Training one of the USA’s largest diversified manufacturers
Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 ERP
The IT training consultancy Optimum has used its offshore service to design a Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 ERP end user training programme for Leggett & Platt Inc., one of the USA’s largest diversified manufacturers.
The 134-year-old firm, which pioneered sleep technology by introducing the spiral steel coil bedspring, now has 130 manufacturing facilities in 19 countries. It generates annual sales of $3.8 billion from innovative products and components for the home, office, automotive and aerospace industries.
Leggett & Platt’s AX2012 implementation included certain corporate-level shared service systems for general ledger, cash application, accounts payable, purchasing and accounts payable disbursements. Leggett wanted their end-user training planned alongside the system build to ease the transition from the legacy system that had been intact for 25 years.
Nathan Herndon Leggett & Platt's IT Director
“Optimum’s knowledge, ability and proven track record in creating successful user training programmes on AX2012, made it a clear winner over the other companies we looked at,” said Nathan Herndon, IT Director at Leggett & Platt.
The initial project timelines were very challenging. With less than three months between the initial contact and the first scheduled user training sessions, Optimum had to be ultra-flexible in its approach. The consultants twice made the 17-hour journey to Missouri on short notice and adjusted their working hours in the UK to maximise the crossover with their Leggett colleagues in the US six hours behind.
Optimum’s first step was to carry out a training needs analysis from the UK. Three weeks later consultants travelled to Leggett & Platt’s headquarters in Missouri for detailed knowledge transfer sessions to familiarise themselves with the company’s specific system build, work streams and business processes.
“Optimum drove these sessions and really helped us to better understand what was needed for effective user training, pointing out the potential pitfalls and giving us quality guidance,” Herndon reflected.
Back at its London base, Optimum drew up a detailed plan identifying which of the Leggett & Platt employee-partners needed training on which aspects of the system, when and how, plus the supporting materials to be created.
Optimum then designed, developed and wrote the corresponding user-focused, role-based courses and lesson plans, plus a full suite of documentation including quick cards for light-touch users and detailed reference guides for more complex processes. Due to the timeline, they designed and developed the training courses and materials as the system build was still being finalised. “Optimum’s knowledge of AX2012 and their flexibility really stood out,” Herndon acknowledged. “If one work stream wasn’t quite ready, they just moved onto the next area and came back to it later.”
All of the materials were delivered in editable formats, thus establishing a valuable resource, with a life extending well beyond go-live. After a few pilot training sessions, Leggett was able to make adjustments to the materials, as well as, creating supplementary materials to help bridge the gap between their existing legacy system and AX.
Leggett & Platt’s own team delivered the user training across the company, with Optimum providing onsite skill-the-trainer sessions to ensure they had all the resources, knowledge and soft skills they needed to be consistent, confident and effective.
“I felt comfortable with Optimum’s offshore model because they had done it successfully for other major companies in the US,” reflected Herndon. “Their references were phenomenal and it proved to be a very cost effective and efficient way of working.”