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Process & Optical Blended

eLearning Case Study

Blended Learning for Essilor

About Essilor

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.

Learning Challenge

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.

Blended Learning Solution

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.

Results with Training ROI

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:

  • 11.7% decrease in lab breakage
  • 17.1% decrease in lab error redos
  • 8.7% increase in productivity
  • 6.1% decrease in turn time

These results translate into approximately $7 million in annual savings!

Perhaps equally as important are some of the "softer" impacts of the certification program:

  • Cultural Change—In the labs that received 100% Bronze certification, Essilor has seen a significant positive shift in the way people feel about their jobs, the lab, and their customers.
  • Flexibility—The blended curriculum provides a simple way to cross-train employees, creating more flexibility in staffing and a built-in way to continuously develop employees.
  • Continuous Improvement—The ophthalmic industry, like all industries, is experiencing massive change. APEX-Optics is being deployed in new ways to support and expedite other business initiatives.
  • Leadership Development—The program reinforces the role of lab supervisors and managers in the ongoing development of employees.



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.

Matt Jones

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.

Paul Kocenko

2nd Shift Coating Supervisor, Milroy Optical, Tampa, Florida 

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