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How DSM is retaining expert knowledge at a fraction of the cost

How DSM is retaining expert knowledge at a fraction of the cost

DSM went from a top-down learning strategy that was heavily reliant on third-party vendors to a bottom-up approach that has empowered its employees to share their knowledge. The best part? They’re able to save significant time and costs along the way.
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Royal DSM
Royal DSM
Royal DSM
Health, Nutrition and Bioscience
Heerlen, Netherlands


Royal DSM, also commonly known as DSM, is a global leader in the fields of health and nutrition applying bioscience to improve the health of people, animals, and the planet. To achieve its mission, DSM employs a diverse workforce of over 20,000 people in approximately 50 countries. With a focus on providing high-quality learning, DSM had traditionally utilized a top-down L&D strategy with learning content created by a central L&D team or third-party vendors and distributed across the different departments. In early 2022, however, the company decided to shift its strategy around the ethos: “Learn Together, Grow Together”. That’s where Derek and the People, Performance and Growth (PP&G) team came in. It was their job to find and select the right tools and partners to implement this learning strategy at DSM.


During 2022, DSM began moving towards a self-directed approach to learning. They wanted to move away from online training implemented from the top down, provided by external vendors, and managed by DSM’s HRS team. This created an opportunity to evolve the company’s learning strategy: creating learning content was typically a slow and costly process, and maintaining it was even more so. It wasn’t difficult to realize that an innovative approach was needed. That’s when the organization decided to implement a new learning ethos – “Learn Together, Grow Together” – that put learning in their employees’ hands. To realign with this new learning strategy, DSM’s HRS team followed four main pillars: giving employees ownership of their learning; finding ways to make learning a fun experience; being open to try new things; and being committed to sharing knowledge. This meant a radical new way of creating and distributing learning content across the organization. To do this successfully, the PP&G team needed to find the best tools to implement this new strategy.


One part of this strategy was the desire to introduce the ability for DSM employees to create their own learning content. After exploring different e-learning authoring tools, DSM came across Easygenerator and were quickly convinced by the tool’s ease of use and seamless integration into their people’s day-to-day tech. Additionally, Easygenerator’s data security measures gave that extra assurance to senior stakeholders at DSM that their learning strategy was in safe hands. With such an easy-to-use e-learning tool, DSM was able to significantly ramp up its mission to “Learn Together, Grow Together”. Learning content creation became a much quicker and cost-effective process, as subject matter experts within DSM started taking learning into their own hands. The quality of the learning materials created also significantly increased as people moved away from creating 50+ slide PowerPoint presentations and started using Easygenerator instead. DSM is now finally able to leverage the expertise of its own people to build new skills, retain critical knowledge in the organization, and create quality learning experiences across teams.

savings per course

DSM had a clear learning strategy – they just needed the right tool to implement it. Since the ability to self-author learning content was a part of this strategy, Easygenerator was introduced as the company’s go-to e-learning authoring tool. The onboarding was done in a phased approach, starting with specific subject matter experts and HR colleagues. Then, the tool was introduced to wider communities of SMEs and eventually the usage was widened across the organization. Today, there are over 100 authors using Easygenerator at DSM to create expert-led learning content. And this number is quickly growing – the organization saw a 30% increase in authors in the first month of 2023 alone. With so many experts-turned-authors and an easy-to-use authoring tool that seamlessly integrates with its LMS, DSM has seen a drastic decrease in time-to-market for its learning content – from months to just a few days. Having this growing pool of e-learning authors in-house has also meant that DSM is relying less on external vendors to create learning content, reducing their investment by up to €5,000 per course in some cases.

How DSM did it

DSM began using Easygenerator as a trial. They wanted to get a first-hand look at its full capabilities. After this positive initial experience, the team identified key communities of subject matter experts across the company who would benefit from the tool. They collaborated closely with these communities to continuously learn from their experience and feedback. With this valuable feedback, the team decided to run a pilot with Easygenerator and put together a 20-minute Easygenerator course on how to use the tool. During this pilot phase, the team focused on deploying the tool across the organization and were able to confirm its ease of use and positive impacts. The next stage is to continue to empower the use of and raise awareness about Easygenerator within the organization. As awareness of Easygenerator within DSM grows, DSM has seen a significant decrease in outsourced learning materials and employees are proactive about reaching out to Derek and his team to start using Easygenerator to create their own learning materials. They are truly living their learning philosophy by trying something new and sharing what works.

Derek Bruce
Global Lead of Learning and Performance Management Strategy
“As soon as people find out about Easygenerator, they immediately come to us to start using it.”
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