Lakeshore Beverage is a beverage distributor operating in the Chicago area. We spoke with Chris Kolodziej, who as a Training Manager oversees the company’s L&D operations. Chris acquired the Bites platform to do compliance and sales training but has since considered expanding to onboarding and ongoing trainings across the company.
What was the pain you were looking to solve?
Our salespeople are road warriors. They’re on-the-go and they’re not on site that often, so my number one priority was finding a solution which was accessible for them and catered to their experience as frontline employees.
We were looking for a way which enabled us to connect with our staff in a more dynamic, modern, and rapid way.
How were you conducting training previously?
We have an existing LMS which we use to host longer training videos (20-30 mins), and we also do some face-to-face training. However, we needed a solution to “fill in the gaps” so that wherever they are, or whatever time of day it is they can easily access their compliance and sales trainings.
What were you looking for in a new platform?
We actually evaluated 15 different platforms before making a decision. We were looking for a more modern and snappier solution to get training more directly to our employees.
What made you choose Bites?
One of the biggest things was that employees don’t need to download an app to access their training. People are drowning in apps. They’re sick of using 20 apps every day.
Also delivering content directly via SMS or other mobile platforms is huge. It’s the easiest way to share content with our frontline teams who are on the go and make sure they get it.
Our employees start quite young, and so delivering training in short videos is just how they absorb information. Bites enables us to meet the learning needs of a younger employee demographic.
I’ve also had challenges with the admin experience on other platforms, so even though my priority was the employee experience, the admin experience is also neat. I like that I can do everything from my mobile, from creating content to measuring my team’s progress with analytics.
Other solutions are also really expensive and have lots of features that you don’t even need. The minimum cost of other platforms was around $18,000 and Bites was far more attractive on the price side.
How are you using Bites?
We use Bites for sales enablement training; briefing our employees on new products, brands and local breweries that we work with. We also use bites for internal process training, the type of process-oriented content which people need to revisit in order to remember.
I’m also thinking about expanding the role of bites in our L&D strategy to cover onboarding, so we could have an onboarding playlist with 25 bites covering all the basics (e.g. how to buil da display, hang a neon sign, change a keg and so on!).
We’re also considering using Bites to reinforce our organizational culture, by making welcome videos for new hires from senior management and maybe doing an employee of the month initiative. The kind of thing that makes people feel like they’re part of something.
What has been the response of implementing Bites so far?
It’s been good so far. Our employees like that they can get training units via SMS without downloading an app. People like that the content is personalized and relevant to their jobs specifically. They also like that they can come back to their personal feed and revisit content whenever they need to.
And from my point of view, I can’t be in the field with everyone, so Bites lets me make sure that training is of the highest standard across all our locations.