I’m back for Part II of this series designed to help procurement leaders identify the critical differences between online procurement training providers.  In Part I, I covered how to evaluate the differences in quality between online procurement training providers.  In this Part II, I will cover the concept of “cost per hour” as it relates to online procurement training.

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To reiterate a point I made in Part I, online procurement training is not a commodity.  You can’t just look at the title of an offering and a price and think you know whether it is more or less attractive or a better or worse deal than a competing offering.  Let me show you an example…

I am perusing a course catalog from one of the providers in the space.  This provider offers an online course entitled “Optimum Quality:  Quality Improvement Methods.”  Good title, right?  OK, so what’s the cost?  It’s $189.  Sounds affordable, right?  Should you go for it?

Well, with online training, it is important to know how much education you are getting for your purchase.  Often, providers express the length of their online courses in terms of Continuing Education Hours, or CEH’s.  The number of CEH’s represents the approximate time, in hours, that it will take the average person to complete the course.

So, for this particular course, I see that it is 2 CEH’s.  So, those that would enroll in this course would be paying $189 for 2 hours of training, or about $95 per hour.

Let’s do a comparison.

I’m on a competing provider’s website and found a course entitled “Improving Quality in the Supply Chain.”  Looking at nothing other than the title and being familiar with the providers, it sounds like it would cover similar subject matter.  So, now let’s take a look at the cost…

I see that “Improving Quality in the Supply Chain” offers 8 CEH’s.  The cost is $229.  That seems more expensive.  However, it is actually less expensive on a cost-per-hour basis.

Those that enroll in this course would be paying $229 for 8 hours of training, or about $29 per hour.

So, from a pure cost standpoint, the second course would be a better value at $29 per hour than the first course, which runs $95 per hour.

Of course, that’s not enough information to make a decision.  You need to consider the quality of the courses as described in Part I and the other factors we are going to discuss in future installments of this series.

Stay tuned!

Disclosure:  I am the founder of an organization that offers online procurement training.  However, in this series, I will not mention the name of my company nor the names of any competitors.  I will keep this totally general and vendor-agnostic so that you can get the benefit of one perspective on evaluating online procurement training without getting a sales pitch touting a specific provider.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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