Online Training: A Competitive Edge For The Pharmaceutical Industry

online training for pharma

The focused business environment of the Pharmaceutical Industry continually shows signs of change. Organizations are forced to manufacture new products in this ever-changing environment. New organizations, affiliations and activities are ceaselessly being conceived. A competitive organization must think of innovative ways to train its workforce to ensure its employees are competitive, aggressive and keen to take the organization forward. The right training can make all the difference. Online training’s competitive edge over classroom training can’t be ignored by the Pharmaceutical Industry, here’s why:

A Uniform, Global Reach

Classroom training is not only an expensive affair but with different trainers training different regions, there is a wide disparity in what is taught, how it is taught and the message that is passed on to the learner. Online training delivers employee development programs to a global audience while keeping in mind the business norms, customs and local languages of each region.

Blended Learning

A blended learning approach that combines instructor-led training with online programs creates a very significant long-term impact. A 2011 European survey shows that 76% of companies who used online training viewed blended learning as the most popular approach to training while over 40% of these companies intensified their use of this approach the following year. Last year, 29.1% of training hours were delivered with blended learning methods – a 0.8% increase from the previous year. Blended learning reduces the dependency on trainers and agencies, giving organizations more control over their training programs.

Customized Courses

Pharmaceutical organizations can customize their employee development programs before pushing out these programs via an online learning platform. Integrating individual development needs with long-term, system-wide pharmaceutical practices is a critical piece of organizational development. A customized program allows an employee this luxury as well as helps him develop leadership strategies, competencies and a culture that is needed to meet a Pharmaceutical company’s specific challenges while keeping the organization’s business realities in mind.

Business Simulations and Experiential Learning

Online training paves way for business simulations and experiential learning that work well across different learning styles and geographical and cultural boundaries. Experiential learning allows a trainee to step out of his everyday role and gain exposure to his positional role by giving him a chance to make decisions in a risk-free environment, execute the best practices used by the Pharmaceutical Industry and experience critical interdependencies. More Pharmaceutical companies are using business simulations to help learners build strategic alignment and execution capabilities when faced with complex challenges and change that is a part and parcel of this industry.


The right training will promote exemplary performance-driven results through innovation. Today, the Pharmaceutical Industry is in dire need of training that combines creativity, innovation and skilling of employees and leaders to meet tough global standards. Pharmaceutical companies that make use of online training’s competitive edge will always have a workforce that is not only ready face today, but to take on tomorrow’s challenges as well.

For more information on how e-Learning can benefit industries – including the Retail Industry, visit:


Pharma Major Leverages eLearning To Train Its Sales Representatives

The Retail Industry – Dealing with Mayhem behind the Scenes

retail e-learning

Picture this: A plush retail outlet – well stocked and clean; friendly staff; soft, soothing music playing in the background; happy customers who walk down well-organized aisles; beaming cashiers who expertly handle transactions – an outlet that runs like a well-oiled machine.  If you belong to the retail industry you would know that what happens behind this scene is actually a nightmare. The Retail industry’s success is dependent on customer satisfaction – providing the customer with what he wants, when he wants it – at a price he is happy with. A few decades ago if you could do this, you were considered successful. Today the same maxim holds true, however, it takes a lot more effort to pull that off. What’s happening ‘behind the scene’ are layoffs, churn, rigorous training, store operation nitty-gritty, inventory controlling and various other business processes. It’s mayhem. When we talk about e-Learning – we talk about the benefits that employees and employers can glean from it. For the retail industry, it’s not just about the benefits that employers and the employees can glean from it – but the success of the entire industry.

Who can benefit from e-Learning in the Retail Industry?

  • Customer-facing staff
  • Managers
  • Back-end staff
  • All other employees and customers who are directly/indirectly related to the retail industry

Where can e-Learning help the Retail Industry?

  • Deliver quick, seamless, interesting training
  • Reduce churn (attrition)
  • Maximize revenue
  • Reduce retail shrinkage
  • Reduce training time
  • Increase product knowledge
  • Learn about merchandising
  • Minimize risks and increase safety measures

How does e-Learning works for the Retail Industry?

