Little Red Virtual Schoolhouse

Internet lowering costs, extending reach of staff training for container transporter APL

Lexington, MA  July 30, 2001  Global container transportation company APL is moving its employee education program online, offering staff training via the Internet in a bid to reduce costs and accelerate the learning process.

APL operates a fleet of containerships and services routes covering the transpacific, transatlantic, Latin America, Asia-Europe and intra-Asia trade lanes, managing the movement and delivery of more than 450,000 containers deployed worldwide.

APL began last year to move from traditional classroom training methods to online learning as a strategy for staying ahead of technology growth, globalization and customer demand.

Using solutions from online training software provider Centra, APL is training its staff on job-critical sales and financial systems, as well as on other enterprise applications, such as Seibel, deployed on the desktops of more 800 sales representatives worldwide.

Since completing their initial implementation of Centra's virtual classroom software, APL says it has already realized benefits through improved employee productivity and performance.

"With Centra, our staff have fast access to the training and knowledge they need to quickly resolve critical business issues, enhancing our ability to react swiftly to market changes and promote customer satisfaction," said Sigrid Peterson, corporate dean of NOL Global Campus, the corporate university of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), APL's parent company.

Peterson noted that that APL has realized significant cost savings from its move online. "We have also been able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel-related training costs," he said. "While we still actively use physical classrooms, we are able to streamline our training and reach a much larger audience more quickly, which is critical when you consider the millions of dollars at stake when delivering, tracking and costing the time-critical transportation of goods."

APL uses the real-time collaboration capabilities of Centra's software to connect subject matter experts with employees online, help new trainers collaborate with remote colleagues to develop course content and identify and correct technical and human errors over the Internet.

"Many APL employees actively use the record and playback feature of Centra's product to review material at their own pace," said Nicole Hackman, finance process manager for APL. "This greatly enhances our employees' understanding of business language, empowering them to communicate more effectively on the job."