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Dutch retail giant DMG cuts training days by 80% with Totara Learn

De Mandemakers Groep (DMG) is a leading Dutch kitchen retailer and a very strong player on the sanitary retail market. With more than 350 outlets and approximately 5,000 employees, DMG is the largest kitchen, bathroom and furniture employer in the Netherlands.

DMG, with its strong focus on customer satisfaction and quality, has been operating in this market for more than 35 years. With a strong, steady programme of innovation and development, the company is able to respond quickly to trends as they occur.

The Challenge

DMG is a successful company known for its own brands Ben Sanitair and Job and its success formulas such as Sanders Meubelstad, Mandemakers, Brugman, Keuken Kampioen, Piet Klerkx, Morres Wonen and WoonExpress. DMG wants to further expand its success through targeted investments in the sales power of its employees. Personal salesmanship is a critical success factor in furniture sales.

But how do you ensure that every DMG retail store provides the same unique customer experience? And how do you make sure that both new and current employees share the same knowledge and represent DMG consistently? Tom Scholte, e-learning developer at DMG, looked for an answer.

He explains: “In cooperation with various parties we have gained e-learning experience in the past. However, because we didn’t always own the content or weren’t able to edit it, it wasn’t a great success.”

DMG researched the possibility of using e-learning within the current pathways of the DMG Academy. Tom Scholte interviewed people, plotted surveys, conducted theoretical research and wrote a recommendation report.

Based on the tender process, the company decided to partner with Totara Partner UP Learning to build a unique learning environment.


The Solution

In the summer of 2015, DMG started training new employees through Totara Learn. Totara Learn is an all-in-one learning management system for the administration, documentation, reporting and delivery of e-learning courses. UP Learning were asked to provide the implementation and training and to provide support where necessary.

For DMG it’s really important that the employees use Totara Learn to develop the necessary skills and knowledge. New starters receive engaging, personal training and learn everything about DMG’s kitchens, furniture and bathrooms.

“UP Learning has given our retail formulas a personal look and feel,” says Tom Scholte. “UP Learning has helped us developing modules. During the first few weeks we had to find our way in Totara Learn but now I find it easy to operate. We worked in structured way and launched a new training group each month. The support provided by UP Learning is excellent.”

Currently DMG has five trainers who develop all e-learning, including modules, tests, quizzes, assignments, videos and other interactive learning activities. All new employees are assigned a practical trainer at their stores who reviews their submitted assignments and discuss the results with them.

The ultimate goal is that DMG’s employees will improve their product knowledge and eventually sell more and better.

The Results

DMG launched Totara Learn in September 2015. Since then, more than 1,000 employees actively use their new learning environment.

  • New employees learn much faster than ever before with Totara Learn.
  • With Totara Learn they can train more effectively. Instead of 30 classroom training days, they only need to organize six days now, so their new employees can spend 24 days more in the store.
  • Previously, it took a year to train approx 130 new learners at the same time; now it only takes 4-5 months. This means that DMG has much more capacity to train staff.
  • The ultimate goal is to educate all current employees (> 5,000) in every department and to provide better training, not only in sales. Step by step, the company will add logistics and other services to Totara Learn.

“At DMG, we offer all our new sales staff e-learning. The quiz form, the courses and the video challenge our employees to learn all about our kitchens, furniture and bathroom products, and the scoreboard makes for a great internal competition. It has significantly reduced the time to competence.”
– Tom Scholte, E-learning developer, DMG

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