  • e-learning helps align learning with business goals
  • Streamlined e-Learning saves retail organizations time
  • For multiple retail outlets, e-Learning delivers uniformity in training across geographies with the ability to make the necessary customizations for specific geographies
  • With the option of learning any time and anywhere through e-Learning – employees’ productivity is not hampered and does not decrease the time spent on the shop floor
  • Dependency on trainers is reduced – thereby reducing costs related to hiring, travel, training space and other paraphernalia.
  • e-Learning increases product knowledge of customer-facing sales force – of items being sold and related items as well. It can also be used for instantly retrieving knowledge of a product and its availability at the time of need – to serve customers better
  • Upskilling of sales staff through interactive and highly-engaging courses – to open and close a sale successfully and related follow-up procedures – will ensure customer satisfaction and brand loyalty
  • Delivery of simulation-based courses on the education of in-store operations and related processes leads to the seamless functioning of the back office staff
  • Safety training through on-line learning allows employees to recognize and respond to hazardous situations, minimize risks, and learn about disaster management and evacuation procedures – in a safe environment

Orderly, highly-engaging and streamlined training that is only possible through e-Learning will automatically increase the efficiency of retail staff, allowing them to perform to their optimum best in this highly-competitive industry. It does not have to be total chaos and mayhem behind the scenes – in the end it all comes down to the type of training delivered.

For more information on how e-Learning can benefit industries – including the Retail Industry, visit:

Don’t Choose – Just Sit on the Fence

elearningOrganizations are faced with a new dilemma – classroom training or eLearning? Or is there something between?

eLearning: Statistics from the 2014 Training Industry Report state that as of 2014 – 77% of US companies used online training and that a further 44% of those who were using classroom training planned to migrate to eLearning [1]; The global eLearning market is steadily on the rise and analysts forecast the e-Learning market in the US will grow at a CAGR of 5.53 percent over the period 2013-2018 [2]. Where classroom training fails, eLearning makes up by providing:

  • Learning on the go
  • Anytime learning
  • Social learning and knowledge collaboration
  • Cost- and time-saving benefits
  • Instant feedback and rewards
  • Individual tracking of progress online
  • Immediate Assessments

With all these benefits, can eLearning replace classroom training completely? – It probably could. Is it a good idea to completely replace classroom training with online training? – Probably not.

Classroom Training: Classroom training has its benefits. Since time immemorial, we as a race have linked learning to an instructor’s physical presence, step-by-step guidance and the psychological benefit of face-to-face interaction that lends a personal touch and a sense of assurance to the learner.

Learners have an opportunity to get first-hand information from subject matter experts on questions that extend beyond the course – thereby taking their learning one step further.

Employees get hands-on practical knowledge on the use of tools and machinery related to their job.

Most employees prefer the dedicated time set aside for classroom learning to haphazard eLearning that is believed to delve into their personal time.

But classroom training is time consuming, and in today’s fast-paced global circuit that is defined by change, new strategies, productivity and results, neither administrators nor employees have the time for it. Classroom training reduces the number of hours spent on the job and brings down productivity; and the non-availability of trainers and trainees in tandem leads to poor outcomes. Even the largest of today’s organizations lacks training space and requires the use of other resources such as writing material, monitors, projectors, etc., all of which come at no menial cost. With major disadvantages like these, should organizations give up classroom training and go the eLearning way?

Unfortunately, deciding on a training mode is not as simple as flipping a coin and taking a “heads-I-win, tail-you-lose” approach because there is a lot to win and a lot to lose – either way.

The Third Way: There is a third way – Blended Learning. I like to call it “sitting on the fence” because organizations can sit on the fence and enjoy the best of both worlds – have their cake and eat it too. It has been proved that a combination of classroom training and eLearning – a blend of the old and the new – is the perfect recipe for successful training. In 2014, 29.1% of training hours were delivered with blended learning methods- increased by 0.8 as compared to the previous year [1]. However, unlike the original idiom that denotes hesitancy and inability to decide one way or another, taking the “sitting on the fence” approach involves:

  • A fool-proof serious strategy that aligns an organization’s training with its business goals
  • Consideration of the needs/dynamics of the organization, administrators, trainers and learners

Here are just some of the ways that today’s organizations make use of the blended approach:

  • Decreased dependency on trainers for basic training programs by moving these online
  • Organizations with solidly established classroom-training programs add new online opportunities that will engage their learners virtually (hybrid courses). This multi-channel approach gives learners wider opportunities to engage in learning
  • Larger programs are moved online while short, one-day programs for smaller groups are conducted via classroom training, thereby saving costs
  • Employees make use of basic eLearning courses before a classroom training session. This reduces the number of face-to-face training hours and costs related to classroom training
  • Generic courses such as induction programs, compliance programs, and soft skill training are moved online while specialized courses remain face-to-face
  • Elearning is used to uniformly train a geographically-dispersed workforce online while personalized, shorter in-house training programs are conducted in individual locations
  • Data analytics supported by online learning is used to understand an employee’s online/offline learning styles and requirements to enhance learning and retentive abilities

When it is properly implemented, blended learning can bring the fun back into learning. For organizations it is a guaranteed way to increase productivity and ROI and decrease costs and provide employees with training that matters. So don’t choose – just sit on the fence and enjoy the best of both worlds.

