Trade Extensions Launches TESS Academy – an Impressive eLearning Tool

We mentioned here that Trade Extensions had launched its “online TESS Academy,” an interactive e-learning platform to educate users and potential users on its market-informed sourcing / optimisation software.

Well, our Editor Nancy Clinton and I have given it a try, and completed the Level 1 module – I scored 79%, which seems pretty high actually as it felt like I was consistently getting the “test” questions wrong as I went through! (excuse me Peter! - Editor interjects -- here's my email notification from TESS:

"Hello Nancy, Well done, you passed your course TESS Level 1 with a score of 100%. By completing this course you have also attained the certificate TESS Academy Certification." -- Just thought I'd mention!  As a non-optimisation bod I think the system taught me pretty well, if I say so myself.)

I’ve also done the first few modules within the Level 2 course. There are several modules here, taking you into actually setting up a project and creating your optimisation exercise.

But other than the fact that the questions are quite hard at times, how did we find it? Good, actually. It is very well put together, with a good blend of videos which mainly use graphics plus a couple of interviews, written / spoken learning material, and those questions to check learning. When you get into Level 2, there are also screen shot demos showing you how to take various steps in the process. Then you have the option of click-through links to more detailed training ‘manual’ type documentation, giving you the full explanation of how the platform, works.

You can carry out the modules at your own pace, leave off, then return very easily, and it is easy to navigate. The first Level is pitched at an absolute beginner level, but gives you a good overview, then Level 2 takes you into being able to actually set up and run your own “market informed sourcing” (as we like to call it) exercise. It is very professional, and certainly one of the best e-learning products I have seen. Here is a screen-grab of a typical page showing the spot of graphics you get (click on the image to get a higher definition view)!

academy page grabAny criticisms? The navigation is good, but a couple of detailed points could be improved. And joking aside, I thought the questions were quite taxing, and I thought one or two did not quite relate to what we had just learnt. But other than those relatively small issues, we thought it was very impressive.

I wonder whether this is indicative of a trend in terms of solution providers getting into the e-learning field. BravoSolution has a strong package of educational e-learning, mainly promoted to date in the US, so Trade Extensions is not the only software firm to move into this area. Might we see more of this type of training, focused on very specific needs, particularly where that relates to software?

It is not the sort of education that the likes of CIPS or ISM can easily provide, so there is a gap in the market. And whilst this is of course promoting the Trade Extensions TESS product directly, it is also developing useful wider skills in the trainees, in terms of their understanding of the topic and ability to run a successful sourcing exercise.

First Voice

  1. Chabannes:

    Interesting to see that, at the very moment software companies are trying to create softwares so easy to use with no training, no pain, like B2C world, some others are developing training platform.
    What will be the future of a software?
    Training or use it?

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