February’s Learning Circuits Blog Big Question asks:
What is the impact of the economy on you and your organization? What are you doing as a result?
A quick brief about us:
We are a Learning Solutions company based in Pune, India. Our clients and partners all over the world have been outsourcing their learning solutions development to us for the last 5 years.
What has been the effect?
Well, this crisis has had quite an impact, unlike any other in the last 5 years. As individuals, we did see the 2001 slowdown, but this slump promises to last longer and go deeper.
Clients have certainly slowed down in terms of making decisions. Training budgets are being cut almost everywhere. Everyone wants to wait and see. Unfortunately, what they see every day on TV is not encouraging; and so there’s a downward spiral. The Obama rescue plans are eagerly awaited, as they are expected to have some impact on consumer and corporate confidence.
In more material terms, at Upside Learning, ‘capacity utilization’ has gone down during the current quarter [Jan-Feb’09] and we think it will be the same for March as well. However, we strongly believe that eLearning [and outsourcing of learning solutions] will emerge a winner from this crisis. There’s been a significant increase in the number of large-scale projects under discussion in Q1’09. Web enquiries have increased, and quite a few of our old prospects have restarted ‘discussions’. So we’re optimistic that good times are on their way.
What are we doing about it?
We find this is the best time to review processes and see how we could make them more efficient. We’re focusing even more on training our resources, as well as on innovation in our products and services – game based learning, mLearning, etc. And as Clark suggests in his response to the Big Question, we are also reinventing ourselves a bit with a new look website and this brand new blog.
Some other stuff that we plan to do within the next couple of months:
-Get our company bloggers to blog more – use their downtime to socialize with the world.
-Get resources on bench to create some of our own product demos – you never get enough time for these in ‘good times’.
-Assign each senior member to develop a new area of competence – which they can learn about, research on and train others.
-Promote less expensive solutions to our prospects – Rapid Learning Solutions and SaaS LMS [UpsideLMS OnDemand].
-Broaden our services to include Catalog Content from MindLeaders.
-Set up new partners and resellers for our products in untapped markets.
-Manage costs better to keep ourselves in good financial health.
-Increase our marketing spend to hopefully engage with more potential customers.
While these are hard times, they present a good opportunity to realign businesses. This way, we’ll be in a position to reap the benefits when the good times come back – which are no more than two quarters away.