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Education Spotlight


How A Small ERP Firm Put Education in the Spotlight


by Jim Eaton, Manager, Business Development, B&L Information Systems B


&L Information Systems is not only a leader in ERP software for investment casters but leading


the way in educational opportunities. B&L takes pride in our abundance of educational resources offered within our company, to customers and the community. B&L has made it our mission to accommodate a variety of learning to better our staff and customers, while also expanding to local youth. Through a combination of hands-on learning and technology-based training, we have seen real results internally and externally. Allowing resources for our staff and customers to develop new skills has a lasting effect on the betterment of each company B&L works with. Education is the foundation to, not only a successful business, but everyone’s ability to continue to learn, grow, and adapt. Learning is powerful and, as a company, we are proud to have devoted much of our business structure to this focus.


Education at B&L


At B&L, an education stipend for our staff is part of our benefit package. For nontechnical training, our company subscribes to Fred Pryor Seminars for


instruction including project


in multiple disciplines management,


productivity, customer service, and Excel. We even have one employee going through Lean Six Sigma training. To disseminate best practices amongst staff, we have employee led software training most Friday afternoons. B&L team members attend conferences and webinars both in person and now virtually to learn the latest software technology along with LinkedIn Learning and Progress e-learning. Odyssey ERP software continually evolves for our


®


customers with the addition of rich features and enhancements.


For Customers


During an implementation, training is over 50% of the hours spent with customers either in person or through video conferencing.


This training not


only includes how to use Odyssey ERP software but also best practices, allowing customers to get the most out of their investment.


Once customers are on-


board, we offer classroom training for a variety of tools within Odyssey such as Odyssey Bootcamp, Scheduling, Data Views and Dashboards, Crystal Reports, Costing Workshop, Inventory Control, and more. When the ongoing pandemic made travel and in person meetings difficult, we started offering the classes virtually. In the spring, when the spread of COVID-19 put B&L and others, into a stay-at-home order, our team worked together to find the best solution for both our staff and customers. In April, we began hosting free webinars on Odyssey ERP Software, and continue to educate and connect with our customers. We adopted the webinars as a part of our training during implementations through a learning management system. Project managers can now monitor progress of training during an implementation to keep it on track. The webinars are also always available in the Help and Support area of our software.


On-Site Education From the beginning of a company’s implementation, B&L offers on-site education tailored specifically for each customer. We strive for the best results, for all of our clients, and continue to offer


specialized training well after December 2020 ❘ 29


the implementation phase has been completed. Thanks to the bright minds that make up our training team, B&L is able to customize to the needs of each company’s staff on their time and schedule. We miss being able to engage with our customers in person and seeing the incredible work they are doing with Odyssey firsthand on the production floor. However, we are grateful technology has allowed us to keep working closely with our customers until we can see them again post-COVID.


In the Community B&L believes in giving back to our wonderful community and the incredible individuals within it. The Dick Laney Memorial Scholarship was established in 2012. The scholarship is available to children of current B&L employees who attend accredited colleges after high school graduation. This year brings the total number of scholarship recipients to eighteen. We are honored to contribute to our future leaders in the community by investing in their education and career ambitions. Along with this, B&L has also supported local elementary schools to purchase a stem lab in 2018. In 2019, B&L donated a matching sum, to what employees raised, during the annual Casual Cause program for the Bridgman Public Library. Education is a central focus at B&L Information Systems and will continue to be into the future as we solve investment casters problems with Odyssey ERP Software.


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