LMS Vendor Relationships: Food for Thought

Restaurants that serve the tastiest food have great relationships with their suppliers. The chefs are able to design and deliver interesting and attractive plates, because their suppliers work with them as part of the extended team to provide knowledge on seasonal availability and trends, quality produce, and pricing that works for the restaurant’s needs.

[wbt_section_heading title="What is your LMS vendor serving up for your Professional Learners?"]
Using the restaurant analogy, does your learning ecosystem help you to deliver the best quality education and training to your learners? Your instructors, subject matter experts and content teams work together to ‘dish up’ education programs that align with the needs of your learners and the goals of the organization. But how can a good relationship with your LMS vendor help you to deliver the best quality education for your learners?

LMS Vendor Relationships Food for ThoughtYour organization is probably courted by many vendors, several times a year, each trying to sell you the latest and greatest functionality their LMS has to offer. Just as suppliers visit prospective restaurants to show their wares, enabling the chef to decide on the quality of what they have to offer, you may encounter several LMS vendors in your search for a learning solution that fits your needs, either through sales prospecting or through a request for proposals. Some suppliers will merely show you the produce (feature list) and provide a pricelist, leaving you to select, implement and manage your programs on your own.  Each will be able to demonstrate the functionality and features of their LMS platform, and it will be up to you to decide which is the most appropriate for your organization.

But the best vendors will be able to go a step further. These suppliers will take the time to talk to you, understand the flavor you are trying to achieve, then based on their years of experience and knowledge of their field, suppliers will be able to advise chefs when certain foods will be at their peak in terms of quality, or to advise against including something on the menu if there will be limited availability. Chefs come to rely on the experience and knowledge of their suppliers, and use their expertise to their advantage. However, this is not always the case when organizations are choosing a new LMS solution.

The best LMS vendors will be both willing and able to provide their expertise to help your organization decide on the best learning solution for your needs. Working with an experienced vendor means that you can take advantage of their expertise and benefit from their prior experience of working with organizations like your own. Experienced LMS vendors can help you to fully explore and define your requirements, possibly helping you to consider often overlooked areas such as implementation or on-going support, in addition to the technical and business requirements you have already defined. They can also offer flexibility and advice in selecting the right level of support, services, or licensing model to fit your user numbers and requirements. Discussing your requirements openly with a good LMS vendor, especially if you are looking to upgrade from your current LMS, need to integrate with other systems, or have unique requirements, can lead to a very productive and mutually beneficial relationship.

Often times, people are unhappy with their LMS because they have not fully defined their requirements, or they were unable to communicate these effectively to the vendor. Developing a good relationship with your LMS vendor enables you to benefit from their experience, but it also allows the LMS vendor to better understand your needs and requirements, so that they can provide advice on how best to implement the solution, services and support you will need to be successful. During your training in how to set up and use the system, the vendor can provide guidance on how best to use the LMS to achieve your goals. This can take your education and training programs to the next level, ensuring the best quality learning experience for your learners.


To see the difference working with a flexible, supportive, and experienced LMS vendor could make to your education programs, read about our customer’s success with TopClass LMS. WBT Systems has been working with organizations for over 20 years to power their education and certification programs, contact us today to see how we can help your organization.

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