European Automotive OEMs cite e-Learning as Driver of Dealerships Results

By Piet-Jan van Gerwen

European automotive manufacturers have high expectations from their technology-enabled dealer training efforts and e-learning doesn’t disappoint. The findings, reported in Spotlight on Automotive: Driving Innovation in Dealership Training for the Automotive Sector, are based on a survey of 44 automotive manufacturers across 19 European nations and shows how e-learning played a significant role in increasing training efficiency.

In addition to the highlights shared in our previous post on the topic, the report demonstrates there was virtual unanimity among automotive manufacturers in their desire to achieve three goals through adopting new learning technologies:

  1. Increase learning access and flexibility
  2. Increase the sharing of good practices, and
  3. Improve customer satisfaction

On the crucial goal of improving customer satisfaction, 40 percent of Automotive OEMs reported success. E-learning played an even bigger role in increasing training efficiency, with 54 percent of respondents stating they achieved their goal. What areas are proving the most productive applications for e-learning approaches in the automotive sector?

  • Implementing new processes or new products was by far the most effective application of e-learning technology, with 73 percent of OEMs finding success here.
  • Informing customers and suppliers of new products and services was also a high-yield area, delivering results 65 percent of the time for those that tried it.

Other promising results automotive dealers cited include:

  • Developing a better qualified workforce
  • Increasing on-the-job productivity
  • Improving learning management and administration, and
  • Improving quality and consistency of the learning experience

Each of these delivered the expected results for almost half of the manufacturers responding to the survey.

Overall, the findings are very encouraging. Learning technology offers boundless potential to drive business results through dealerships – especially when you consider two things. The first is getting results via new technologies is in itself a learning process; and the fact that 40 percent of respondents achieved positive results on their first attempt bodes well for the future. As best practices are advanced over the coming years, those rates will no doubt increase significantly.

The second factor is the maturity of e-learning investment among European automotive manufacturers. While a significant proportion of companies are devoting the lion’s share of their budgets to technology-driven learning programmes, 36 percent of our respondents dedicate less than 10% of their budget to it.

This suggests that the future is wide open when it comes to delivering greater productivity, efficiency and profitability by continuing to apply technology solutions to the learning and development dimension of the automotive industry.

Does your business have a dedicated plan in place for increasing e-learning options? Have you already rolled this out to your workforce? Were the results what you expected? We look forward to hearing your comments on this topic.

Piet-Jan Van Gerwen is EMEA Director of Business Development Commercial Segment for Raytheon Professional Services LLC (RPS). He is responsible for expanding RPS’ business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Piet-Jan has spent the last 25 years in the learning industry leading various areas of the training value chain, including learning design and development, training operations and learning technology.