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.”
A slightly different kind of
Audi is one of Germany's leading premium car manufacturers. Based in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany, the company has been producing high-quality vehicles since 1909 and is now part of the Volkswagen Group.
Motivation for an unloved topic
When employees learn that they have to attend compliance training, their enthusiasm is often limited. The trainees are usually hostile to the training even before it begins.
Audi therefore wanted to train employees with an unusual compliance training course in such a way that the necessary knowledge is clearly conveyed to them and, ideally, they also have fun during the training.
Web-based training of a different kind
“Welcome to Fraud City. The city “eats” its residents – skin, hair and all. We hope you’re up to it. Enter at your own risk.” This intro sounds ever so slightly different to the traditional “Click here to start your training”.
The entire web-based training course with motion design adopts the style of “Sin City”, and takes the brave participant to a corrupt city full of dangers and suspect colleagues – accompanied by Detective Fraudless who is always on the brink of solving yet another crime and starts off by explaining the rules.
As the employee navigates through the training course, the criteria for identifying cases of fraud are revealed, as are the behavioural patterns that call for special attention.
Positive feedback on the intranet
Audi demonstrated great courage with this unconventional concept – and reaped the rewards: The elaborate and polarising concept leaves a lasting impression, creating a buzz among almost all employees. Similarly, the intranet feedback was predominantly positive, and many employees praised the web-based training, as Laura Schumacher from the Audi compliance department confirms.
- “Great job! This makes ‘learning’ fun!”
- “Very pleasant WBT, executed superbly. That’s what I’d call modern. Let’s have more of this.”
- “I thought the presentation of the WBT as a homage to Sin City with L.A. Noire elements was extremely original. A great example for knowledge transfer in an entertaining package. Keep it up!!!”
- “We need a lot more web-based training in this style. It gets the message across in an entertaining and easy-to-understand manner, well narrated with cool stories!”
The new digital brand training at imc Learning: Understanding through experiencing
Using gamified brand training to reach and lastingly inspire a highly diverse target audience
In business it’s generally a good idea to stick with what you do best. And that’s precisely our approach to internal brand training here at imc Learning. We have taken our expertise in learning, something we normally offer other companies, and used it to help our own employees.
At imc, we’ve been working with digital learning for about 25 years. We strive to make learning better by redefining how learning happens. Experts in technology, e-learning content and strategy work hand in hand to offer holistic and tailored e-learning solutions – worldwide.
Having started out as a spin-off from Saarland University in Germany, we now work with more than 1,300 companies and public and educational institutions from all sectors and of all sizes, providing them with holistic support in the planning and implementation of digital training strategies.
Enabling employees worldwide to understand and engage with our values and purpose amid the demands of hybrid work and new onboarding methods
imc has changed a lot over the years, both in terms of our brand image and the core values on which it is built. This change in culture is reflected in all areas of our company and therefore needs to be understood and actively supported by all employees – including new hires, who need to be able to connect with and internalize our values.
Achieving this outcome requires learning in the following main areas:
- Company history: What defines us as a company? Where do we come from?
- What are imc’s goals and vision?
- What are the values that shape us, and how do we communicate those values?
- What is our business purpose, and what can each and every employee do to further that purpose?
- What does the imc brand feel like?
We needed a learning solution that could both impart this knowledge to all new hires right from day one and make it available to all existing imc employees on an ongoing basis. The obvious approach was to create an interactive, digital training course that was fun while still getting the imc brand and culture across.
The challenge in designing the course was not just to find a way of disseminating the informational aspects of the training content. The main challenge, in fact, was to give the content emotional power and authenticity, but without overdoing it, so that the very diverse target audience here at imc could identify with it.
A brand experience that invites engagement using a dedicated mascot
No sooner said than done. Kerstin Steffen, Director Brand Strategy at imc, initiated the training course and helped with its implementation. Teaming up with experts from our Content department – people who normally create digital learning content of this type for external clients – she set her sights on developing a training course that inspires all imc employees.
