Training a worldwide laboratory testing services firm
Bespoke Agroscience System
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Implementing a business critical system on a global scale is a highly complex project. But ensuring that staff are trained to use it properly, whatever their role and wherever they are based, is just as key to success as the software itself.
Optimum, the IT training consultancy, has helped to design the end-user training for a bespoke IT system implemented by Eurofins Agroscience Services, part of Eurofins Scientific, a global leader in bioanalysis, to manage its agroscience study projects.
Eurofins Scientific has over 15,000 employees with more than 190 laboratories in 37 countries, including nine sites in the UK. The group provides analytical and support services to the pharmaceutical, food, environmental and consumer product industries and to governments.
Dr. Lynne Spencer eSM deployment coordinator
Eurofins’ new eSM system will plan, track and manage all the field and laboratory-based work across its global agroscience studies.
The Deployment Team opted for a ‘skill the trainer’ approach where 25 key system users from across the company’s international operations would cascade their own knowledge down to others in their divisions.
“While we have some experience of training, we are a small team, very much at the sharp end, and not experts in putting a complete IT training package together,” said Dr. Lynne Spencer, Eurofins’ eSM deployment coordinator. “There will be up to 700 people using eSM globally so we felt we needed some professional input to ensure the training given to the users was consistent.”
Optimum’s role was to support the key users by providing them with the training materials, and guidance on how to deliver the training effectively and in a professional way.
The consultancy designed a full set of training documentation, including adapting system reference guides and quick cards for the key processes. A trainer pack was written for the key users with a lesson plan, exercises, a script for delivering the training and a PowerPoint presentation.
eSM is a bespoke and potentially highly complex system and Eurofins’ deployment team was keen to avoid information overload.
Dr. Spencer noted: “Our goal for the user training was to make sure that everybody was comfortable with the basics of the system at the outset but also that they had an understanding of the more challenging functionality for when they had more confidence.”
She added: “The documentation from Optimum was very good; it distilled the information down to give both the basic, step-by-step overview that the users needed and an insight into its future capabilities.”
Optimum presented the training materials to the key users in Paris, in tandem with a half-day course on how to be a trainer.
“It was challenging because it was a large audience; they are scientists with little or no experience of providing training; they were still learning the system themselves and, for most of them, English isn’t their first language,” said Dr. Spencer. “But Optimum designed a good, basic course that gave them a number of key pointers to help them deliver the training with confidence in a professional and consistent manner.”
Effective end-user training is critical to the success of any IT implementation because the system is only as good as the people who use it. Eurofins chose Optimum to support them on their eSM deployment because of the company’s track record in designing training programmes for bespoke IT systems.
“There are a lot of training companies out there,” Dr. Spencer noted, “but very few have the expertise to handle highly specialised IT systems. We were confident that Optimum could deliver the support we needed and it’s proved to be the case.”
Eurofins will update the training course and materials as the company further develops its eSM system. “We were very satisfied with Optimum’s service. Their communication was excellent, they gave us feedback at every stage,” said Dr. Spencer, “and the training documentation and trainer packs will give us a solid basis to go forward with.”