E-learning In Automobile Industry – New Report

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Last week Towards Maturity published its latest report on e-learning adoption, utilization & effects in the European automobile industry. I worked in the automobile industry for a few years in the early part of my professional life. I remember attending a large number of classroom training sessions and video based training using VHS players which at the time were the only technology assisted learning at that time –between 1997 & 2000.  So I was quite keen to see what the report had to say about the state of learning technology use in the industry today.

From our discussion and previous experience with the sector, we already know that technology adoption had been strong amongst most of the larger auto players. Especially the 2005 ford escape pcm models. Interestingly just last month we were discussing a potential blended solution around our mobile learning platform Upside2Go for delivering a focused year long program for the heads of extended enterprise of a large European automaker.

The report is available for a free download here. Some of the points highlighted in the report’s executive summary are:

1. Drivers for the sector to invest in learning technologies are efficiency improvement in L&D, Improved quality of learning and learning outcomes, and improved business agility (response time, product roll outs, etc)

2. Technologies used are more likely for bespoke self paced content, administration and delivery, and targeting learning interventions. The sector has shown less inclination towards virtual classrooms, mobile learning, off-the-shelf e-learning programs, social media, and podcasting.

3. Content strategies reveal 50% of organizations produce 50% of their bespoke elearning using rapid tools, 50% of them having to make training in multiple languages, and the sector e-nabling twice the amount of formal training than average

4. Benefits when compared with benchmark averages show that the sector involves a higher proportion of their staff in elearning initiatives (69% vs. 57%), achieves greater saving in study time (27% vs. 22%), and achieves fewer costs savings (10% vs. 18%)

5. Barriers to learning technologies adoption in the sector is still the ICT infrastructure and access

6. Budgets for training have increased over last 2 years despite a recessionary trend and are likely to continue to increase. Proportion allocated to learning technologies is also expected to increase.

I’m very pleased to see the sector’s uptake of learning technologies and hope it continues to be strong in future. I think the higher focus on formal learning has got something to with a:

–  Higher proportion of blue collar workforce

–  Higher proportion of training involves engineering and technology related concepts

–  High reliance on following processes for manufacturing and Quality Control

Also with their products becoming very similar to one another’s, sales & customer care training is an area where this sector invests a lot. After all brand building is a very important area when products reach a commodity stage. We recently created an iPad app to showcase the new Toyota Yaris for its launch event in the UK earlier this year.

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