Olam International: Bridging the Talent Gap with Innovative Agri-Business Training
Olam is a leading agri-business with operations in 70 countries, supplying food and industrial raw materials to over 23,000 customers worldwide, including Edible Nuts, Cocoa, Spices and Vegetable Ingredients, Coffee and Cotton. With a team of 70,000 full-time, seasonal, contract and temporary employees, Olam brings essential agricultural products to homes around the globe every day.
Olam traditionally handled learning and development on an individual basis with mentor/mentee relationships, versus formalized digital training. However, with the growth of the organization in recent years, this solution was no longer viable.
Olam selected the Accenture Academy in 2016 as a training solution for their manufacturing supply chain leaders. With a geographically diverse audience that made live training cost prohibitive, the Academy provided world class training in an easily-scalable cloud-based solution.
A structured curriculum of 40 courses was developed to solidify and expand the knowledge base of each individual user. Skills developed included project management, production planning, MRP, quality control and team management. The initial program – of only twenty users – also served as a pilot program to gauge potential future expansion. Courses are also loaded with target completion dates and internal feedback calls are held regularly to ensure training remains relevant.
Employees at Olam have already begun to apply and see the value of training at Accenture Academy. The concepts learned have enabled various departments to deepen their understanding of critical, twenty-first century functions using specially crafted examples and scenarios, making the leap from course to real-world application simple.
The courses, centered on bridging the talent gap that Olam had indentified, emphasized SOP, lifelong training & certification and standardizing KPIs for various metrics.
For example, typically any costs incurred in reprocessing and quality defects were not captured separately. Through the course "Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for Manufacturing," employees were able to quickly visualize and quanitfy the value loss which was occurring. With new skills and tools in place to recitfy this, the company is working towards reducing losses and bringing focus on such items.
Strong leadership provided by the Senior Vice President Learning and Development has been crucial to the program’s structure and success. Users are provided access to relevant courses selected by functional leadership. Implementation of Academy best practices, including strong sponsorship from the MATS leadership, continuing engagement, and making learning relevant to users resulted in cumulative satisfaction scores of 3.94 out of 5.00 for overall training.