Welcome back to this ongoing series of posts that explores ways that you can evaluate differences between online procurement training providers.  Part I explored training quality while Part II focused on cost.  In this Part III, we’ll take a look at something that I call “leadership support.”

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While all of us leaders like to think that all we have to do is tell our staff to do something and it will be done promptly and effectively, the truth is that, sometimes, some initiatives require a little bit of, well, leadership.  eLearning initiatives are no exceptions.

While some leaders do select online training for their teams, ask their team members to do it, and it gets done, it isn’t uncommon to see procurement teams have a few members drag their proverbial feet when it comes to self-improvement.   The convenient excuse is the old standard “competing priorities” claim.  In reality, most of the time, employees don’t participate their online training assignment because it is one of their few responsibilities where no one is standing over their shoulders.  Sad but true.

So, leaders need to lead online procurement training initiatives.  And they might be able to get help from their online procurement training provider.  Or maybe not.  The degree of leadership support varies tremendously between the providers out there.

What is leadership support?

Leadership support is a combination of tools and service that helps a leader motivate his or her team to reach their online procurement training goals.  You can learn about the leadership support that your potential online procurement training provider offers by asking questions such as:

  • What type of visibility into the progress of my team can you provide to me?  Will I be able to monitor my team’s progress, completion rate, scores, and/or satisfaction levels?
  • Will the visibility that I have be in real time?
  • Will I be able to use any messaging capabilities to send bulk messages to congratulate those who have completed their online procurement training or to prod those who have fallen behind schedule?
  • Will I have any access to resources (e.g., whitepapers, videos, etc.) that teach me best practices for leading an eLearning initiative?
  • Will you, as a provider, schedule reviews with me to help me keep the initiative on track?
  • How have you seen and helped other procurement leaders succeed in terms of holding their teams accountable, offering positive reinforcement, sharing knowledge, and otherwise leading an effective eLearning program?

Selecting the right provider can mean the difference between an online procurement training initiative that gets completed and delivers the intended business results and one that gets unnecessarily stalled and embarrasses the leader.

Stay tuned to this series as I cover more ways you should be comparing online procurement training providers.

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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