E-Training: Dade Behring's Crash CourseBy Baselinemag | Posted 2007-06-14 Email Print
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The manufacturer of clinical diagnostic instruments rolled out new software, but employees did not know how to use it. A new lesson plan made the difference.Sometimes in shifting to new systems as a result of an acquisition or merger, companies don't always have time to bring their users up to speed on how to make the most of the new software.
Case in point: Dade Behring Holdings, the world's largest company dedicated exclusively to clinical diagnostics. In 1996, Dade Behring (then called Dade International) purchased DuPont's diagnostic business with an eye to expanding its leadership in clinical chemistry.
That same year, the company began switching from a DuPont-developed system to an SAP Flexible Planning Module. Unfortunately, once it got off the DuPont system, Dade Behring, which offers a range of products, services and systems designed to meet the needs of medical labs, discovered there were problems in getting users to adjust to the new software. "We had our first experience with training in using the SAP module," says Bill Magagna, global Instructional System Design (ISD) lead for Dade Behring.
The implementation was hardly a success. In fact, because it couldn't get its users up to speed on the SAP system, Dade Behring for eight months was unable to update forecasts on the system, according to an article by John Dougherty, a senior partner at manufacturing and educational consultancy Partners for Excellence who did consulting work for Dade Behring. New forecasts had to be generated manually.
Fortunately, Dade Behring managed to surmount this obstacle. Since then, it has continued to roll out new and updated applications, including additional SAP modules as well as internal sales and services applications from Siebel Systems, now owned by Oracle. "The objective was to leverage an interactive, real-time training program. OnDemand Software was the solution," says Susan Klein, Dade Behring's director of I.T. portfolio management, referring to a vendor.
More specifically, Dade Behring has had to ensure that more than 3,000 end users employees who speak a variety of languages and serve in key customer support areas including customer management, logistics and finance& could quickly get up to speed when new software came into play. "It's our job to make sure every employee is knowledgeable and comfortable with the software applications they need to provide the best customer service," Klein says.
Given that end-user adaptation, or lack thereof, is a major reason for failed implementations, this was one of those challenges that can make or break a company.