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Discussion Post: What if Coles and Woolies Entered the Telco Business?

The supermarkets have really shaped the way we shop.
The supermarkets have really shaped the way we shop.

Did you know that when the first supermarkets arrived in Australia, supermarket promoters hired instructors to provide induction training to adults and children demonstrating how to push shopping trolleys down the aisles.

How Did People Shop Before the Supermarket?

Until the supermarket, Australians had been accustomed to queuing at a counter and presenting a shopping list to their green grocer or their butcher, who would then select the items on the list on the shopper’s behalf.

Those first supermarkets offered what I would call ‘bomb shelter supplies’; the kind of non-perishable foods (canned goods, condensed milk, etc.) that you’d stock your bomb shelter with in case the sky fell – or the H-bomb did, at least.

Their Own Network of Suppliers

Today, supermarkets offer so much more than that. The limited fresh produce they once supplied has been expanded to a full range of fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat and poultry supplied directly to them via their own network of farmers and suppliers – an entirely unsurprising direction for the Wesfarmers-owned Coles to take.

Over the years, Coles and Woolies have also entered the petrol market by entering into agreements Shell and Caltex respectively; more recently they’ve even entered into the financial game, offering credit cards and insurance.

Like it or not, our supermarkets are the early adopters of new social trends and they’re shaping our entire shopping experience as a result.

The Evolution of Telecommunications

Now that we’re living in an age of smart phones and high-speed internet, the telecommunications industry has been turned upside down. Whereas you previously only had a small number of telcos to choose from and a limited range of services, these new technologies and methods of communication are forcing traditional telcos like Telstra to take notice.


Take Skype as an example. There was a time not so long ago when if you wanted to make an international call it would cost a bomb. Then Skype came along. Now you can make free international calls using your broadband connection and at the same time see the person at the other end.


Apple did the same by introducing the iMessage function on their iPhones, which allows iPhone users to text each other for free, using their mobile data.


These technological advancements have seen the share prices of voice-over IP (VoIP) companies go through the roof, which Ken Maswell of Virion, a small bespoke VoIP provider in Sydney can attest to.

According to Maswell, the share prices of VoIP company, myfonenet, have increased by 57 percent since May last year. “When it comes to telecommunications, customers are now exercising their choice in what was previously considered the dark arts of telephony,” he said.

Coles and Woolies have long offered handsets and prepaid mobile sims; even more recently, Aldi entered the mobile space as authorised resellers of Telstra prepaid mobile sims and handsets at highly competitive prices.

But there’s plenty of demand for a Coles or Woolies-brand mobile service – ideally one offering greater data usage given most people use their mobile phones to send and receive emails, watch videos, communicate via social media, and so on.


What do you think? Do you think Coles and Woolies will soon become telcos as well? How do you think they would fare pitted against the like of Virgin and Vodafone who have each been in the game quite a while now?

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Induction Training is Most Important for Contractors

Online inductions are vital for keeping contractors safe and informed.
Online inductions are vital for keeping contractors safe and informed.

In a recent post, we mentioned how our MYOB training courses are like an induction into the role of a bookkeeper; we’ve also written about how to engage your staff with your work, health and safety training material. But induction training doesn’t just deal with the potential safety risks contractors may encounter at your organisation.

Who is a Contractor, Exactly?

The word ‘contractor’ doesn’t just relate to tradespeople, like plumbers or electricians, who may come to your business to perform work. It also refers to the IT or marketing consultants or temp workers who regularly come to your office to work.

Even though they are usually employed by another organisation, or perhaps even self-employed, while they are at your office or premises you are still bound by a duty of care to ensure their safety.

This means providing them with work, health and safety training – although they are not required to provide a safe work method statement (SWMS). (That is a requirement only for tradespeople.)

Induction for Info Beyond Safety

But safety aside, it’s important you provide induction training that also covers where contractors can refer customers for customer service or more detailed product information.

Induction training is even necessary to advise contractors of common things, such as where they can find parking, where local amenities – like cafés and train stations – are.

Many companies provide this information in the form of hard copy ‘welcome packs’, but it’s much easier and more efficient – particularly if your organisation uses contractors often – to deliver this induction information using an online training course.

Further, besides creating and updating the training material itself, online induction training courses require very little maintenance. And the training material can be as simple or elaborate as you like. By delivering your course online, you can add steps to ensure people actually read the material. It’s as simple as creating the course in PowerPoint, recording your audio and uploading it to your learning management system.

