Adult Learning and Training – Integrating core principles of adult learning helps Plantensive successfully improve client system adoption.


User adoption and acceptance of new supply chain management systems can be challenging. Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. Companies across multiple industries set out to implement new software technologies to manage their supply chain more efficiently and effectively, only to find users reverting back to complex spreadsheets. The key factor in ensuring a successful implementation, rollout, and acceptance is training.

In many supply chain departments today, you will find employees with vastly different backgrounds, experience levels, and knowledge. The users of a new SCM system may range in age from a recent college graduate to a thirty-year veteran of the company. They also have different educational backgrounds and experience in disciplines that may include supply chain, IT, engineering, purchasing, and manufacturing to name a few. A successful implementation requires an understanding of this diverse environment and the incorporation of key adult learning principles throughout the training cycles of a project.

Esteemed educator Malcolm Knowles identified several characteristics of adult learners that need to be understood and addressed when delivering training.

Adults are autonomous and self-directed. Users must be actively involved in the training process and given opportunities to express their perspectives on the subject matter being presented. Plantensive designs training material that is customized to meet the unique business process needs of the client. Our “train the trainer” approach allows for shared responsibility and ownership for presentations and knowledge transfer between Plantensive and the client.

Adults have accumulated a foundation of experience and knowledge. Who knows the business better than the employees of the company? Our training materials are a collection of our tried and true best practices coupled with the client’s business expertise. Custom “day in the life” documentation serves as a guide for a process-based use of the system.

Adults are goal-oriented. The users need to have a clear understanding of the benefits of using a new system to do their job. We help our clients by providing them the ability to utilize a solution that will not only improve their own efficiency and effectiveness but also contribute to the company’s bottom line.

Adults are relevancy-oriented and practical. Learning must be applicable to a person’s work and responsibilities to be of any value. Some users may not be interested in learning a new system just for learning’s sake but may only focus on what is useful to them.  At Plantensive, we recognize that fully understanding supply chain software is a daunting task, and takes an extended period of time to learn all of the potential capabilities. The implementation, training, and delivery provided is fine-tuned and streamlined with proven processes to maximize the desired benefits. Our training concentrates on what users need to know and the tasks they need to perform to get them up and running and begin benefit realization. As the users become more experienced with the systems and processes, we support ongoing education by teaching them more advanced techniques and functionality.

Adults must be shown respect. Plantensive acknowledges the abundance of experiences and knowledge that our clients bring to the classroom. We know that their time is valuable and we need to make the most of our learning time together. We recognize that it is our privilege to assist our clients in meeting their supply chain system implementation, strategic, optimization, or managed service’s needs.

Training is an integral part of a successful implementation. At Plantensive we have team members that are certified trainers, have software solution accreditation, and years of experience in the industry utilizing these tools first hand. Approximately 40% of new client engagements begin with contracted application training services. Understanding the core principles of adult learning and incorporating them into our training materials and delivery methods help our clients adapt, adopt, and retain what they learn. Proper training will increase motivation, improve knowledge retention, and reinforce the benefits of the implementation. About 75% of all clients that use Plantensive for their original implementation re-engage the team for their next upgrade. This includes clients that leave the software ecosystem for a new vendor. As a testament to our dedication to client success, nearly every Plantensive customer has re-engaged with the team for additional work. This includes future-phase system enhancements, expanded training workshops, and cross-functional integration across the enterprise. Many Plantensive clients that engage the team to implement these solutions initiate a future phase to expand the solution to other functional areas.

Plantensive received this feedback after completing a training project for our client.

Our instructor was amazing. He is a true teacher and he moved at a pace all could manage. The entire group really enjoyed having him as our instructor. We want him back to do our next training for our functional group to deliver train the trainer. He is the BEST!! –Directory, Supply and Demand Planning

In addition, Plantensive offers a professional planning concierge service that provides staff augmentation and strategic staffing for any type of work within the value chain. To learn more about this service, contact us today.

We have worked with thousands of clients across a diverse set of industries.
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