“It was extremely important to develop something that did more than merely disseminate information,” she recalls. “People need to be able to understand and ‘feel’ the brand. New employees should be able to instantly understand what drives us here at imc, what our values are, and what kind of cooperation and collaboration we practise and expect of others.”
Oliver Steinhilber is an instructional designer at imc and provided support for the conceptual design of the training course. “We’re currently seeing strong demand for training courses of this type among our clients,” he says. “Onboarding, change, new work and the like are a big deal at the moment, and managers in HR, marketing and internal communication are looking for ways of communicating these messages with authenticity and emotional power.”
So, it was immediately obvious what we needed to do. But we had to make a number of key decisions before we could start with the conceptual design and creation work.
Excitement and engagement among newcomers and old hands alike
The first step was to select a suitable tool for creating the training course. We chose Articulate Rise, and the team undertook two in-house workshops on how to use it.
Next, the team agreed to use storytelling as the course’s definitive stylistic device and to adopt a mascot as the narrator and companion for learners on their learning journey. Max – that’s the mascot’s name – looks a little like a ghost and emerges from the dot on the “i” of imc. He starts out very pale but gradually takes on more colour as the learner progresses through the course and learns more about the imc brand.
Max features in all elements of the training course. For example, in the history section, he reads from a book telling the story of the company’s founder, Professor August-Wilhelm Scheer. As the training course progresses, Max draws the learner deeper and deeper into the imc brand experience. The course also includes quizzes at regular intervals to gauge comprehension of the learning content.
The result is an entertaining and explorative 25-minute training course, split into four chapters, that teaches the learner everything they need to know about imc.
“We’re really pleased with the result, and the initial feedback from users is extremely positive,” says Kerstin Steffen. “The newcomers are engaging enthusiastically, plus it has sparked the interest of the old hands, who feel inspired to do the course right away. The time invested – it took about three months from initial idea to implementation – has well and truly paid off!”
With chatbot and WBT to the
Villeroy & Boch is one of the leading premium brands for ceramic products worldwide. Founded in 1748, the family business based in Mettlach, Germany stands for innovation, tradition and abundance of style.
As a renowned lifestyle brand, Villeroy & Boch has a presence in 125 countries with its bathroom, wellness and fine tableware products.
Fit for the leading trade fair
The ceramics manufacturer Villeroy & Boch needed to train around 400 sales representatives worldwide for a trade fair. Each employee attending the fair had to complete mandatory virtual product training so they would be able to present the new products.
The greatest challenges were:
- Time pressure: training had to be complete by a certain date
- Ensuring mandatory participation
- Subsequent testing of learning success
- Catering to different ages with different e-learning skills
Virtual product training
Two different web-based training courses (WBT) were created for the predominantly technical products. For all other new developments a chatbot was developed.
The chatbot was filled with short learning units aka learning nuggets, each taking 3 minutes to complete. Each participant moved through different topic areas and product training units.
Each employee arriving for the trade fair was required to complete these training courses in advance and demonstrate in a test that they had understood the learned content.
The training received a strong response and achieved high levels of acceptance. Employees provided extremely positive feedback.
Villeroy & Boch therefore plan to work with equally innovative, digital training concepts for future trade fairs.
Training internal and external audiences
Headquartered in Hamburg-Eppendorf, Eppendorf AG develops, produces and distributes products and services for laboratories all over the world. These products are often used in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food sectors.
The company is the world market leader in many areas of laboratory technology. Across its global operations, the group has more than 3,000 employees at 34 locations.
Knowledge acquisition in record time
Increasing legal requirements, fast global growth, more employees, a more extensive portfolio and a shorter time to market – A few years ago, Eppendorf AG faced all of these challenges. To fight these challenges, it required not only the employees to be trained but also the network of external partners and service providers to be educated. Only when this network of both internal and external groups (together the so-called "Extended Enterprise") is up to date with the latest products, services and developments, at all times, Eppendorf can provide the quality that it strives for. Time and efficiency are essential in this training process.
