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ResourcesCustomer Stories

The Foreign Trade Association boosted workshop attendance by 30% for learners in 81 countries

The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) represents the interests of retailers, brands and importers worldwide. The organisation promotes the values of international trade and sustainable supply-chains via extensive training, workshops, and monitoring processes.

The Challenge

With 1,900 members and 41,000 factories and farms reached globally, the amount of people to train is enormous. FTA needed a platform that was scalable, yet flexible enough to be tailored to their target audiences and able to keep pace with rapid growth and new demands.

Accommodating the scale (multiple countries, languages, cultural diversity, different levels of knowledge), combined with the complexity of FTA members’ supply-chains (factories can be linked to multiple members), whilst making sure that efforts are not duplicated and confidentiality is protected, made the process of organising any training truly challenging,

In addition, FTA members needed a clear overview of the programs that their own staff and producers have started or completed, with the essential need for FTA and its members to be able to monitor the impact of their training and the evolution of participants in the learning process.


The Solution

Neo Learning constructed an LMS for FTA using existing Totara Learn functionalities, and added extra features tailored to FTA’s needs. The result is a global online learning community called the FTA Academy, in which the FTA and their members can manage large scale continuous improvement programs through their incredibly complex supply-chains.

The most challenging part of the development was integrating the complex supply-chain hierarchy of all FTA members. Neo had to map it, integrate it into the standard Totara Learn setup and then make it easy to use for all participants. They also had to make sure that FTA members only have access to the data of their own supply-chains, even with shared producers. And finally, because of the complex supply-chain hierarchy, they had to develop tailored reporting modules so that, members can easily track engagement and performance of producers within their supply-chain.

As well as this, Neo integrated flexible audiences, something FTA is really pleased with. These predefined audiences are linked with fixed rights, certificates and programs. The only thing FTA has to do is add a new user; everything else is fully automated.


Neo also added an auditor program that allows FTA to train, qualify and monitor individual auditors working for 3rd party auditing companies. Through this, auditors get access to the FTA Academy and can join an approval program, with ongoing development and monitoring built in. This is vital for FTA to guarantee the consistency and quality of over 20,000 audits conducted annually, making sure they are in line with the high standards of FTA-BSCI.

A further exciting development has been the ability of Neo to support FTA’s collaborative approach to building sustainable supply-chains with the FTA Academy. FTA recently signed a partnership with another major industry association and is now hosting their specialized learning program on a self-branded landing page on the LMS, whilst also enabling FTA members and producers to access this additional training, with all the same reporting functions.


Because Neo took the time to fully think through the basic structure of this LMS, the implementation of the complex supply-chain, and FTA’s core values, principles and goal of building sustainable supply-chains, they are now able to easily add new features, such as the auditor program and collaborative landing pages, providing invaluable flexibility for FTA

The platform was able to successfully merge FTA’s needs and way of working with the LMS structure of Totara.

The Results

Initial Objective: Simple platform to host eLearning and manage registration and workshop sign-ups


  • 30% increase in workshop attendance
  • More than 350 training sessions, active users in 81 countries
  • Extensive use of platform offering – eLearning, workshops, webinars, webcasts, informative videos (how to use the system), quizzes, document sharing, certificates of achievement, certification program – feedback on trainers and materials
  • Rapidly increasing number active users – current rate = over 1,000/month, (est.8500 12 months)
  • Unplanned new programs
  • Collaborative learning engagement on a global scale



Beyond expectations – A fully connected and integrated online learning community to support global sustainable supply–chains

“Neo was able to offer us not only a technological solution but importantly they also understood our values, mission, goals and provided real business solutions. They took the time to understand what our real needs were, analyzed them and challenged us. They weren’t there to just sell something that already existed, but to deliver something that met our core needs and higher goals.

Neo understood the importance of a user-friendly platform as we have many different users and each and every one of them has to be able to use the system effectively, to deliver our mission.” – Andrew Martin, Senior Manager Monitoring and Continuous Improvement


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