CASE STUDIES

RK Stratman: Improving Performance Across All Levels

  • Heather Schneider, RK Stratman

    “Our employees are meeting their training goals and actively using what they learned. We are experiencing a culture change.”

    Heather Schneider, Training and Communications Coordinator

Business Challenge

After the economic downturn of 2008, RK Stratman realized they had various business challenges that they needed to address in order to effectively compete in the market.

To improve and expand their operations, RK Stratman needed employees who could not only envision process improvements but also record them in a clear, concise language. They also wanted to increase their customer base to offer their products to the world outside of Harley-Davidson.

“We knew these changes were essential to bring back our high sales volume and previous performance levels, but we were not ready.”

Many of their employees had zero computer skills, an essential component in having a cutting edge workforce.

They were looking for a comprehensive training program that would help improve their employees’ skills and knowledge and at the same time allowed them to track and measure progress.

Solution

BizLibrary offered a solution that met all of RK Stratman’s organizational needs: A complete learning management platform and a collection of thousands of video courses covering a wide variety of business training topics, accessible at any time, from any device.

“BizLibrary provided more content, a more effective training program, and a better LMS, compared to other companies.”

RK Stratman started utilizing The BizLibrary Collection to have employees take basic courses about safety, communication and compliance. These were essential to improve internal processes and drive productivity.

For many employees with no computer skills, the training program served as an introduction to computers.

“The LMS and courses were so user-friendly that our employees were able to quickly master how to get online and access them, which gave them confidence and a sense of accomplishment.”

Implementation

To launch the program, employees attended introduction events, and leaders spent one-on-one time with their team members to help get them started with the LMS.

A course recommendation list was created and shared with all employees, and leaders assigned courses and held follow-up meetings. They used company newsletters to recommend courses, share success stories, and set goals and challenges.

All employees were given an annual goal of 20 hours of training and a customized development plan.

“BizLibrary allowed us to create development plans that have helped our employees and leaders select the right courses to keep them on track.”

Leaders provide follow-up sessions and activities to extend the learning while encouraging their teams to practice what they’ve learned on the job.

RK Stratman wanted their employees to take training seriously, so they established new organizational goals that were directly tied to training and development plans.

“Our leaders think the program is fantastic! They can see that employee learning is aligned and focused.”

They started sending a quarterly letter to employees from the CEO that addressed current goals and strategies, and attributed success in large part to continuous learning.

In 2014, RK Stratman launched E.P.I.C. (Employee Process Improvement Challenge), a program to educate employees on the topic of process improvement. To date, 332 employees have submitted ideas and 180 suggestions have been implemented.

Results

Many employees have taken on new responsibilities and projects as a result of their learning and increased confidence. Most importantly, RK Stratman has been able to create a company culture that motivates employees to learn and advance their professional careers.

Changes to manufacturing processes and training programs have made it possible for RK Stratman to pursue new markets and international business.

Most recently, RK Stratman has started a gainsharing program – a positive step in sharing the resulting profits from increased productivity and improved processes with employees.

“Due to their development, our employees are now prepared to participate with management in process improvements to increase profitability.”

Overall, the partnership between RK Stratman and BizLibrary has resulted in profitable growth, high levels of customer satisfaction, successful employee training and development, and organizational process improvement.

RK Stratman logo

Employee size: 250-999
Industry: Apparel

www.rkstratman.com

RK Stratman is a family owned business, one of only three t-shirt licensees for the Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

For more than 45 years, RK Stratman Inc. has been printing t-shirts for motorcycle enthusiasts all over the world.

Today, RK Stratman Inc. employs more than 220 employees at the Wentzville, MO campus that spans 26 acres with 305,000 square feet of operating space.

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