BOSS paints is a Belgium-based manufacturer, distributor and seller of paint products. It is unusual in that it is a family business in a market dominated by multinationals, and its mission is to deliver exceptional customer service, superior-quality products and a great working environment for its employees.
BOSS paints offer a wide range of products and services for painters, architects, shopkeepers and consumers, with customised colour and technical advice at the heart of its offering. They manufacture and produce their own paints, and have a franchise chain, colora, comprising almost 60 shops which sell their paint products.
They did a survey to find out why their customers chose BOSS Paints over their competitors, and found that BOSS paints employees give lots of good technical advice, and are experts in the craft of painting.
Painters admire their skills and craftsmanship, and BOSS paints wanted to ensure that it retained this competitive edge by investing even more in its employees with top-quality training.
If they could create the right learning programme, they could help support their 265 employees in encouraging customers to return time and time again to benefit from their superior technical knowledge.
BOSS paints needed a solution to help them deliver comprehensive product training to their employees, and started the search for an LMS. They chose to work with Totara Partner Deloitte Learning Solutions, who recommended Totara Learn as the right platform for the project based on their LMS work with other companies.
They decided to call the LMS ‘Everest’, as it was a big task to conquer.
As BOSS paints’ first LMS, they decided to start small, making technical training available to around 160 sales and customer-supporting staff. This learning covered everything about paint, colour theory and technical advice.
This is delivered in the form of around 200 courses, including e-learning, face-to-face training, workshops, quizzes, videos, documents and tests to help keep learners engaged and on track.
They also use the competencies framework, with courses and competencies linked to each job role using the organisational chart in Totara Learn.
BOSS paints created a spreadsheet to help them decide which departments needed training, and which job roles needed which specific training. They did this for around 55 job roles, and used the spreadsheet to allocate training based on what information people in each role needed to know.
Once they had this information, they could then define how training would be delivered, i.e. in the classroom, as an internship in another department or online.
With some employees having worked at BOSS paints for over 20 years, it was initially tricky to establish the foundation level of knowledge, so they carried out some tests to understand employees’ existing knowledge before creating the content.
At first, the platform was launched for BOSS Paints staff to help get everyone up to speed on the technical aspects of their roles. A year later, it was also launched to colora’s 220 employees based in the franchise stores, and Deloitte Learning Solutions helped create additional learning paths and courses covering topics such as sales, retail and communication.
The overall approach for colora employees was slightly different, as they are more geographically dispersed, making traditional face-to-face training less appropriate.
As well as this, employee turnover is higher among colora staff than at BOSS paints, so they decided to create more targeted onboarding training to help with employee retention and upskill staff early on in their time at colora.
"With Deloitte’s help, we found the ideal learning platform for our employees: Totara Learn. It allowed us to provide customised learning paths consisting of a mix of e-learning, classroom training and workshops in combination with knowledge tests. The LMS has been optimised even further so that users can refine their knowledge in a user friendly and efficient way, always with plenty of challenge and at a pace they determine."
In total, there are 400 learning projects currently set up in the Everest platform. All of BOSS paints’ 265 employees has a login, with 160 of them having learning paths set up. The goal is for all BOSS paints employees to have learning paths set up, including technical courses, first aid, driving and warehouse training.
BOSS paints’ aim at the start of the project in 2012 was to achieve 80% course completion. In the first year of the project, just 38% of courses had been completed, while in 2016, the figure was 80.4%, showing that course completions have more than doubled in the first four years they have been using Totara Learn.
The organisation is delighted that Everest is now well known across the company, and they love how flexible and user friendly the platform is for learners and administrators alike.
Employees’ progress in Everest is now incorporated into their annual reviews, and engagement is encouraged with awards, including an annual Everest Award.
In the future, BOSS paints will work closely with its HR department to expand Totara Learn. Other departments now approach them asking how they can use the platform for their own training, so they intend to implement this in the coming months. They also intend to expand their offering with new competencies, soft skills training and a new homepage.