Boston – March 8, 2004 – OutStart, the only company that meets all of the diverse learning and training needs of large and small companies and any size team, today announced that Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO), a discount store chain operating 5,100 stores in 43 states, has chosen Studio™ and SoftSim™, members of OutStart’s integrated product family, to help power its learning and training needs. As a result, Family Dollar will be able to create, manage and deliver powerful learning courses and software simulations to employees for training.
Family Dollar was faced with the challenge of training thousands of employees on technology, corporate policies, store operations, and distribution center training. After reviewing various solutions in the learning software market, Family Dollar chose OutStart’s Studio and SoftSim offerings, because their capabilities and integration best met the company’s current training goals.
“We saw that SoftSim would help us ensure a higher level of proficiency by Family Dollar’s software users. We also wanted to go beyond that by easily creating dynamic e-learning courses that make employees highly proficient in numerous aspects of our business,” said Lisa Burns, Technical Training Manager at Family Dollar. “SoftSim and Studio together will help us to quickly create and roll out high impact courses and software simulations that employees can take in the field, anywhere, anytime – without travel or time away from work.”
Studio is a browser-based application that allows Family Dollar’s course developers to upload and reuse learning content, then collaboratively create e-learning in a drag and drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) environment. With Studio, developers can quickly and easily create and deploy highly effective e-learning courses that help employees become better at their jobs. Family Dollar is also using Studio to create and deploy randomized tests and assessments to certify that employees are proficient at critical job functions.
SoftSim, which integrates with Studio, is an easy to use software simulation tool that enables Family Dollar to develop browser-based simulations, training, documentation and tutorials. These outputs increase Family Dollar’s software users’ speed to proficiency by showing them exactly what steps to take when using a software application or following a related process. This occurs in a simulated environment of the software application, allowing Family Dollar’s users to try new functions or test their competency on the application, without risking errors in the live production environment.
“Family Dollar’s vision for anytime, anywhere learning makes it a real innovator,” said Massood Zarrabian, CEO and president of OutStart. “We are very pleased that this Fortune 500 Company recognizes our product family’s ability to meet their forward-thinking learning goals, and are honored to play a role in powering great, effective learning experiences for Family Dollar’s employees.”
About Family Dollar
With more than 4,800 stores in a 43-state area ranging as far northwest as North Dakota, northeast to Maine, southeast to Florida and southwest to Arizona, Family Dollar is one of the fastest growing discount store chains in the United States. Family Dollar has provided value-conscious consumers with competitive prices at neighborhood stores for 43 years. Offering a consistent selection of name-brand and good quality merchandise in an attractive and convenient shopping environment, the Company is focused on continuing to meet the needs of shoppers looking for excellent value.
OutStart provides learning and knowledge-sharing software applications to mid-market, government, and Global 2000 organizations. OutStart customers build competitive advantage by making customers, employees, and partners more knowledgeable and better trained through superior content development, management, and delivery. The company`s approach is learner-focused and content-centric.
OutStart`s award-winning, product family enables people to know exactly what they need to be better at their jobs and to learn when, where, and how they want. Customers like AT&T; Wireless, Kaiser Permanente, Steelcase, the US Navy, and Westland Helicopters rely on OutStart to increase individual and organizational performance, improve knowledge transfer, and lower operating costs. Headquartered in Boston, MA, OutStart has offices throughout the US and Europe and can be found on the Web at www.outstart.com