Is Your LMS the Answer? Enable Your Franchisees and Association Members! 

Creating, delivering and measuring the effectiveness of learning programs is already a challenge, but when your learning audience consists of disparate groups of nonemployees, it can become downright daunting.  

In a franchise model, whether a network of stores, restaurants or dealerships around the country — or around the globe — customers expect a consistent experience. Companies want to safeguard their brands by ensuring their franchise partners and franchise employees in all locations know and adhere to the standards set by the parent organization. Customers expect the same level of expertise and customer service whether the franchised location is next door or six states over. 

In an association, members may also be geographically dispersed across one or sometimes multiple countries. Unlike franchise employees, association members typically participate at their own discretion based on their own professional or personal interests. Learning content must be both engaging and relevant to their interests, or they will simply ignore it, especially if it isn’t free of charge.

Distributing learning and tracking participation across a far-flung member network comes with its own unique difficulties requiring the ability to deliver learning across multiple platforms (including smartphones) and routed to the right person at the right time, and sometimes, in the right language. There may also be challenges related to poor phone or internet connectivity. 

Delivering a strong, consistent training message is important in any organization, but when it comes to delivering training to an extended workplace environment or across a membership audience, it is absolutely critical.  

Based on Brandon Hall Group™ data from a recent Extended Enterprise Learning study, 38% of organizations reported they lacked the technical capability to support extended enterprise learning. When asked what the biggest challenges they faced in this learning space, 64% said they lacked sufficient reporting and analytics capabilities, 58% cited a lack of mobile learning capabilities, and 38% reported they were unable to set up domains or portals to distribute and administer training to their external audiences.  

When asked which technical capabilities were critical to support extended enterprise learning, 48% mentioned the ability to set up multiple domains or portals, and 48% as well pointed to the ability to configure customized administrative levels and permissions. Given these gaps, it’s clear that the right LMS with the right capabilities is a critical piece of any extended enterprise learning solution.  

LMS functionality to look for includes: 

  • The ability to set up locally self-administered, branded portals to match complex external networks to franchise locations and their language requirements; 
  • Sophisticated data analytics to track certifications and course completions, assessments and training participation both by individual and by franchisee location; 
  • eCommerce for those organizations who charge for content; 
  • The ability to support offline course consumption; and 
  • Content development capabilities that fully support mobile-delivered content. 

Brandon Hall Group™ SmartChoice® Gold Preferred Provider Absorb offers a full-featured LMS solution specifically designed to handle the complexities of extended enterprise learning. They have a client base that includes large franchise organizations and associations that rely on extended enterprise learning to train both franchise employees and association memberships.  

Absorb offers robust reporting and analytics dashboards, provides an integrated content development functionality, allows for creating complex self-administered learning portals, and has eCommerce capabilities for those organizations wishing to charge for extended enterprise content. 

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Ken Joseph



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