CRM Training on the Web

By Heather Baldwin

If you have a dispersed sales organization and want to save money on your CRM rollout, forget collecting all your users in one place to train them on the new application. Conduct your training on the Web instead. That’s what Anaheim, CA-based CKE Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, will be doing with their rollout of PeopleSoft 8’s finance/distribution and human resources modules. As a result, they expect to save more than $100,000 in travel-related costs, boost retention of the material taught and reap numerous other benefits ranging from timesavings to quality-of-life improvements.

CKE will be using Pixion’s PictureTalk Web conferencing solution to coordinate the company-wide rollout of its new PeopleSoft modules. “We have a lot of distributed users in the field,” says Tom Lindblom, CKE’s director of IT. “Instead of bringing everyone to a central location and putting them through a day of training, we can schedule classes that last about an hour and a half – and offer multiple sessions of those classes so they can attend at their convenience.” Not only does training now take only a few hours out of a day instead of a full day or two, but users are more likely to retain what they have learned. “They can do the class then go on the test system and practice what they’ve learned,” says Lindblom. There’s a demonstration version of the application available through CKE’s Intranet and “if a person processes invoices, they can process invoices. If they process vendor payments they can do that, and they can do it without hurting anything.”

Other benefits include quality of life issues. CKE employs a lot of single parents and Lindblom said the ability to not travel is a huge benefit for those employees. Finally, the company expects to reap enormous timesavings in the creation of corporate training materials through the use of PictureTalk. Previously, the soup-to-nuts guide for restaurant managers traveled from department to department where each person made changes. “Invariably, person A would make a change that person C didn’t agree with,” says Lindblom. “Now a draft is created, a meeting is scheduled, everyone shares the desktop and when the meeting is done, the document is done.” The process now takes a few hours instead of a week to 10 days.