PepsiCo is the second largest food and beverage business in the world, with products distributed across more than 200 countries and territories. Having expanded from its namesake product to 22 brands, PepsiCo includes many notable brands such as Quaker, Walkers and Tropicana. They chose Accipio to create a customised Totara platform to fulfil their challenging training needs.
PepsiCo has over 15,000 frontline salespeople spread out across the Sub-Sahara and Europe. Upwards of 95% only speak their local language with a basic understanding of spoken English. The platform therefore needed to support 15+ languages and be intuitive for learners. Furthermore, many salespeople are in regions with poor Wi-Fi, and only have access to their personal device. This meant that the solution had to enable eModules to be completed offline via an app.
Historically, sales and induction training was delivered face-to-face which, for such a large population, carried a high cost in terms of travel and abstraction of work. So, the platform needed to offer 24/7 access to learning anywhere in the world, at the point of need. They also needed to be able to assess sale capability frequently and assign learning to support development.
Finally, they wanted each country to manage the end-to-end process and have a tenancy they could control.
PepsiCo selected Totara’s robust and scalable open-source solution to meet this challenge. They chose to partner with us at Accipio as we are a Platinum Alliance Totara partner and specialise in complex and large implementations for major brands. We deployed and customised a Totara Branded app to provide learners with offline access to learning at the point of need, which synced to the learning platform periodically.
The main platform has a comprehensive suite of sales training and is translated into 15+ languages for over 15,000 platform users. Each country has its own tenancy, landing page (Dashboard) and further localisation. The platform has different pathways for different types of learners and markets around the world.
To manage the end-to-end capability assessment, we built a diagnostic tool which enables supervisors to provide iterative feedback and assign learning to complete. It identified individuals’ hidden strengths, weaknesses and blind spots. Furthermore, through machine learning, the plugin recommends appropriate and individualised learning content and reading materials based on results. Totara’s emphasis on performance management, in addition to its extensive learning functionality and open-source nature, provided the perfect base to build from.
To generate excitement and encourage global uptake of their training, PepsiCo hosted a competition to recruit local champions to narrate learning for their local markets. We also developed a process to localise courses by training markets to use templated Storyline modules.
A microlearning approach was adopted, both to tackle internet usage and storage challenges, and to ensure that PepsiCo could meet their on-the-go learners’ needs, allowing the training to fit into their schedules.
Innovative learning impact
As a result of this initiative to use technology for sales and induction training, PepsiCo has a learning strategy that allows learners to do the theory in their own time, so that managers can focus on coaching and certifying in the field. The mobile-first strategy has enabled almost 500,000 eLearning module attempts. Each market benefits from a shared learning platform, translated into their own language and with their own tailored dashboards and content. Almost 2,000 learners have had their sales capabilities benchmarked over the last year, through the diagnostic tool, which has informed 1-2-1 discussions and coaching.
Significant cost and time savings
The platform has delivered substantial savings, which PepsiCo estimate would be well over £500,000 in learning platform costs alone. The previous face-to-face approach (up to 10 days per person) required abstraction from the workplace and travel costs for 10,000 people, so digitising it through Totara has delivered massive time efficiencies and millions in cost savings. Devolving management to a country level using Totara multi-tenancy has removed the need for a central post and delivered further cost savings.
It is estimated that over 80% of the frontline population have completed the training (Train, Coach & Certified). This is a great achievement given the mix of people, markets and nature of the business.
The learning platform is for the frontline workers across Europe, and a huge percentage are not PepsiCo employees. This means they do not necessarily have email or internet access. The learning platform has enabled PepsiCo to still deliver training to these hard-to-reach people, which is why the offline app has been so successful.