Our Work

Case Study: SABMiller

Boosting profitability with blended learning

SABMiller’s award-winning blended learning programme delivered $33 million incremental profit through changing the mindset of 3,000+ employees dispersed across Europe. 

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The Business Challenge

SABMiller, the second largest beer company in the world, was facing declining volumes of beer sales as consumers switched to wine and spirits. A European organisation used to healthy year-on-year profit growth fuelled by ever-increasing sales needed to become accustomed to a new reality – volume was no longer king.

What was required was a change of mindset to selling the right volumes of the right products in the right places at the right prices. Profitable Revenue Growth Management (PRGM) would be the key to success.

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We are all immensely proud of what we have achieved and also for the relationships we have forged with Lumesse Learning

The Learning Challenge

The critical learning requirement was to embed PRGM thinking into everyday routines, but changing the mind-set of a 3,000-strong commercial team dispersed across Europe was no small task. What was required was the single most comprehensive L&D initiative that SABMiller had ever undertaken.

A cross-functional team was formed to launch and mobilise the programme, with external Support given by three suppliers, with Lumesse Learning the lead agency for digital learning and communications.

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The Blended Solution

The resulting programme blended face-to-face and digital elements – including coaching, comms, scenario-based simulations and web resources – in a rich mix that provided individual learner journeys to ensure transfer of learning into working behaviours. Every single role in the commercial organisation, from sales rep through to commercial director, had a learning journey and personal development plan that was tailored for them.

Elements of the blend:

  • The Playbook
    (website portal with on-demand resources)
  • Elearning modules
  • Off-the-job-coaching
  • On-the-job coaching
  • Coaching capture forms
  • Engagement and communications programme

14 elearning modules were produced, at roughly 45 minutes learning time per module. All modules were created in CourseBuilder, Lumesse Learning’s content authoring platform, by Lumesse (following on from initial work by G-Cube). The modules focused on practice and application of knowledge in scenario-based exercises that closely simulated the working situation. Testing of knowledge and skills to establish gaps that would be dealt with in later coaching interactions was also done within the modules.

The face-to-face elements of the programme dovetailed closely with online elements to drive personalisation at the individual level while ensuring that learning was transferred into working behaviours.

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They were incredible partners and the programme’s ambitious targets and deliverables would not have been reached without them!

Results

By April 2016 more than 6,000 elearning modules had been completed and over 1,500 coaching interventions had taken place. In surveys, learners reported a significant uplift following elearning module completion. Applied learning interventions showed a similar level of success in surveys, with responders reporting better coaching skills, better PRGM skills and better PRGM thinking in day-to-day routines.

With a target of delivering $22million profit in 3 years, PRGM financial benefits were tracked quarterly. By April 2015, $5.4million incremental profit had been delivered – rising to $33.4million by April 2016. PRGM had become integral to how SABMiller Europe did business.

In recognition of the success of the programme, SABMiller was awarded the prestigious ‘Grand Prix’ prize at the Personnel Today Awards 2016, winning not only the ‘Excellence in Learning and Development’ category, but also the prize of prizes.