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Etex Building Performance built a brand new LMS from scratch

Etex Building Performance UK is a subsidiary of the Etex Group, a Belgian family-owned manufacturing business built through multiple acquisitions over a century. Etex Building Performance produce and sell plasterboard as a B2B business. The UK employs 500 employees from factory workers and engineers, to a large national sales force, executive leadership team and a full complement of head office functions.

It operates across five sites Bristol Plant, Ferrybridge Plant, Gordano House (Bristol), Basildon Warehouse and Grangemouth Warehouse. Its focus is the production of plasterboard. 

Etex Group:

Etex Group

The Challenge

From the start the challenge was starting from scratch. There was no pre-existing system being used to record learning, it was just spreadsheets on different drives.  There was nothing to improve and build from, so this was the true beginning of a Learning Management System. 

The main drive to roll out a Learning Management System was to be compliant with ISO OHSOS 18001 and to fill in the gaps the central HR system could not provide. However, the Learning Management System still needed to have a seamless link between multiple platforms including the global learning management platform that hosted content; the local document control system; and needed to host internal local content as well. 

Another challenge faced was that there was only one full time employee able to work on the deployment of the system. 

The ‘last but not least’ challenge was the audience: manufacturing. With low IT literacy across numerous different plants in the UK and a remote workforce of home-based employees. 

The Solution

Totara Learn was chosen as the first Learning Management System (LMS) for Etex Building Performance UK. Chambury Learning Solutions (CLS) were chosen as their Partner because of the support given in the implementation and post deployment. With just one full time employee able to work on the implementation, support was key to make sure that all the spreadsheet data was manipulated and populated correctly, certifications and audiences were created, and that the theme was executed in accordance with the Company’s brand guidelines. 

The LMS needed to be integrated with Office 365 to deliver single sign on for ease of moving between the different global and internal platforms; which required close collaboration with Etex IT teams to install.

Where data existed on spreadsheets it was combined and manipulated to be uploaded as course completions. This allowed for training courses to be analysed internally and a structure found where none seemed to exist. Certification and programs were then created inside the LMS to align to new site competency/ training matrices for each site. Audiences were also created for the different plants and positions to allow for auto-enrolment, ensuring new starters were enrolled into the correct learning paths from day one. 

Etex Building Performance Totara

Once all this information was added the compliance reporting could start, using RAG reports alongside certification and program overview reports. Each manager now had their own dashboard, and for the first time in the Company’s history were empowered to be able to manage the compliance training for their departments. By engaging the employees in mandatory learning, and providing a structure that they could follow the company’s learning culture began to grow. They were hungry for more. 

So now the fun could begin with Course Creation.

Creating local relevant content was a really important factor that has brought the site to life and engaged its learners. This could only be done with and through local Subject Matter Experts (SME) in Etex Building Performance UK. Chambury Learning Solutions supported the delivery of some face to face sessions that helped the SMEs get started. The system’s easy to use platform and ongoing support through the Totara Learning Academy and Youtube videos really helped the SMEs to get creative and create blended learning courses that they could own and update locally.

The courses had a clear outline / structure they all needed to follow to provide consistency to the end users. This outline / structure was designed by the LMS manager with the idea of the page looking familiar to what the end user was already used to; a web page. The courses are set out in topic format with images, videos to minimise the text. The activities and resources used inside a course are; embedded videos, SCORM packages, seminar events, quizzes, checklists, assignments, certificates, file uploads, comment boxes and forums. Etex Building Performance use Active Presenter to create eLearning / videos for demonstrations and learning, this can be easily added to a course.  

Below is an example of DSE (Display Screen Equipment) course, created by the local Health & Safety team. The Course is displayed in topics format to give a familiar “webpage” feel for its low IT literacy users. 

Etex Building Totara Learn
Etex Building Totara Learn

Alongside courses, certifications and programs the finance team are using the ‘Record of Learning – Other Evidence’ area for their CIMA certificates. Demonstrating all learning and development can be held in one place. 

Dashboards were designed to show what needed to be accessed in the least clicks possible, this includes an introduction course which is a set of courses, for employees and managers, to explain what the LMS is, where they will find their Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) data and how to do they complete their upcoming and due courses / certifications / programs. At the same time this gets them used to the way a course will look like, resulting in them being engaged and familiarised right at the beginning. 

etex dashboard Totara

 “Required learning” takes them to a report showing what learning needs to be done to stay compliant. “Record of learning”, shows them what learning they have done on what day and what grade they received. 

“My Team” takes managers to their team and their teams learning. 

“My Reports” shows their dashboard of reports relating to certifications and programs, enabling them to manage both their own compliance and their teams’ compliance if they are a manager.

“The Managers Academy” is an internal program with blended learning courses to guide and support managers relationships with their team, this is targeted at current managers using audiences and inspiring managers. There are also buttons to the other Etex systems with gives a seamless link with the use of single sign on. 

The plant managers can see the plants overall compliance with graphical pie charts.  Providing access to RAG reports [for certifications and program] allows managers and plant managers accountable for their own learning, their teams learning, and their plants overall EHS compliance. The reporting dashboards also make Etex Building Performance fully compliant with ISO OHSOS 18001.

“The Totara system has been so easy to use which has enabled the business to create a local platform with relevant local content relatively quickly. In just 2 years we have gone from zero to something people are engaged with. It’s got the Etex Group’s attention too and I already have other countries interested in re-creating what we have done here. I couldn’t have achieved this without Chambury, who have been a true business partner that I could lean on. I really trust them, and we have a great relationship.”

Genevieve Tofield, Talent and Development Manager.

The Results

The results are simply portrayed in the data on the site administration statistic dashboard. Users are logging in, completed courses that contain a blended approach using eLearning (SCORM), seminars, assignments. Compliance is starting to add up!

etex reporting Totara