SOURCE: Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC

Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC

February 13, 2009 13:01 ET

Specialty Equipment Market Association Picks Meridian's LMS Software for 7,600 Member Companies

CHANTILLY, VA--(Marketwire - February 13, 2009) - Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC is implementing a learning management system (LMS) for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). SEMA will use the LMS to supply an online training curriculum for honing the product knowledge and professional skills of its 7,600 member companies, which total approximately 150,000 employees. SEMA's members are the producers and marketers of specialty equipment products and services for the automotive aftermarket.

SEMA members make and use all kinds of specialty parts and accessories to improve the look and performance of new and vintage vehicles. SEMA sees the Meridian Global LMS as being the nexus for marketing, education, training and promotion.

"Our use of an LMS is not about delivering a standard corporate training program," says Susan Walker, education program manager for SEMA Education Institute (SEI). "Our learning management system will give SEMA members online, instant access to not just product information, technical bulletins and certification training but also a toolkit that will help members really sharpen the way they sell their products and services."

"An LMS should help employees take charge of their professional and on-the-job education and give managers a quick and easy way to assess their workers' skills and know-how," said Roy Haythorn, vice president of Operations for Meridian.

SEI plans to launch its LMS to members in two phases. The first phase -- which will be a soft launch -- kicks off with a number of e-learning courses, including "Focus on the Customer: Introduction to Selling." This first course, which members can access at http://www.sema.org, will instruct newly hired employees on how to zero in on a customer's need and complete a sale. SEI says the majority of the online classes will be free to members.

Bob Price, executive director of SEI, notes the Meridian LMS will support SEMA in four areas:

--  First, SEI offers product and marketing training.  Manufacturers of
    specialty automotive equipment find it difficult to effectively provide
    product training to all of the retailers selling their products. The LMS
    will provide SEMA-member retailers of all sizes online, on-demand product
    training and marketing assistance from hundreds of manufacturers.
    
--  Second, Price and Walker say the LMS will augment professional
    development.
    
--  Third, SEI sees the Meridian LMS as helping to deliver and track the
    courses necessary for gaining professional certifications.
    
--  Fourth, SEI sees outreach programs as critical to attracting young
    people in high schools and technical colleges to the specialty equipment
    industry.
    

As part of its second-launch phase, SEMA plans to expand its e-learning courses to include manufacturer-specific courses on specialty automotive aftermarket products such as lift kits and differentials as well as general courses introducing topics like: engine carburetors and cooling systems; performance upgrades, such as superchargers; brakes; wheels; and, tires.

"The chairman of the board of SEMA challenged us to build a world-class learning culture," says Walker. "As part of that challenge, we looked at 64 learning management systems. We picked Meridian because its team was highly qualified and its product met a rigorous set of technology demands. Other systems just didn't meet our needs to the extent we wanted."

About Meridian

Our flagship product, Meridian Global LMS, integrates learning content management, workforce analytics, knowledge management, and competency modeling in one learning management system (LMS). In addition to Meridian Global LMS, we provide professional services, courseware development, and hosting services.

We serve 5 million users at more than 250 public- and private-sector employers. And our software is used by companies that range in size from 900,000 employees to less than 100 workers. Our clients include AutoZone, Panera Bread, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, Whirlpool and more than 80 federal, state and local governments.

We are the number one ranked learning-technology company for customer loyalty. Our award-winning software aims to deliver learning, distribute knowledge, and sharpen business skills, which will make you a leader in your industry. Our Chantilly, Va.-based company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Visionary Integration Professionals.

To learn more, visit http://www.meridianksi.com

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