Mastering these challenges is even harder when old-fashioned and time-consuming training processes slow down the progress. This is where the professionally set-up blended learning concept within a cloud-based solution comes to the rescue.
An open professional development concept
As part of an integrated e-learning strategy, the imc Learning Suite was implemented across the entire company as “Eppendorf Academy”. Hosting in the Microsoft Azure Cloud ensures virtually unlimited scalability and immediate availability
The objective was to systematically complement or replace existing face-to-face training courses with e-learning offers to create a blended learning experience.
The imc authoring tool Content Studio was chosen for the creation of interactive and multimedia learning content.
90 % of users rate the courses
In order to facilitate swift identification and rectification of gaps in the content, obtaining continuous feedback from the course participants was very important for Eppendorf AG.
The dialogue with the learners directly shows to what extent the learning content helped the learners perform their daily tasks, and where further improvements were needed.
The participants’ feedback has been impressive: A staggering 90% of users to date rate the courses as helpful or very helpful.
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."
Advanced training for service technicians
around the world
BSH Hausgeräte AG is the biggest domestic appliance manufacturer in Europe and one of the leading companies in the sector worldwide. The group’s main brands are Bosch and Siemens.
In addition to its eight special brands catering to individual consumers, BSH also serves selected home markets with the regional brands Balay, PITSOS, PROFILO and Coldex.
The product portfolio covers the full spectrum of modern household appliances
Adapting training content to
Global growth of the product portfolio, employee numbers and geographical coverage made it necessary to rethink the professional development concepts used by BSH.
The goal was to adapt the training content to local learning habits in the different countries to fill any gaps in the knowledge of the service technicians in each location. BSH’s intent was to achieve uniform training standards so that customers around the world would enjoy the same high-quality service.
It is of great importance to BSH that service technicians anywhere in the world are able to service appliances, repair them if necessary, and offer competent and professional advice to customers within a short period after the launch of a new product. Moreover, practical training on appliances was to be introduced locally.
What was missing was a modern, multinational professional development concept with a homogeneous database that allowed easy administration of face-to-face training and flexible implementation of tailored online training in real time.
Global professional development platform
for 10,000 technicians
Following an in-depth market analysis, the professional development administrators at BSH decided to implement a learning management system by (LMS) by imc, the “Learning Suite”. They called it the “BSH Learning Universe”.
With this global professional development platform, more than 10,000 BSH service technicians in 50 countries can quickly and easily access the training material tailored to the specific country and use it to support their daily tasks. Easy administration of face-to-face training, reliable assessment functions and reporting round off the solution.
What’s more, the blended learning approach facilitates lasting efficiency gains for the face-to-face training. This saves the technicians up to 20% in training time, while significantly reducing administration costs.
EUR 10 million in savings
The results speak for themselves: Since the LMS was introduced, service technicians have been saving around 20% in training time, which is equivalent to EUR 10 million in total.
Moreover, learners loved how flexible the platform is. The LMS by imc is capable of implementing tailored requirements for each country. This involves more than just using the right language: Basic knowledge relating to fundamental topics like maintenance and repair and customised training on new regional products also differ by country. The “BSH Learning Universe” precisely addresses the requirements and needs of the service technicians at the different locations.
“The imc Learning Suite is highly flexible and adapts to our requirements. The LMS not only covers our need for product training: We also use the system for our health training. Above all, the intelligent training booking processes make our work a lot easier. Since we implemented the LMS, Excel list administration is a thing of the past!”, Peter Tolaini, BSH Learning Universe Administrator, UK sums up.
At the cutting edge with
The Hager brand stands for straightforward and safe electrotechnical installations in residential, industrial and commercial buildings. The portfolio covers everything from energy distribution and cable routing through switch and building technology to door communication.
The Hager Group based in the Saarland town of Blieskastel is family-owned, looking back on 50 years of tradition. Thanks to its continuous development, the company now counts 11,400 employees worldwide.
