Meeting the needs of a pan-European network via the Ford Foundation

by | Oct 31, 2009 | Case Studies, Evidence for Change

We are pleased to include the story of how Ford has met the training needs of their pan-European network of dealers as part of Towards Maturity’s Evidence for Change programme.

Not only has there been great uptake (c45,000 hours of e-learning completed to date) plus 93% of key messaging fully understood by learners, but there has also been great feedback on the impact on the business itself:

Ford  is getting more business results from their investment:

  • 81% of sales people believe that e-learning helps them sell vehicles in the pre-launch stage
  • Sales people completing the e-learning have recorded 2.4 additional car sales per year compared to those who do not undertake the e-learning.

And that’s been achieved with less resource than before:

  • reduced training time for learners to be certified as ‘fully trained’ from 37 months to 13 months
  • per capita training cost reduced by c74%

The Business challenge

With over 20,000 sales consultants in 21 countries across Europe, Ford knew they needed a better way to both train and communicate to their network of dealers, while at the same time reducing costs. LINE Communications were the chosen partner to help implement ‘The Learning Centre’. A key challenge with the implementation was to make access as easy as possible for employees in the dealerships. This was achieved through a ‘single sign-on’ access via the Internet as well as through Ford of Europe’s ‘Dealer Portal’ which already provided access to key dealer applications. Ford originally asked LINE to validate their strategy to create an online dealer learning and communications portal that would:

  • do away with the need for printing thousands of expensive product binders
  • better prepare staff for Ford of Europe classroom training and launch events
  • reinforce the content and messages from the classroom courses and new car launch events
  • improve communications between Ford of Europe and the sales staff employed by local dealers (the vast majority of which are not owned by Ford)

The solution

Ford also stated that the solution should include the ability to localise translated content quickly and efficiently in the individual markets. The solution needed to avoid the traditional, lengthy and iterative process of releasing versions of localised content into the markets for review and amendment cycles.

To ensure successful uptake, LINE designed and produced a communications campaign directed at both national sales companies (NSCs) and dealers, and they also worked alongside the technology partner for the Learning Centre to develop a set of best practice guidelines for content development.

The project was successfully completed in less that 12 months with more than 90% take-up by the target group of 20,000 dealer sales consultants and the Learning Centre is now used to deliver e-learning that supports all new vehicle product launches, as well as foundation training and ‘just in time’ communication material. The audience has expanded beyond sales to include after-sales and technical dealer staff and interestingly the Learning Centre has increased new car sales on some models: those consultants who successfully completed training courses outsold those who didn’t by an average of more than two cars per year.

The results

A significant volume of evaluation has been undertaken to measure the success and the impact of The Learning Centre and here’s just a flavour:

  • c45,000 hours of e-learning completed to date
  • reduced training time for learners to be certified as ‘fully trained’ from 37 months to 13 months
  • 93% of key messaging fully understood by learners
  • per capita training cost reduced by c74%
  • 81% of sales people believe that e-learning helps them sell vehicles in the pre-launch stage
  • sales people completing the e-learning have recorded 2.4 additional car sales per year compared to those who do not undertake the e-learning.

Now that’s impressive!

The project, known as the Ford Foundation Programme is making a significant contribution to Ford of Europe and we’d like to thank LINE Learning & Communications for providing this story.

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