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  1. 2014 Training Industry Report

  1. e-Learning Market in the US 2014-2018

Is Your Pharma Sales Force Letting You Down?

 Pharma Sales letting you down?

Sales letting you down?

In the year 2013, pharmaceutical companies across North America and Europe laid off a large chunk of their sales force due to inflation. Layoffs across industries were rampant and plummeting revenues made it impossible for Pharma Organizations to sustain their entire sales force. In short, the Pharma Industry – suffered. Fast forward to 2015 and Pharma companies still suffer – this time at the hands of their own sales force. It’s true – when a sales force does not perform to its optimum best or fails to reach sales targets the team/individual lets the organization down. The reason is lack of efficient and cost-effective training.

The problem exists at the very base – at the first rung of the ladder. The Pharma industry suffers desperately from a shortage of skills, skilled labor and processing capabilities. There is a lacuna and an ever growing shortfall between output from universities and demand by the pharmaceutical and health care industries for science and engineering graduates who have the ability to rapidly contribute to success in the Pharmaceutical business environment. In the light of this disparity, it is essential for organizations to hand-hold their employees and provide them with proper training before they send them out into the word with a product to sell. For all the time wasted and hoards of money spent on hiring trainers to train their globally-dispersed sales force, the result is inconsistent training across geographies. The ever-changing landscape of the pharmaceutical industry does not make things easier. Indefinite job roles merge into one another and demand that the Pharma sales force is not only adept at sales but doubles up as an excellent marketing force as well. It’s no wonder that companies are let down by their sales force.

The need of the hour is successful training that will help build leadership skills needed to navigate the complex and changing landscape of the industry. Besides being a time-saving, cost effective solution for the Pharmaceutical Industry, eLearning provides consistency of content and delivery. It is available 24/7 and can be accessed from any location with suitable inter-/intra-net access. Given the mobile nature of the pharmaceutical sales force, classroom training is impossible; however, eLearning allows the Pharma sales rep to complete training programs at his own pace and in his own time. Online courses make use of interesting elements such as graphics, videos and audio along with text and make online learning learner-friendly and retention-friendly for the otherwise easily bored adult Pharma sales force learner. The changing needs of the customer requires the Pharma sales force training to focus on selling skills and strategies that must be updated at the speed of need to match the current needs of today’s customer – this again is made possible with online learning that allows speedy delivery of updated information.

The world is making the shift to online learning. Most of the Pharma giants are using some form of online learning to train their forces already, and those who have made the move are witness to the results. If your Pharma sales force is letting you down, our advice to you is to make the move to elearning now.

eLearning for the Banking Sector

The banking industry is increasingly growing in importance in view of the current business scenario. As a vertical market, where adoption of innovative technology is central to its growth, up skilling of employees in this sector is of utmost importance. A ‘Single Customer Relationship View’ is the key to success for BFSI companies as this enables them to ‘cross-sell’ and ‘up-sell’ their offerings. E-learning can be an effective way to bring the diverse set of people onto a common platform.The primary agenda of banks is to serve customers better. Product information needs to be taught to the sales personnel. This process can be made simple through e-learning.

Reasons necessary for e-learning to be adopted in the banking sector

  • For tracking compliance, banks use e-learning and learning management system software that support e-training
  • eLearning enables you to easily adapt the content and transfer to the learner, which could be done at any time and from anywhere. This is the main benefit of using this method in the banking sector
  • During active production, the learning approach is a very important factor to be considered. Training should be given in terms of daily basis, so that learners develop their skills to the professional extent. In order to achieve the required objectives, we use e-learning to train employees
  • Those employed with the banking sector can improve their administrative qualities. Online learning can effectively be used to improve their communication skills and interact with clients effectively. They are provided with ample scope to apply the concepts they have gained on a daily basis

It is imperative that banks focus on maintaining and developing their portfolio of customers. Important factors that influence the company’s strength and position in the market are the quality of client service and the variety and adaptability of the products to the customers’ needs. Human resources play a pivotal role in ensuring excellent service and customer satisfaction. It can be accepted that a robust e-learning strategy has a major impact on the organizational performance. ELearning is able to successfully address critical challenges in human-capital development: rapid induction of new employees, quick launch of new products, regular andconsistent testing of employees and a need for courses that are readily accessible for any employee regardless of the location.

