Upskilling internal teams to create an autonomous resource
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”, so the adage goes. For Recorded Books, it’s an entirely relevant way to describe our role in the creation of its own internal digital team.
As the largest independent wholesale audiobook retailer in the world, Recorded Books sells a vast range of audiobooks, eBooks, eMagazines, movies, learning programmes and more into libraries, military bases, private libraries across the world, as well as to leading B2C retailers such as Audible and audiobooks.com.
Reducing costs, increasing access
Being a retailer, reducing costs wherever possible has a massive impact on Recorded Books’ bottom-line. And being a largely online business means Recorded Books’ technology platforms need to be constantly managed, maintained and optimised.
The problem was twofold. First, paying digital agencies for ongoing technical support was simply costing too much. Second was the issue of availability. The feeling was that a skilled internal digital team would provide the constant, readily available and agile technical support the business really needed, minute by minute, hour by hour.
Replacing ourselves with something sustainable
It felt a little odd to be handed this brief, because we were essentially being charged with replacing ourselves. But you can never do too much for a good client, so we began by establishing a structure for the new internal team, developing the new processes and training programmes that would deliver the knowledge and skills to maintain and improve the Recorded Books platform in the future.
Recruiting, onboarding and training
From the outset it was a challenge working across different time zones from the UK to the US. A few well-timed trips across the Atlantic and lots of carefully planned online workshops enabled us to engage with prospects and new recruits in a natural and easy manner. But this was no quick and easy fix. Recruiting, onboarding and upskilling the internal digital team proved to be a two-year long process. And during all that time, at the back of our minds was the fact that this was essentially a long goodbye.