World domination may sound exciting on paper. But if you’ve grown into a truly international organization, it can also throw up some complex logistical challenges. Royal Boon Edam is a third-generation Dutch family business that specializes in supplying revolving doors, high-security doors, and speed gates to customers across the world.
And “across the world” is no exaggeration either. Royal Boon Edam boasts representatives in 50 different countries, and a wildly diverse array of production locations and distribution centres. “So, the Americas, Europe, and Asia,” says Saskia Langedijk, the company’s Global Learning and Development Expert, “With external distributors in South Africa also.”
Yet while it’s a huge achievement to build a global business, it can also bring organizational headaches when you’re trying to roll out uniform training development on such a large scale. “We're dealing with a massive group of different cultures, people, organizations, and languages,” admits Saskia.
Committed to looking after its diverse staff of 1,317 people scattered around the world, Royal Boon Edam wanted to unify its learning and development experience under a single global strategy. But while a consistent approach was vital, the international nature of the business meant it also required a learning platform with the flexibility to provide focused support according to a region’s specific needs.
A further challenge was that Royal Boon Edam wasn’t just seeking a vast range of content – it also had to be widely accessible. That meant it had to work for people with different levels of education and be available in more than 10 different languages.
“One of the biggest goals I have is to open up the world of learning for our colleagues struggling with languages,” says Saskia. “We’re an international company and our people don't just speak English, so we need to think and behave as an international.”
Having reviewed various options, Royal Boon Edam decided to partner with Go1, partly due to the learning platform’s multilinguistic capacities. Ensuring content is translated in multiple languages to a high level is easier said than done – particularly when the content tackles professional or technical material relating to a specific role. Yet having rolled out the training throughout much of her global team, Saskia is reassured by the quality.
“I've had no issues with people saying that the translation is wrong, or they’ve had difficulty in understanding,” she says. “I’m also very happy that with Go1 we now have Mandarin content, which is often lacking on many other platforms.”
Royal Boon Edam wasn’t starting its L&D journey from scratch, however. At the time it engaged Go1, it had already been working with Learn Amp – a people development platform that blends learning management system and learner experience platform functionality – for a couple of years. Together, they had developed the Boon Edam University (BE U), which united the company and its culture across standardized onboarding that still maintains autonomy for each global region.
But the partnership between Go1 and Learn Amp, with Go1 aggregating a comprehensive library of content and Learn Amp providing the platform to deliver the content, has taken Royal Boon Edam's L&D to the next level.
“The breadth of content of Go1 plus the flexible functionality of Learn Amp work really well together from a platform point of view,” explains Learn Amp’s Head of Customer Success, Alice Menhennet.
"It's enabled [Royal Boon Edam] to take more advantage of Learn Amp’s learner experience platform functionality because now they’ve got the breadth and depth of content they need in various areas and languages,” adds Alice.
That breadth and depth of content has been critical when it comes to delivering on Royal Boon Edam's global requirements. “I think the Go1 content is great,” says Saskia. “There's a lot of diversity in it. The content suits our coordinators and is up to the level they need.”
Saskia has also been heartened by Go1’s willingness to develop additional or upgraded content to cater to specific needs, creating an even more comprehensive offering. “The Go1 team listen a lot to what we're looking for and want to learn about and the particular types of training we're looking for.”
On those occasions when fresh content has been requested, the response time for Go1 to deliver it has been good, says Saskia. “It’s not only that they say they can offer something, the Go1 team listen to us and what we're looking for and through our relationship they are willing to help us.”
“I don’t think we’ve come across a content need that Go1 can’t find a provider for,” agrees Alice. “All of the Customer Success Managers we work with know the Go1 library like the back of their hands. You’re talking to real experts.”
For Saskia, one of her most positive experiences with Go1 came when she was trying to encourage one of the Royal Boon Edam company representatives to make more training available to their regional team.
While the representative was open to the idea, they were hesitant about sourcing the training from a third-party provider. They suspected any content would prove too generic, and would lack the depth and substance for their highly specific needs. “The rep was saying: ‘Okay, let's go and develop some internal training’,” recalls Saskia.
Aware that creating its own training from scratch would inevitably be a long, expensive, and labor-intensive process, Royal Boon Edam met with Go1 to explore the platform's menu of pre-existing options that could also be upgraded, if necessary. When Saskia returned to show the range of training on offer through Go1, the skeptical rep quickly became a Go1 convert.
“It actually changed the whole idea of that person,” she says. “Suddenly, that person was much more open to using external training instead of [developing] internal training. They really wanted to have control over the content. So, if I can convince a person such as that, that external training could also be used, that is quite complimentary.
“I think what we have delivered through Go1 has been one of my critical accomplishments this year and it's helped me enormously.”
Ultimately, the value of learning is hard to quantify, yet the initial signs are hopeful. “We can see changes in behavior. We can see changes in development,” says Saskia. “We’re hoping that will show the success of use.”
Rolling out a global program of skills development is a proactive move that also speaks to Royal Boon Edam’s original roots. Since the company’s birth in Amsterdam in 1873, it has grown into a business with its tentacles stretching all over the world. Yet it remains a family-run operation that is committed to nurturing its employees and investing in their futures. That’s why the company continues to strive to make learning and development available to everyone – no matter where in the world they’re from or what language they speak.
Keen to learn how Go1 can partner with you to deliver impactful learning and development in your organisation? Get in touch today and let’s start the journey towards a game-changing solution.