Making role-based knowledge available
at short notice
At Hager, it is a known fact: Role-based knowledge must be available quickly and at short notice. To ensure this while also providing blended learning and gamification elements for independent electrical engineers, Hager was looking for a suitable partner.
When a new meter cabinet system was introduced all the way back in 1997, information had to be shared with customers almost immediately. Even in those days, the company took a step towards e-learning: Computer-based training (CBT) was recorded onto CD-ROMs and supplied with the products. A lot has happened since. CBT has become WBT. Learners are no longer provided with physical, tangible CD-ROMs on which knowledge is stored. Instead, clicking a link gives them access to the virtual training camp where up-to-date knowledge is transferred.
“Very clearly, the trend in e-learning is to quickly provide learners with role-based knowledge at relatively short notice,” explains Martin Zimmer, Online Training Advisor at Hager.
Instant availability, maximum scalability
and lower costs
Hager has been using the SaaS version of the imc Learning Suite learning management system since 2012. The cloud solution facilitates instant availability and enormous scalability while achieving significant cost savings compared to the traditional on-premise variant.
This learning environment provides learners with a lot more than just access to web-based training (WBT): They can also view webinar recordings or utilise interactive operating instructions in the form of smart lessons – anytime and from anywhere.
But why pick one if you can have it all? Hager leverages blended learning to inform independent electrical engineers about the company’s products. For this target group, imc and Hager have already produced four WBTs on topics such as “Lighting control and dimmers” or “Smart metering” – both of which are key content for energy efficiency.
An effort well received by the learners
Always new WBTs, gamification elements and interactive training courses: The online learning opportunities are well-received by the learners. It shows in the high click rates, as well as in the satisfied feedback. “It’s safe to say: The more up-to-date a WBT is, the greater its acceptance,” Zimmer sums up the feedback.
“The training courses are becoming more sophisticated, and we use a range of interactive elements to communicate the learning content,” he continues. “Our efforts are appreciated!”
The latest web-based training develops know-how on modern cable routing and room connection systems in a playful way. Instead of old-fashioned question-and-answer tests, the partners leveraged realistic exercises in an appealing, virtual world. This training course is more like a serious game than a traditional WBT, and allows learners to compete against and challenge each other.
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.
Two gold awards for
Linde Material Handling develops high-performance intralogistics solutions tailored to specific needs, enabling its customers to achieve long-term competitive advantages.
The company is one of the biggest forklift and warehousing equipment manufacturers in the world.
It has been setting the standard for industrial truck, fleet management, driver assistance system and service solutions for over 50 years. Linde has more than 13,000 employees worldwide.
Playful knowledge transfer
With its new, playful training, Linde Material Handling is pursuing two key goals: Transfer the necessary basic knowledge in the field of intralogistics to all colleagues worldwide, while raising awareness of challenges and improvement potentials in intralogistics among all employees.
A virtual learning environment in the
form of a serious game
The serious game “City of Goods” developed by imc is set in a distribution centre and structured in five training stations. The learner takes on the role of a new employee, receiving a virtual tour of the warehouse.
They gain an insight into different roles and challenges in the workplace, such as high rate of packaging errors, storage space problems or unsafe working conditions.
Each learning station comprises an entrance area, one or two rooms and an office. In the virtual learning environment, the learner communicates with colleagues and obtains first-hand information on the issues at hand and the areas that require action. The player earns points by finding the right solution. Once a certain number of points has been achieved, the player is given access to the office. Here, they must explain the solution they came up with and implemented, before earning a minimum number of points to successfully complete the station.
The game is presented in 3D to make the simulation as realistic as possible.
Gold for “City of Goods”
At the 20th World Media Festival in Hamburg, “City of Goods” scored not once, but twice: The jury of the Television & Corporate Media Awards honoured the serious game with an intermedia-globe Gold Award in the Learning Programmes category.
To top it off, Linde and imc received the Grand Award for best submission in a main category.