Business and IT training courses from QA

Thornton & Ross

QA developed a software training solution targeting the diverse needs of Thornton & Ross’ workforce.

The Challenge

To avoid compatibility limitations between Thornton & Ross's upgraded intranet software and its previous Microsoft Office suite, Thornton & Ross decided to migrate its entire user community from Office XP to Office 2007, giving them access to the new features of the Office software and ensuring a smooth integration with its intranet upgrade.

With a community of approximately 300 end users whose roles required varying levels of software proficiency, Thornton & Ross needed a flexible training solution that would cater for the wide-ranging abilities of its staff.

We needed a course outline that was suited to the needs of our business and pitched appropriately for the large cross-section of ability that made up our user base.

Richard Foster

IT Manager | Thornton & Ross

The Solution

QA worked closely with Thornton & Ross to develop a software training programme divided into modules to address the differing needs of its end users:

  • Regular users - As the majority of users did not need to use the advanced features of the Office 2007 software for their roles, QA delivered a one-day New Features of Office 2007 course to familiarise these users with the upgraded software
  • Heavy users - For individuals whose roles required a greater understanding of specific applications, QA delivered dedicated courses on the advanced features of each of the Office 2007 applications (e.g. Excel for Finance Team members, and Word for Salespeople)
  • Senior staff - QA delivered one-to-one sessions to individuals unable to take time away from their roles to attend the one-day course. These sessions aimed to provide a familiarity with the appearance of the new software, its basic features and where key functions could be found

Flexibility was central to the success of the programme. With delegates attending from different job-roles across the organisation, it was important that the sessions were aligned to attendees' role requirements. Due to the unpredictable shift pattern of Thornton & Ross' employees, QA's trainer needed to be ready to deliver any of the programme's 12 different modules at any given session.

QA addressed both of these needs by deploying a core Microsoft Subject Matter Expert for the continuation of the programme, ensuring that:

  • The expertise to deliver any course necessary was in place at all times
  • The trainer had a suitable understanding of Thornton & Ross' business to adapt training content to fit delegates' needs

QA made this flexibility possible by shipping course manuals for the 300 users in advance, guaranteeing the correct materials were in place for training to be delivered when requested.

Following the completion of the training modules, the core QA trainer remained on Thornton & Ross' premises for a further week, providing a drop-in service for individuals to seek expert support if they encountered any difficulties with the software on return to their desks.

Thronton & Ross

Based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Thornton & Ross Ltd is the largest independent pharmaceutical manufacturer in the UK.

It develops, manufactures and supplies a growing portfolio of healthcare products, including brands such as: Covonia, Hedrin, Asilone, Setlers, Transvasin and Mycota as well as Zoflora (the UK’s leading disinfectant).

The Outcome

QA's end-to-end solution enabled Thornton & Ross to develop the skills of its entire user community via a single programme that covered:

  • Training across the range of levels required
  • Delivery and set up of all the necessary equipment
  • Production of bespoke courseware

Benefits experienced by Thornton & Ross included:

  • An increase in the general IT ability across the organisation, with users able to identify and use the new functions of the Office 2007 software, along with pre-existing functions they had been unaware of prior to the training
  • Limited volume of support calls throughout the migration

The trainer handled the varying levels of ability within each group very well. Feedback from across the shop floor, right up to the directors has been very positive. The migration was very smooth and painless and a large part of that was down to the training from QA.

Richard Foster

IT Manager | Thornton & Ross

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