Bespoke versus off-the-shelf? Weathering the economic storm - opinion

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Ian Steward, associate director, CMG Training, shares his view about whether there is a real slowdown in training spend.

During boom times when organisations had money to spare, few had call to review the effectiveness of the training strategies they had in place. However, when things started to take a turn for the worse, the pressure was on for companies to justify the value of every pound spent. The general consensus is that training has taken the brunt of these cutbacks but in reality training spend is still strong. The only difference is, these days organisations are investing their money more wisely.

Despite the fact that there’s a great temptation to buy from those organisations who provide cheaper off-the-shelf solutions, it’s the companies who supply tailored solutions who seem to have weathered the storm successfully. Off-the-shelf solutions provide a cheap, quick fix alternative to their bespoke counterparts but many companies have realised that in the long-term they are a false economy.

Bespoke content, which is designed and geared towards meeting an organisation’s specific business needs within its specific environment, is able to add real value. Those training companies who focus on their clients’ business model rather than their own are the real winners in this difficult climate.

Is training spending down, or just being targetted better? Or both? Or, for that matter, neither? Post your comments below.

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