Most organisations implement eLearning within their business to cut costs. Whilst there are heaps of sensible reasons to take your training experience out of the classroom (or implement a blended learning approach), budgetary restrictions often act as the catalyst for taking the plunge into eLearning’s inviting waters.
It’s true that eLearning can cut costs in just about every area of the training budget. There is no need to pay for travel or finding accommodation for your workforce. All you need is internet access. This flexible approach allows learners to work towards their self-development at their convenience. Learning can now take place during lunch breaks and in PJs just before bed. eLearning saves you money by increasing the number of home workers.
Because eLearning is considerably quicker and more effective than the classroom alternative, you will save a significant sum when it comes to opportunity costs. Induction times will be quicker and downtime amongst your staff will decrease to a minimum. eLearning saves money by ensuring that staff are away from work for the smallest period of time possible.
There is no need to book venues or hire instructors and you no longer need to supply your team with lunch. All these incidentals have been wiped from the board.
Let’s take a look at some examples of how eLearning has been used to cut costs.
- Growth Engineering recently helped Bensons for Beds roll out Bensons Academy. The aim was to improve staff performance, remove costs and raise staff engagement. Through the Academy, Bensons were able to communicate their future direction to every member of staff (1,500+) and help their team to develop a more effective sales process. The Academy was a rousing success and saved Bensons £500,000 in training costs.
- When Dow Chemical switched to an eLearning approach, they cut their average spending per learner by $84 to just $11. In total, this saved them $34m (Shepherd, 2002).
- Since 2001, BT have utilised eLearning to make 1,700 courses available to their staff. This has saved them upwards of £12m (Computing.co.uk, 2005).
- Looking to save money on their training budget and push the benefits on their customers, Nortel adopted an eLearning training programme. Nortel estimates that North American customers saved $7.7 m between 2005 and 2006 thanks to their new learning approach (Bersin, 2007).
These are clear cases of organisations using eLearning to cut costs and secure substantial ROI on their training spending. It has been estimated that, ‘companies… experience a 40–60% cost savings when comparing instructor-led courses with technology-delivered courses’ (GeoLearning, 2003).