The world’s leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor of America (Essilor) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its corporate mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, the Company allocates more than $170 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Essilor’s flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, DEFINITY®, Xperio®, Optifog®, Foster Grant®, Bolon® and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments, and services for Eye Care Professionals. Essilor employs more than 55,000 people. It distributes its products in some 100 countries with 28 plants, more than 450 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as several research and development centers around the world. For more information, please visit www.essilor.com.
Prior to this blended certification program, Essilor relied on peer-to-peer observation and costly instructor-led field training, covering topics such as product knowledge, service, lab operations, procedures, and policies. With so many labs geographically dispersed across the world, it was difficult to reach everyone with consistent training. And it was impossible to track the effectiveness of any program.
So, Essilor partnered with Allen Interactions to create a blended, multi-level training and certification program to add value to the organization by building the capabilities of new and existing employees, improving day-to-day life at work, increasing operational productivity, and managing costs. The blended learning program needed to be easily updated and scalable for different areas/brands within Essilor.
After the challenges of receiving full executive support, the vision was set: Systematically build lab employee professional knowledge, capability, and commitment.
APEX-Optics is a lab-oriented blended learning and certification program that provides newly hired and existing lab employees the knowledge and skills they need to successfully perform their jobs. A dedicated trainer supports the employees as they complete the online learning and hands-on training sessions to become APEX Certified which include: interactive e-learning courses, instructor-led activities, printed support materials, and on-the-lab-floor evaluations.
Prior to deployment of this blended training initiative, Essilor incurred approximately $45 million in annual lab breakage and lab error redos. Advanced program measurements have shown the following impacts to Essilor's operations:
Perhaps equally as important are some of the "softer" impacts of the certification program:
Essilor's management strongly believes that APEX-Optics is not simply training. Building the professional capability of our people is as strategic as investing in new technology and equipment.
Vice President, Organization Capability, Essilor of America
APEX provides a solid foundation of knowledge for all employees, no matter what area they work in. The training gives a complete view of Essilor, our products and our processes, while increasing the individual's skill level and confidence. My employees are excited about earning their certification.
2nd Shift Coating Supervisor, Milroy Optical, Tampa, Florida