The Importance of Due Diligence and Morale Building

The most important part of an induction training course is that it shows evidence of due diligence. That is; you have made a concerted effort to ensure contractors are aware of certain process and procedures within your organisation.

Induction training is also an important aspect of building team morale. Whether it’s among your permanent staff members or contract and temp workers, if the morale within your organisation is low, your business will suffer as a result.

A key way to build team morale is to ensure your staff, contractors and temp workers understand what is expected of them in terms of performance – and what they can expect of you in return.

And though no one likes to think about the negative things like this, induction training is very important should you ever find yourself involved in legal action over something a contractor should have known about.


If you would like to learn more about induction training for your organisation, visit our website, or request a quote from us.

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MYOB: What is an Induction?

Our MYOB course will help induct you into the role of bookkeeper.
Our MYOB course will help induct you into the role of bookkeeper.

The word ‘induction’ has many uses, which can make it rather subjective. It can refer to the time interval between the cause and the first measurable effect in an experiment; it can refer to stimulating the process of childbirth; it can refer to a rite of passage or ritual event, like a Bar of Bat Mitzvah; even our MYOB training courses act as a kind of quasi induction into the world of bookkeeping.

Exposure to Real-World Scenarios

Even though our MYOB courses are primarily teaching you how to use an accounting software package, we deliberately created training courses that would expose our students to real-world bookkeeping scenarios, so they would properly understand the software.

When you complete the day-to-day transactions module of our MYOB course you’re taught how to receive money and pay bills, record a cash-sale, settle credits and returns, and analyse payable, among other things.

Each module within our MYOB training courses teaches you a fundamental aspect within the whole bookkeeping process, and in that way our courses act like an induction into the role of a bookkeeper.

Inducting You as a Bookkeeper

An induction helps to give a person a basic understanding of what to expect of a particular situation or circumstance. In the instance of our MYOB courses, we’re helping you to understand what is expected of you as a bookkeeper, and what you should expect in turn.

Many organisations provide new employees with induction training to help them understand how the business operates, and to keep their existing staff up-to-date with changing policies and procedures – such as work, health and safety.


As Australia’s leading provider of online training courses, EzyLearn has recently ventured into providing companies and organisations with the facilities to provide their staff with online induction training.

If you’d like to learn more about the kinds of induction programs you can offer your staff, visit our website or request a quote.

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WHS Online Training Continued: Enrolment Forms and Exams

EzyLearn can help your business train WHS staff or provide credentialing and inductions.
EzyLearn can help your business train WHS staff or provide credentialing and inductions.

In a previous post we provided you with some tips on how to create a video for your work health and safety (WHS) induction training, which can be delivered online using EzyLearn’s learning management system. In this post, we look at handling enrolments and the most important element of all: testing your staff on their WHS knowledge!

Now that you’ve created your training content and it’s ready to be uploaded onto our learning management system, you need to create a way for people to enrol in your training course, which is accessible from a website.

How to Enrol People in Your Training Course

The easiest way to enrol your staff is to create an online enrolment form that either links to our learning management system where the person is automatically enrolled, or a more basic enrolment form that requires someone to manually enter the person’s details into our learning management system. The option you choose is largely dependent on the size of your organisation.

There are plenty of web-based form builders available that you can use to create your enrolment form, each varying in features and flexibility. If you’re looking for something that’s free, the Google Apps marketplace offers some fairly basic form-building software; there’s also Wufoo, which counts micro-blogging site, Twitter as one of its clients (along with us at EzyLearn!); if you’re looking for optimum flexibility, however, try Formsite.

Once you’ve created an enrolment form, you can use that same form-building software to create the exam your staff will need to complete in order to pass their induction training. It’s best to use a multiple-choice format for your exam, and try to keep the questions as simple as possible — in a real-world scenario, a person will need to respond to a potential safety risk quickly, so you want them to be as prepared as possible.

Have People Had the Requisite Training? Why You Need a Credentialing System

If your organisation has a lot of contractors coming and going on a daily basis, it may be necessary to have a credentialing system on your site. A credentialing system requires visitors to sign in upon arrival at your site to verify whether they’ve had the necessary WHS training.


EzyLearn has recently partnered with EzyAccess to provide a suite of options in the area of WHS training. This means that we can provide businesses with the means to induct and train their own staff and also verify and credential visitors to their site.

For more information on how EzyLearn can help your business with your WHS needs, contact us.