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Benefits of an LMS & How To Know if You Need One?

Jun 7, 2019 5:00:00 AM

Do I Need an LMSDid you know that approximately 40 percent of US organizations report that they have an LMS? According to the market research firm Markets and Markets, the LMS industry will grow by 19.8% compounded annual growth rate between now and 2023. So, what exactly is a learning management system anyway? And why do I need one?

What is a Learning Management System?

A learning management system (LMS) is software that provides the framework for all aspects of training – administration, user management, tracking, reporting and delivery of training content. Typically the LMS is cloud-based, which is preferred for its features like better/enhanced security with single-sign-on, lower setup costs, easy accessibility, quicker implementation, scalability, customization, more storage space, ease of maintenance, anytime/anywhere learning, and automatic upgrade of the software.

Some LMS products provide just basics of online learning with no additional features: user management, content delivery, basic reporting, some administrative features. Or the LMS may include additional (and useful) features like course authoring, SCORM compliance, online collaboration, and the ability to distribute blended or hybrid courses that may include online training + classroom training + on-the-job training, for example. LMS products can also interface with Human Resource Systems - including single sign-on, and/or with training content vendors. It is best to do a needs assessment to determine which features you need before you start evaluating LMS products, saving you time during the selection process, and making it more likely that you will choose the LMS that best meets your needs.

LMS products can take on some of the more tedious tasks related to training and development, like tracking individual progress toward training goals, and keeping management informed of gaps in training, or missed training targets. It can also handle things like training compliance, course registration, user administration, reminders/notifications and all types of reporting.

You’ll want to keep these features in mind during the LMS selection/evaluation process.

Benefits of an LMS

Easy Administration: Manage and administer online training including classroom, enrollments, course catalog, instructors and more.

Course Authoring: Manage, create and/or upload all elearning content.

Company-Wide Solution: Once implemented, the LMS can be accessed by all employees, 24/7, using a web browser on any device.

24/7 Access: All cloud-based LMS solutions are available to employees anytime, anywhere - so they can complete training based on their schedule.

Consistency: Training content is consistent, so all employees are receiving the same training materials. An LMS also delivers a consistent training experience. 

Tracking/Reporting: LMS products generate training reports with a single click. You can produce a wide-variety of reports, like compliance, training details, course information, or training requirements. 

Regulatory Compliance: Many industries are required to train, assess and report training for compliance purposes. With an LMS, these reports can be produced in real-time, with a single click.

Cost Savings: Delivering employee training via an LMS reduces costs in a number of areas, including employee travel, training expenditures, facility cost, instructor wages.  

Return on Investment

Investing in a learning management system is also a cost-saving investment. By moving your training to an online platform that is accessible via a browser, anytime, anywhere – you can generate significant savings in your training budget.

Here is a simple example:

Your company annually sends a team of 200 team managers to a one-day management conference.

  • 200 people @ $300/ea = $60,000
  • Travel/meals (200 x $20/day) = $4,000

A total of $64,000!

With an LMS and online training, this same training can be completed anytime, anywhere with a cost savings as follows:

  • Trainee cost (200 trainees x $800/month) = $9,600
  • Course Development = $3,000 (30 hours at $100/hour)
  • Trainer cost = $0
  • Travel/meals = $0

A total of $12,600...or a savings of $51,400. And with a learning management system, trainees have unlimited access to as many courses as you offer. Additional charges are incurred if you add more users.

While this is a very simplified example, there are a multitude of ways to figure out return on investment of a learning management system including lower administrative costs, reduced travel and facility costs, less exposure to fines associated with compliance, and/or decreased employee turnover. 

Still wondering if you need an LMS? Keep in mind these questions:

  • Do I need to communicate training requirements quickly & efficiently?
  • Do I have to track training compliance?
  • Do I need to keep track of training requirements and due dates?
  • Do I physically issue 'certificates of completion'?
  • Do I have minimal time or limited staff/budget for creating online training?
  • Do I have legacy training content that can be re-purposed?

If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, you may want to schedule a demo of TrainCaster LMS to see if it is a good fit for your organization.

BL Snodgrass
Written by BL Snodgrass

UX expert, elearning veteran.