Quick facts about G&J Pepsi: 

  • Industry: Bottling
  • HQ: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Established: 1925
  • Web: www.gjpepsi.com


G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. is the largest family-owned Pepsi franchise bottler in the United States. Over the past 95 years, the company has built a strong ‘family’ culture focused on community, customers and employees.

To maintain this identity in the modern world, G&J Pepsi has embarked on an extensive digital transformation program with Microsoft 365 as its centerpiece. An ambitious and passionate learning & communications team was tasked to help drive employee development to the next level and cultivate technology-based change through training.

The team sought a learning platform that would align to the company’s digital roadmap and support the needs of a frontline workforce who were predominantly based outside the traditional office. The new platform had to serve as the foundation of a robust learning and development ecosystem and culture.

We’re transforming the business through learning with Learn365. To roll out a system that employees are genuinely engaging with is truly exciting. Our leaders care about our employees and we want to continue to see them grow”


Finding the best learning platform to fit G&J Pepsi’s culture and engagement strategy was time-consuming. Liz Gradwohl reflects:

“Above all we wanted a platform that would evolve with us and be flexible, while also handling the compliance needs of our business. We needed a rapid rollout and quick adoption by 1,600 learners, many of whom do not come into the office. It also needed to handle a variety of content including both SCORM and non-SCORM material and integrate seamlessly with Microsoft 365.”

The team met with more than 15 LMS providers before finally finding Learn365. “The pieces just fit!” says Michelle Howard, Communications & Engagement Specialist and continues:

Learn365 aligned with everything else we were doing with Microsoft 365. When we found a platform that integrated so easily with our existing communications reporting systems and it had a mobile app, it was really a no-brainer.

Liz Gradwohl adds: “Learn365 has an agile development schedule and an ambitious roadmap that really resonated with us.”


  • Rolled out to all 1,600 employees in a few weeks
  • Consolidated over 2,000 pieces of learning content
  • New orientation experience for new hires

Learn365 has made an immediate impact on annual compliance training. Liz Gradwohl comments:

In the past we had to hound employees to complete their annual compliance training, but after only four months in the Learn365 system, 70% of learners have completed it. This is a huge leap compared to past years.”

Not only was training completed quicker, but for the first time, employees have access to nearly 2,000 pieces of learning content in one place. Another immediate win is the reporting capabilities that deliver impactful training insights for managers. Liz Gradwohl explains:

“We’ve used Power BI to provide managers with easy insight into who on their team has completed training and who hasn’t.”

Not only is training status available through many filters; course types, office location, progression, etc., it also provides real-time, actionable data.

#MyFirstDay, the new-hire orientation course, was also a big success. For the first time in company history, the orientation process provides a comprehensive learning approach that includes digital resources and can easily be tracked, highlighting the transformational change the company is achieving.

Now, new employees get up-to-speed quicker while enjoying a great onboarding experience. Liz Gradwohl says:

“Our new hires now get the same training across all our locations and ensure they are provided the safety tools they need before they step into their roles. We’ve noticed adoption getting stronger every day. We’ve seen great progress and that’s just going to continue.”


We’re really excited about the future as the possibilities to use Learn365 are endless!” says Liz Gradwohl. Next steps include adding more custom content and building new digital learning events for their managers. They also hope to certify subject matter experts as “Training Captains” to start creating their own localized content, anchoring the learning culture within the business even further.

As G&J Pepsi continues on its digital transformation journey, there are also plans to integrate Learn365 within Microsoft Teams. Other initiatives include using Learn365 for more blended learning events, using the tools in SharePoint to connect company news and information to the Learn365 portal, extending certification to other expertise areas, and scaling-up gamification. Liz Gradwohl also sees huge possibilities to extend the use of Power BI.

“We want to link our learning data with our business data and connect the dots. We want to create reports that show the impact training has on reducing accidents or increasing sales.”


G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Inc. is the largest family-owned Pepsi franchise bottler in the United States. Sparked by the entrepreneurial spirit of two women, Nell Gross and Esther Jarson, the company was founded in 1925 and has built its success on family values. 1,600 employees are located across 10 locations in Ohio and Kentucky, bottling, distributing, and marketing over 30 different products for over four million consumers each year.