HR consulting | Three questions to… Hervé Borensztejn

Three questions to… Hervé Borensztejn, Director of Karistem’s HR Pole


“European companies don’t rely enough on training their clients”

In your opinion, why is customer training a solution for companies to develop their businesses?
Faced with the crisis, companies are looking for new recurring activities that generate high margins. The development of service offerings fits perfectly with this strategy. Among these service offerings, activities related to the education and training of clients hold a privileged place. Not only because they are well placed within this framework, but also because companies feel they are competent in these areas, that they practice through continual education. Many large businesses have moved in this direction: Siemens, General Electric, Airbus, Safran, Thales, DCNS, Airbus, Areva and Total to name but a few.

Is this education market and customer training, according to you, underexploited by companies?
Clearly, yes. According to the Global Strategic Business Report of March 2013, the annual global market for education delivered by the private sector is of the order of € 170 billion. Of this € 170 billion, approximately 29% (50 million) is related to the higher education of adults, and more specifically 7% ($ 12 billion) is related to scientific and technical training for adults. This twelve billion, entrusted each year to the private sector, to train and educate, is incredible! Especially as market growth is strong (the order of 10% per year) and is not only in emerging countries. There are clearly considerable business opportunities which have been largely untapped by companies. This is even truer given that, on top of the value created by the service activity, those who have been trained and educated become potentially privileged prescribers of company that has trained them. Although difficult to quantify the indirect impact, it is very real.

However, is it too complex to implement a service offering of customer training?
Assume that a training policy vis-à-vis the company’s customers is not so complex. This requires precise control of the internal and external supply and demand (especially at the internal processing of the application). Often, it also requires a review of the skills portfolio of the training functions, and the formalization of a clear development strategy, known and widely shared internally. The results are significant (increase turnover by ten) and validate unambiguous opportunities provided by this type of business abroad. This is the work that has been done in particular by Air Airbus Business Academy (ABA), which has succeeded in recent years to reinvent itself and become one of the world players in the training of the airline companies. Beyond supporting the Customer Support function, ABA is now a profit centre in its own right.

Find Hervé Borensztejn’s perspectives on current HR topics on Karistem’s blog:

Ecole des Mines, Hervé Borensztejn has 25 years of operational HR experience for major international groups: EADS, General Electric, Vivendi, LVMH, where he has held positions of Group HR Manager as well as HR Development Group. He is also Associate Professor at the Sorbonne (Paris 2) and Certified Executive Coach. Hervé Borensztejn is a Civil Engineer from the Ecole des Mines, Paris and has a doctorate in economics. He is currently a partner at Karistem Corporate Consulting, in charge of HR consulting.

Karistem Corporate Consulting briefly
Karistem Corporate Consulting (KCC) is a consulting firm specializing in strategy and transformation. Since 2004, KCC develops and implements major transformation projects supported by the Exectutive Managament to improve the competitiveness of the heart of business and / or support functions to align the business strategy. KCC’s approach is results-oriented and puts people at the heart of each transformation. KCC is committed (1) the involvement and ownership of the change by the largest number of people and (2) on fast, major and lasting results.

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