Larry H. Miller Group & Bridge
One training solution for many business entities—and thousands of dispersed employees
The Larry H. Miller Group employs 11,000 people and encompasses multiple entities, including car dealerships, major- and minor-league sports teams, multiplex movie theaters, retail stores, a radio station, and more. A cornerstone of Utah’s economy, the company has been in business for 30 years, tirelessly pursuing its vision of being the best place in town to work and the best place in town to do business.
With so many business entities and so many remote employees operating under its umbrella, Larry H. Miller Group faces a unique challenge when it comes to training: How can the company impart its overarching core values and mission while allowing each entity to retain its own brand and meet its own respective training needs? How can this extended enterprise give its entire dispersed workforce of 11,000 employees access to e-learning? And how can it adopt a new learning management system (LMS) without jamming up operations somewhere within its network?
Ben Lowell, Director of E-Learning for Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment, says he began by looking for a solution that:
- Offered admin flexibility for meeting the needs of distinct entities
- Was simple for admin, managers, and employees to use
- Provided easy access to data and reporting
“Our last LMS wasn’t very intuitive,” Lowell said. “It was clunky. For a first-time user, something as simple as publishing and posting a course was very difficult. It used to take me about 30 minutes to publish a course, and if I didn’t use it very often I’d have to relearn it all over again.”
Lowell also wanted to work with an LMS team that would offer exceptional customer service and act as a business partner with LHM Group. “We were quite serious about this, because the last company was very slow at support,” Lowell stated. “We felt that excellent support was more important than having every feature on our list. Having tons of features is no good if you can’t get answers and solutions when you need them.”
Randy Rowley, Director of Learning and Performance for Larry H. Miller Dealerships, had arranged a demo with Bridge. He and Lowell were immediately interested in the platform. Bridge’s user-friendly design and commitment to stellar customer service made an impression, and LHM Group began implementing Bridge in the summer of 2015. So far, LHM Group’s numerous entities are using the platform for various purposes—LHM Dealerships for e-learning; the Utah Jazz for onboarding, leadership training, and sales training; Megaplex Theaters for onboarding; Fanzz for onboarding and regular skill development; and the head of arena security for compliance training. Lowell’s goal is to have every new employee onboarding via Bridge by the end of 2016 and every full-time employee using the platform regularly soon afterward.
Since the organization’s entities differ greatly in size, location, and services offered, Bridge’s Sub Accounts feature has been a lifesaver. Sub Accounts allows each entity to implement its own branding and manage its own training content—entities can function autonomously when it comes to more specific training, but high-level training remains streamlined, as a central HR team is able to administer company-wide courses and communications. The feature also makes reporting much more valuable and insightful, Lowell noted, by allowing admin to track users’ progress within a more relevant context.
Lowell is pleased with Bridge’s intuitive UX, as well. “I can show managers how to post something and know they’ll get it done quickly,” he said. “From an admin standpoint, it’s very easy to make Bridge do what I want it to do. For example, I recently finished authoring a course that teaches employees how the metal detectors at the arena entrances function. I edited some video in an external software, uploaded the videos, and then added some additional content slides and about eight questions. It took me less than three hours to author the entire 10-15 minute course. Using another authoring tool, I estimate it would have taken me twice as long.”
In addition to a reduction in course production time, Lowell has seen cost savings on logistical training costs, faster efficiency for new employees, and increased revenue. For example, it would cost a fortune to travel to 20 different states and train the employees in 115 different Fanzz retail stores. Bridge allows admin to create content and standardize onboarding and training for every location remotely. And the training is working: HQ notified Fanzz via email to start placing orders online and shipping them to guests for free when an item wasn’t in stock in the store. A few stores complied, but the results were disappointing. The Fanzz training team decided to roll out a five-minute training on Bridge and asked for all stores to complete it within seven days. By the end of the month, online sales originating from stores had increased by 300%.
And that all-important customer support? “Working with the Bridge customer support team has been excellent,” Lowell said. “They’re my favorite people! It’s not about problems coming up, but how quickly your support team responds, and within seconds on a chat, I've got a response and a resolution. If they don't have the answer, they set clear expectations for when they’ll get back to me. Ultimately, Bridge is a product and a company we can be a partner with.”