Digital Learning: GEFCO reinforcing the professionalism and employability of our employees with ENI’s MEDIAplus eLearning



Philippe ARNAUD
Training Manager of the GEFCO Group

Can you tell us a bit about your company and what it is that you do? 

Philippe ARNAUD – Today GEFCO is a reference in terms of logistics for industry. It is one of the top 10 biggest European groups, with a turnover of Euros 4 billion in 2013…

GEFCO is continuing its international development to accompany its industrial customers in high growth areas: Central Asia, Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, India and South America. 

Employee training is a cornerstone of the group’s strategy. This strategic vision is partly based on an ambitious training policy. For several years now, GEFCO has devoted significant resources to the development of professionalism and employability of its employees and encourages them to become actors in their development. 

Sector: Logistics
Chairman of the Management Board: Luc Nadal
Main Shareholders: Russian Railways (75%) – PSA Peugeot Citroën (25%)
Turnover 2013: 4 Billion euros
Operating income 2013: 95 M euros
Number of employees: 11500 employees – 71 nationalities
Geographic footprint: 312 sites in 35 countries

Before using MEDIAplus eLearning, how were your office skills training courses organised? What made you change? 

Before using MEDIAplus eLearning, our office skills training courses were organised as “classroom” sessions that mostly took place within the company. 

We have chosen to switch to e-learning for two main reasons:

  • MEDIAplus eLearning can be accessed at any time, giving us the freedom to acquire skills and put them to use whenever this is necessary. In this way we have catered to the needs of our employees, some of which were not interested by one or two days of lessons because they did not require training on the entire application.
  • Optimisation of training costs. 

What were the different steps of the project? Was any specific organisation required to manage this project? 

Managing the project was easy. The director of our IT service contacted ENI’s technical services to verify the compatibility of the configuration of our PC’s here at GEFCO. 

A determined effort was made in terms of internal marketing to promote self-training. Our training department handles the administrator accounts created for each subsidiary. An “administrator” instruction manual is available online on the Group Intranet.

What did you like about MEDIAplus eLearning? 
More specifically, what means have been used? 

GEFCO was looking for an e-learning solution available in as many languages as possible. After reviewing the existing e-learning solutions on the market, the solution proposed by MEDIAplus eLearning was the one that best met our requirements. Its availability in several languages and the fact that it is the only solution that exploit’s the applications own environment were a real bonus. 

Users appreciate the fact that they can save their exercises and come back to them very easily, as well as the clarity of the explanations. 

Our employees can follow the course on their own PC’s, therefore, we have not set up a room dedicated for this purpose since the aim is for everyone to learn according to their needs and when they would like. GEFCO does not authorise its employees to train outside of their working hours. 

The idea is to propose MEDIAplus eLearning as online help that employees can access daily according to their needs. We do not necessarily offer it as an obligatory training programme with a module to complete within a given time frame and with an assessment at the end, because we came to realise that this required too much involvement from our employees. We suggest that they use this training tool according to their daily needs and in order to answer any questions they may have on specific topics. This is what we have put forward to our employees and our network of training managers. 

Educationally speaking, acquiring skills when the need is felt to do so is a real asset. Employees who have chosen this training solution can immediately apply what they have learnt which helps to anchor new skills. 

Everything takes place during the annual evaluation meeting that each employee has with their manager. Before putting forward this solution and how to use it, our employees did not necessarily express their needs for training because their needs were based solely on certain aspects of any given application. We therefore had to do some internal marketing to explain to our employees that they could focus on learning just one specific functionality of an application. We shared this information on our website and via our training managers in our subsidiaries around the world. 

By which means have you chosen to accompany your learners and why?

Our learners are independent in the way that they choose to manage their training. We have not received any complaints concerning the use of the platform and the organisation of the training. However, it is important to specify that a majority of the learners were not beginners and that they were mostly just looking to improve their skills. 

We chose not to involve any tutoring since it is not a traditional training course and we would rather provide help on a daily basis.

What are your conclusions after several months of use?

We are very satisfied. The fact that this training solution is available in several languages is extremely important. Of course, lowering costs was also a crucial factor. Moreover, this makes it possible for us to offer the same learning environment to all our employees no matter where they are. 

From the beginning, we put forward the fact that MEDIAplus eLearning could be used as a source of help to acquire the necessary skills to use all the features of the application. “Rather than looking for a tutorial on the internet, use MEDIAplus eLearning!” or “discover all of an application’s features”. The feedback from learners is positive. MEDIAplus eLearning is a very good solution for self-training and it is not necessary (except for beginners) to pair this solution with in class training. 

Lastly, what advice would you give to training managers who would like to try e-learning?

It is important to make sure that the bandwidth of the companies intranet network is sufficient and is it extremely important to include the head of IT in the project to validate all the technical aspects of the project before its implementation.