Pep Boys’ Bryan Hoppe Wins a 2014 Retail Innovator Award

June 18, 2014

Like other retailers, Pep Boys had always focused their Associate training and awareness efforts on store level initiatives that included posters in the break room, monthly manager-led meetings, as well as a learning management system that pushed out content in large sit-down sessions once a month – but for Bryan Hoppe, the results weren’t good enough.

Success Story VIdeo: Pep Boys

Pep Boys found that although they were doing a variety of things around awareness training, they weren’t seeing the results of the learning sticking and being applied. In particular, their inventory shrink and safety incidents were not at acceptable levels.

The team at Pep Boys hypothesized that their lack of sustainable success was largely due to the fact that their 19,000 employees were not retaining and operationalizing their learning – no matter what they seemed to do. Associates would get the message and shortly thereafter return to their prior habits with no long-term change in behavior.

In 2009, Pep Boys felt that there had to be a better way and searched high and low for an online eLearning solution that delivered bite-sized learning on a daily basis to Associates via their POS system. They wanted something that measured and drove knowledge in a way that was both fun, quick and rewarding for Associates. They couldn’t find such a system (because no such system existed in 2009), which didn’t stop the team at Pep Boys. They decided to turn to the firm that created their awareness posters and asked them to build a system to meet their needs, which they did. Once rolled out, the results were astounding. Developed around the Pep Boys unique vision, the system became a game-changer and the communications firm spun off the solution into what is now called Axonify who has had considerable success taking it to market.

With Bryan Hoppe’s vision and leadership at Pep Boys (first as VP of LP and now VP of Store Operations), the Axonify platform has grown and developed into THE most effective way to deliver learning to Associates and is now being used by other retail powerhouses like Walmart and Toys”R”Us. It has also expanded beyond retail into other areas like professional sales training at Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson company), accountant development at Crowe MacKay and admin training at Capital BlueCross. The application for this unique approach to learning is limitless.

For more information on the award, visit Retail Touchpoints.

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