Wyeth’s Pharmaceutical E-Learning Boasts A 500% ROI

Written by Gabe Anderson — Posted in Case Studies, Customers

This case study is about the training challenges faced and solved by one of our enterprise customers, Wyeth, which uses Articulate software to develop elearning courses for sales representatives, new hires, and others.


Wyeth Less than a month before a sales conference, Steve Wells, Senior Director of the Learning and Compliance Group for Wyeth’s Sales Training and Management Development Department, was handed a major challenge: Develop and implement an e-learning course that covered essential background materials and company policies that sales representatives could take prior to attending a mid-year Plan of Action (POA) meeting. And to make the challenge even more daunting, the course had to be tracked by the company’s learning management system (WyethTRAINet Learning Center) so that Wyeth senior management could confirm completion by each sales employee.

Using the company’s traditional course development tools would have required two to four weeks of intensive work from Wells and a development team to create a CD-ROM course and ship it to 5,000 sales representatives and managers. The cost to design and implement the training program would be expensive and wouldn’t allow for automatic tracking of completions because of the time crunch and delivery method chosen.

“Besides the exorbitant costs and lack of tracking functionality, I knew the timeframe wouldn’t allow us to do the quality job expected by management on the course itself,” said Wells.


Wells believed this challenge required a new approach. He decided to try a new tool, Articulate Presenter, for this high-profile project.

“I knew most of the content was PowerPoint-based. If Articulate worked as promised, we’d reduce the development time and save thousands of dollars in development and distribution costs,” said Wells. “Even though we’d not used Articulate before, the tool seemed very straightforward and easy to use. I was sure our course developers could pick it up quickly and deliver a SCORM-compliant course.”

His hunch paid off. The course was completed ahead of schedule, which gave the management team time to further review and suggest changes. Articulate Presenter easily allowed for last-minute edits. Management was thrilled with the tracking and reporting capabilities that Articulate Presenter enabled.

“The total investment resulted in a benefit-cost ratio of 8:1 and an ROI analysis yielded a 500% result on the training investment/deployment over traditional delivery methods,” according to Wells. “Most importantly, the great success of the course rollout validated rapid e-learning development at Wyeth and dramatically increased its use.”

Since then, Wells and other Wyeth trainers, instructional designers, project managers, and technology specialists have used Articulate Presenter extensively, as the demand for rapid e-learning continues to grow. So far, the tool has been used to create many new e-learning modules, including six new hire orientation modules, and to repurpose many classroom-based courses to e-learning courses throughout Wyeth.

“We’ve seen a continually growing demand for faster turnaround and shorter courses,” said Wells. “And Articulate’s offerings are ideally suited for this trend.”

Today, Articulate Presenter and Articulate Quizmaker, a companion product that Wyeth uses to embed quizzes in courses and tutorials, are used throughout the global Wyeth enterprise to meet a wide variety of training needs.

“Typically courses we create today are between 30-40 minutes long and subject matter experts do most of the content building by leveraging existing PowerPoint presentations” said Wells.

The Wyeth Multimedia team finishes and completes the production work, which may involve adding professional narration, high quality graphics, and even animation — depending on the course requirements, the available budget and the overall schedule. Articulate Presenter and Quizmaker’s compliance with SCORM enables launching and tracking of all courses through WyethTRAINet Learning Center, which is built on SumTotal System’s Total LMS.

Best Practices

  • The team created a design document that incorporates portions of Articulate’s user manual and instructional design basics. The document gives subject matter experts the information needed for content creation, standardizes results, and facilitates further production work — such as the addition of audio and graphics and LMS integration.
  • Articulate has helped the sales training team respond to critical, often unbudgeted learning needs that arise throughout the year. The team has discovered that sales representatives actually prefer short instructional modules averaging 10 to 15 minutes for completion.
  • By giving subject matter experts more responsibility for content building, Wells’ team has broadened its support. In addition to supporting U.S. sales, the team also indirectly provides customization and integration services to training teams outside of the United States.

“Much of our company’s learning is time critical,” said Wells. “Articulate helps us meet unpredicted needs with modules that are highly professional and well-received by our audiences.”

About Wyeth

Wyeth is one of the world’s largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products, and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company’s major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, and Fort Dodge Animal Health.

Wyeth’s products are sold in more than 145 countries, and its product portfolio includes innovative treatments across a wide range of therapeutic areas. Wyeth’s worldwide resources include 52,000 employees, manufacturing facilities on four continents, and a unique research and technology base encompassing small molecules, biopharmaceuticals, genetic engineering that will give us the next wave of innovative therapies; and vaccines. The company’s headquarters are in Madison, New Jersey.

Well-known Wyeth products include: Advil, Alavert, Centrum, ChapStick, Dimetapp, Effexor, Enbrel, Prevnar, and Robitussin.

5 responses to “Wyeth’s Pharmaceutical E-Learning Boasts A 500% ROI”


I have had trouble getting the Articulate Presenter and Quizmaker’s SCORM compliance to launch and track using our companies online University, which is also built on SumTotal System’s Total LMS. I am assuming we have missed something between our Articulate publishing choices or our LMS upload. The bigger problem is that scoring is not captured from Quizmaker. Any direction would be most appreciated.

Christopher // Posted at 5:12 pm on January 16th, 2009

Hi Christopher- If you haven’t already done so, I’d recommend submitting a case so that we can help you in more detail.

gabe // Posted at 5:22 pm on January 16th, 2009


I need to put together a presentation and was wondering if there are there any examples on ROI for the reasons to purchase Articulate Studio 2009?



Daniel // Posted at 2:55 pm on September 16th, 2010

Hi Dan- along with the ROI discussed in this blog entry, I’d encourage you to review other customer case studies in our customer spotlight.

I’d also recommend contacting your account manager, who can probably provide you with some additional material.

gabe // Posted at 3:57 pm on September 16th, 2010

Also, Dan- there are a few other customer case studies here.

gabe // Posted at 3:57 pm on September 16th, 2010

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