Responsive eLearning: The Future of Online Learning

One term very closely associated with responsive eLearning is Responsive Web Design (RWD). In a layman’s understanding, it is the creation of websites that are responsive to varying screen sizes of different devices be it a desktop or a tablet or a mobile, and provide an optimal viewing experience. Taking cue from the above understanding, responsive e-learning is the application of RWD to e-learning.

The phenomenal developments in the world of information and communication technology have transformed the way online medium is accessed. It is understood that for online training to be effective, needs to adapt to the changes as per the preferences of learners. In a research, morgan Stanley estimated that by the year 2015, internet usage will be more prevalent through mobile devices than computers.

The need to look beyond the use of personal computers to deliver online training courses was triggered by the astronomical increase in the number of people using mobile devices. A study conducted by Google reiterates the same point. It has been surveyed that 98% of Internet users switch between devices with varying screen sizes in a single day.

This results in two options. First, to have multiple versions of the same online course for various devices and second, to create one single responsive eLearning course that can be easily accessed by multiple devices.

However, the first option comes with some pitfalls in the road to learning. Higher cost and increased time is a natural corollary of creating multiple versions of the same online course, which also results in increased course development time resulting in a delayed turnaround time for the completion of the training course. The second hindrance is the difficulty in tracking the use of online courses which is essential for determining the ROI of the training. Using multiple versions of the same course makes tracking of these different versions cumbersome.

The aforementioned issues can be resolved with the help of responsive eLearning. The idea is creating a single course that can be accessed and used on any gadget and device on varying screen sizes and can be tracked easily with an LMS. The biggest advantage of responsive eLearning is the unprecedented learning flexibility it provides to its online learners.

Responsive eLearning comes with the advantage of sequential screening, wherein a learner can pause the online course on one gadget and resume it on another device exactly at the point where he/she has stopped. This makes learning highly flexible and user-friendly.

Still at a nascent stage, responsive eLearning will take some time before it evolves completely. However, there is not an iota of doubt when we say that the future of learning is responsive eLearning.

Prospect of eLearning in the Indian Scenario

Over the last decade, learning has experienced a sea change in India. The conventional mode of education has become a passé and education is all about learning, online training and education on the go. Indian education has had a metamorphic change over the years and the most prominent landmark has been the trend of e-learning.

With the growing impetus and proliferation in the field of internet commercialization has led to the growth of elearning. This unprecedented inroads in internet penetration, led online training pave its way within the country’s learning ecosystem. Not just limited to the educational industry, elearning is been adopted by the corporate sector as continuous training of employees has become imperative in keeping up with the industry’s growth.

In 2013, India had 167.2 million internet users. This figure is projected to grow to 283.8 million internet users in 2016. As a result, India’s potential as a market for e-learning is enormous. As per the Docebo report issued in July 2014, the worldwide market for self-paced e-learning reached $35.6 billion in 2011. The five-year CAGR is estimated to be 7.6%, so revenues should reach $51.5 billion by 2016. While the aggregate growth rate is 7.6%, several world regions have higher growth rates. The highest rate is in Asia at 17.3%, followed by Eastern Europe (16.9%), Africa (15.2%) and Latin America (14.6%).

According to a recent study in a global level online learning program, after the United States, India has been reported to have the second highest number of online course enrollments with more than over 1,55,000 students from the country. Of a total of around 1.2 million students worldwide, 32% are from the U.S while 15% are from India.

According to the research report, “India E-Learning Market Outlook to FY’2018 – Increasing Technology Adoption to Drive Future Growth, the market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% over the period FY2013-FY’2018 driven by many factors such as increasing government initiatives to promote e-learning, increasing adoption of technology, shortage of quality education, convenience and cost factors and others. With an inclination in the adoption of e-learning method to facilitate talent management in corporations, the demand of custom e-learning content and technology would increase, thereby increasing the overall growth of India’s e-learning market in future.

Moreover, online training is no longer the prerogative of the computer sector alone. The impact of such training is all-pervasive and presents attractive opportunities in diverse segments. The growing number of public and private sector initiatives on the incline, the changing mindsets of people, and the unprecedented rise of technology are reflective of the promising future that e-learning in India holds. The prospect of making education available to anyone, any time, anywhere is becoming increasingly appealing to students, the corporate world and the populace at large.