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Unilever CD Academy

Unilever CD Academy


Being Ahead of the Curve


Executing physical training programs for staff could be a real challenge, especially for large corporations with a large employee base; trainers not only need to visit multiple locations to cover their base but also meet each other frequently to ensure there is uniformity across their material with up-to-date content as they need to maintain one voice — the voice of the company.

These challenges have only compounded due to the unprecedented pandemic. From travel restrictions and health concerns to the sheer uncertainty of it all, COVID-19 has made it near impossible to carry out constructive training sessions across the country. 

This was one of the key problems faced by Unilever Sri Lanka. With a big portfolio of products to sell, ranging from foods and beauty products to personal care and baby products, this FMCG giant relied on constant training programs to keep their sales staff at peak performance. When the nationwide lockdown closed down the country, Unilever faced an unprecedented crossroad; it was faced with the option of either carrying out its trainings through whatever means available to them, but with lower reach and impact, or completely transforming the way it delivered trainings to its sales staff.

The Problem

The company therefore sought to meet its training needs virtually through e-learning facilities as it seemed the only plausible option available. It identified three key aspects it needed from a possible e-learning solutions partner.

Firstly, it sought one with the capability of providing sales and service support at any given time, and through a human agent (as opposed to automated systems). The prospect of being stuck in endlessly held-up support calls and email loops just wasn’t practical for a company of this scale.

Secondly, it didn’t want to work with multiple vendors providing separate components of an e-learning ecosystem. To avoid having to put together a disjointed e-learning jigsaw, Unilever needed an e-learning partner capable of delivering an end-to-end e-learning ecosystem.

Finally, the company wasn’t just looking for a Learning Management System, but tailor-made digital e-learning content to suit its training programs. Therefore, its ideal vendor had to be capable of creating customized digital e-learning content in addition to a world-class learning management platform.

The solution

To address these problems, Unilever reached out to i-Context. After a top-to-bottom analysis of the FMCG giant’s retail training requirements, the e-learning experts at i-Context got to work.

Unilever partnered with i-Context to deliver a platform, white-labeled the Unilever Customer Development Academy, as part of its Unilever Customer Development program. This cutting-edge platform was tailormade to train its retail sales team.

The holistic e-learning solution was developed using i-Context’s akazaLMS cloud Learning Management System to host all e-learning material, as well as i-Context’s EduPrep content development service to create custom Unilever e-learning courses.

Thinking mobile-first

One of the hallmarks of a good sales team is mobility. Unilever’s sales team is highly mobile, with irregular access to a PC – making mobile learning essential.

In order to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of its custom learning management platform to empower learning wherever the sales team goes, the solution was built with a mobile-first approach.

This meant that everything needed to look and work great on both a mobile device as well as a desktop. This was made possible through responsive design elements, making the switch from stationary to on-the-go, completely seamless.

Lightning-fast deployment

An end-to-end enterprise e-learning solution isn’t something you take out of a box as a one-size-fits-all miracle. There are many moving parts, and it’s normal to expect an e-learning platform provider to take anywhere from weeks to months to deliver a tailor-made solution.

i-Context, however, was able to deliver a tailor-made solution to Unilever within a few weeks.

This was due to the fact that i-Context’s akazaLMS solution was completely cloud-based with no physical setups necessary. It was a solution built from the ground up, meaning it can be customized as a unique solution in a matter of days.

Effective digital courses

Having a sleek e-learning platform is only half of the equation. For people to learn, there should also be well-designed e-learning content.

i-Context completely transformed Unilever’s existing training content to cutting-edge e-learning courses, utilizing content development offerings.

The result was a suite of interactive e-learning courses that engaged users, while simultaneously providing real-time analytics, all which contributed to delivering a good ROI (Return on Investment).

Guaranteed security

Unilever takes pride in its comprehensive training systems, which it has developed, tested, and perfected over many years. However, having such a high-value training system meant a lot of care had to be put into safeguarding what is essentially Unilever’s property.

i-Context was able to guarantee Unilever’s data security through akazaLMS. The solution’s five-layer security system worked to ensure that all course content, as well as user information, remained protected against every threat. Whether a malicious party, attempts to access akazaLMS servers or whether they simply steal an employee’s login details, the akazaLMS solution has comprehensive security measures put in place.

The bottom line

Continuous learning is essential to long-term success – no matter the industry. When learning goes on hiatus, skills and knowledge begin to deteriorate.

Unilever, being one of the largest and most recognized FMCG companies in the world, was naturally quick to adapt to the new normal and sharpen the skills of its sales team. It prioritized its people, securing its position as a true champion of employee talent.

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