the mission of Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT). To achieve this goal, the company utilises proven didactic concepts, experience and state-of-the-art learning technologies. The wholly-owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group is among the pioneers in the use of e-learning in training and development. Even in the 1990s, the company employed multimedia web-based and computer-based training courses, transitioning from face-to-face events to an online format.
However, this was still not enough to achieve swift implementation of the different airline’s diverging requirements. Moreover, guidelines and instructions from the Federal Aviation Office (LBA) must be strictly observed, often requiring inclusion in the curriculum.
“LAT’s training business is very volatile. When one of our clients buys new aircraft, defines new learning content or needs more flight attendants, we must be able to respond quickly,” says E-Learning Team Leader Udo Link at LAT. The solutions the company had in place were no longer sufficient. A consistent, modern and professional development platform had to be implemented that would instantly be ready for action.
Learning management system in the cloud
In the summer of 2010, LAT decided to implement a learning management system (LMS). Choosing imc as their supplier was an easy decision: At the headquarters of the Lufthansa Group, the imc Learning Suite was already a great success.
LAT decided on the cloud-based version of the multiple award-winning imc Learning Suite, the learning management system by imc. Together with Microsoft, imc is offering an instantly available and easily scalable LMS solution as Software as a Service. It allows LAT to always respond flexibly to changes in real time, both in relation to the number of trainees and the learning content. The LMS also facilitates smooth and intelligent dovetailing of online training and pure face-to-face training.
For instance, future flight attendants must complete a 2-day online training course before arriving for their first face-to-face training. With this approach, LAT ensures that all participants are sufficiently prepared and have the same level of knowledge. The Learning Suite facilitates the implementation of a uniform and consistent blended learning approach while significantly reducing administration costs.
Flexibility and furthering motivated learners
Following a test phase, the entire curriculum for flight attendant training was transitioned to the blended learning concept with the Learning Suite. LAT primarily utilised LMS-based e-learning to provide trainee flight attendants with straightforward access to learning content at any time and from anywhere.
Being able to implement changes and adaptations swiftly also played a key role for the Lufthansa training centre. LAT leverages the full spectrum of comprehensive imc learning technology, way beyond the basic functions of the LMS such as provision of multimedia learning content, participant administration and tutor support.
LAT firmly believes that highly motivated learners achieve better results and promotes this. For example, trainees can use mediated chats to speak to a tutor in the chatroom. A self test is scheduled at the end of any major learning unit, allowing each participant to assess their own performance. LAT uses mandatory tests for the Federal Aviation Office’s (LBA) learning content that requires documentation. A certificate is issued to prove a participant has passed such a test.