We have a responsibility.
Every day we improve our performances and our customers’ competitiveness, but will that do? Should we just leave things as they are? How credible are we if we don’t take the initiative to impart and guide everyone’s skills to nurture talents anywhere along the value chain?
We are an international strategy and management consulting group and this collective responsibility should induce us to share our expertise.
We have been thinking along these lines for several years, and it has prompted us to offer “certifying” training courses leading to diplomas, particularly through new partnerships. Training is a great lever for transforming organizations. It supports the drive to bring a function to maturity through a variety of educational devices ranging from building simple modules to setting up a full training academy at group scale.
It’s up to us to take on board proactive skill and capability development and tailor it to the firms’ individual needs.
Which is the right methodological approach to adopt to build a relevant training programme?
If we are to be credible, we must be structural and make proposals that are apt, to ensure they meet the challenges of the purchasing and sales functions.
We offer individual coaching to enable trainees to gauge and enhance their achievements throughout the process.
We have devised an innovative approach and special methodology for this purpose, and establish the five key skills development stages beforehand by:
- Analysing the maturity of the function and skills
- Defining the target
- Choosing educational topics related to skills areas
- Defining learning mechanisms
- Measuring individual and global target objectives
We are particularly exacting when it comes to teaching style. We aim to blend into the customer’s culture and espouse all the codes. When a training course ends, the trainees should be under the impression that we are company colleagues.
E-learning, coaching, reading, face-to-face training… the learning methods are tailored to the target in terms of maturity and pursued skills.
Our trainers pride themselves on making their sessions interactive and enjoyable by adopting a peer-to-peer approach.
Their credo is to generate winning attitudes and adopt best practices.
Let’s take an example of skills development in a major company – the SEB Group
Every year 150 staff members receive training in the purchasing and supply chain areas and follow a specific programme that covers the basic principles for managers, project “category” purchasers and supplier performance and quality monitoring. This training is dispensed in three languages (French, English and Chinese).
When interviewed, Hervé Montaigu, Vice-President Purchasing of SEB Group confirmed that “this purchasing academy enhances everybody’s skills. When a company decides to develop a training device in the form of an academy, it will be a major lever for transforming an organization.”
He considers that “these training courses are qualifying, as methods and tools that can be used on a daily basis are taught. Sharing experiences and developing case studies are conducive to learning.
Furthermore, it creates an internal networking dynamic and the feeling of belonging to the SEB Group.
This integration dynamic can also attract young applicants to follow these modules both in-house and externally.”
For instance, the 50 SEB Group “family purchasers” have all followed the same skills development training, with the same case studies. Consequently their skills have been enhanced en bloc. This has stimulated team spirit to focus on performance.” The professional coffee machine leader WMF group of Germany was bought up in 2016. As a result new entrants have arrived and will attend the purchasing academy.
Today the SEB Group purchasing academy is five years old. How can the purchasing function be helped to mature further, is there a need for a separate vision by role, issue? … All these questions need to be examined.
These partnerships based on a philosophy of mutual input, primarily aim to share expertise and create new capabilities by
- Seeking and associating skills
- Accessing new practices in our respective businesses
- Developing common projects
The By.O Group has trained and given guidance in skills development to more than 15 000 individuals since 2001 in more than 50 countries on all five continents, with innovative training programmes given in seven languages.