If an organization were to pick an off-the-shelf training solution, they can save money in any of the following 5 ways:
- Eliminates the need to hire an internal development team
- Doesn’t require time for testing or revision
- Allows access to an expansive content library
- Takes stress off of the internal team
- No need to purchase development software and tools
While custom training has benefits regarding control over content, learning objectives, and the development timeline, off-the-shelf training offers convenient, on-demand training courses created by industry experts.
At Roundtable Learning, we understand the importance of finding the right training content for your program. We’re frequently asked about the differences between custom and off-the-shelf training programs and work with our clients to discover the best solution based on their training needs.
This article will explore the key benefits of off-the-shelf training content and discuss 5 ways off-the-shelf training content can save your organization money.
What Are The Benefits Of Off-The-Shelf Training Content?
Off-the-shelf training is best suited for organizations looking to train their employees in more foundational topics. Considered a “straight out of the box” solution, off-the-shelf training offers convenient, on-demand training activities created by industry experts.
4 benefits of off-the-shelf training content include:
- Convenient option for foundational training – Foundational skills are the basic skills required to understand and complete various tasks (e.g. create a new document in Microsoft Word, communicate effectively with other team members).
- Typically less costly upfront than custom content – Off-the-shelf is considered a cost-effective option that requires less out of your pocket upfront. With off-the-shelf training, organizations don’t have to worry about hiring an internal L&D team or vendor to create the program or invest in course authoring tools.
- Created by industry experts – When off-the-shelf training, organizations gain access to courses made by subject-matter experts (SMEs) who know the most updated and relevant information your learners need to know.
- On-demand access that’s ready to deploy once received – After off-the-shelf training has been received and integrated with an organization’s existing learning management system (LMS), learners can access their training immediately.
While off-the-shelf training comes with these 4 benefits, it’s important to consider the benefits of a custom training program as well. By reflecting on your training needs and topics, your organization can decide which type of training content is best for your organization.
How Can Off-The-Shelf Training Content Save Money?
There are cost benefits for both custom and off-the-shelf training, but for now let’s focus on how off-the-shelf training can save your organization money.
1. Eliminates The Need To Hire An Internal Development Team
When you outsource your L&D content, your organization won’t have to worry about hiring an internal development team. An internal team may consist of:
While some organizations prefer to have an in-house team of experts to develop their training content, other organizations may look to a vendor to produce their training materials. Ultimately with off-the-shelf training, organizations don’t need to worry about hiring or adding to their existing internal team, eliminating the costs and time associated with doing so.
2. Doesn’t Require Time For Testing Or Revision
As a “straight out of the box” solution, off-the-shelf training is hosted within an LMS and is readily available to deploy once it’s bought. This increases your time to training and gets your employees learning quickly.
While custom training may take weeks or even months to develop, off-the-shelf training is ready to use as soon as it’s purchased, saving time and money associated with developing training in-house. In addition, your off-the-shelf provider will ensure that the latest version of each course is available to you, cutting back on time needed to make revisions to content.
3. Allows Access To An Expansive Content Library
As with most off-the-shelf training solutions, organizations can pick from an expansive content library of courses, commonly referred to as ‘Curated Lists’. Courses within a library are typically organized according to any of the following factors:
- Training Topics (e.g. Mentoring, Risk Management, Teamwork, Accounting)
- Seat/Learning Time
- Price per course
Depending on your off-the-shelf provider, you’re likely to pay a one-time licensing fee that’s renewed each year. Providers like OpenSesame, for example, offer unlimited access to their most popular off-the-shelf courses through various subscription plans.
4. Takes Stress Off Of The Internal Team
Oftentimes when developing a custom training program, organizations have a dedicated internal team that manages the project’s development, content production, timeline, etc. With off-the-shelf training, organizations don’t need to worry about a dedicated project team. Instead, employees can dedicate their time and energy elsewhere.
For example, if you purchase off-the-shelf training and your organization already has an internal L&D team, they could focus on the development of other learning materials that supplement the off-the-shelf courses.
These learning reinforcement materials may include:
- Job Aids
- Learning Journals
- Cases Studies
- Informational Articles and Videos
5. No Need To Purchase Development Software And Tools
The cost of development software and tools is dependent on the training modality of your program. For example, an eLearning program may be developed using Articulate Rise 360, while a virtual reality (VR) training activity will likely use Unity. These softwares range in cost from as low as $649 to $4,000 or more annually, depending on the number of developers.
Off-the-shelf training, on the other hand, typically follows a cost model where organizations pay per license, then renew that license each year. Therefore, the initial upfront cost of off-the-shelf training is likely to be less than the cost of a comprehensive custom program. It comes down to whether or not your organization wants to buy an already existing training or build your own.
Are You Ready To Save Money With Off-The-Shelf Training?
This article has reviewed the benefits of off-the-shelf training and 5 ways off-the-shelf training can save your organization money.
Are you curious about whether or not off-the-shelf training is the right fit for your organization’s training needs? Reach out to one of our L&D professionals or explore more of our resources on all things training and development today.