Owning the transformation with Volvo Cars

The company

Volvo Cars is a global automotive manufacturer. Their Head Office is based in Sweden and oversees approximately 3,400 dealerships operating in over 100 countries. Their training programmes deliver high-quality, learner-specific training to over 57,000 learners across these dealerships, ensuring quality and consistency across the global group and providing the foundation for the brand’s elevation to the premium sector.

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The business need

Volvo’s primary business objective was to implement a Learning Management System (LMS) that would support the brand in changing their positioning within the marketplace to a leading premium brand where safety, quality and care for the environment represent the 3 core values.

Needing to enhance overall dealership capability, the business also had several new product lines in development to support this mission so needed an LMS that would allow them to distribute training on these new products on a global scale. For Volvo, it was more important than ever that all dealers,

regardless of their country or dealer group, received and completed this training and gained consistent quality certification as they began their journey to transform market perceptions.

The previous system’s limitations had led to fragmentation within the business, as L&D teams in different countries were procuring their own systems to distribute their training, leading to a lack of centralised reporting and a siloed attitude. Volvo Cars therefore needed a system that was powerful but simple to use, capable of operating across territories in multiple languages and that allowed regional L&D teams to create specific training within the one multinational LMS.

“We didn’t just want a standard web-based training solution; we wanted something that could be tailored to our business. The look and feel of their system for the learner is their best feature.”

Key requirements

  • Ease of use was a crucial priority. Volvo needed a 3-click solution from login to learning that would allow users and administrators to find whatever they needed quickly and simply.
  • Countries and dealer groups needed the ability to create and distribute their own training, locally and securely within the LMS.
  • Reporting was another essential key feature, for compliance at a country level, and so that Volvo Cars could ensure their dealer standards and competences were being met globally.

It was important for Volvo Cars to partner with an organisation who understood their brand aspirations, an organisation who were not just supplying learning technology, but who understood the project’s wider significance in repositioning Volvo Cars as a premium, quality brand.

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The solution

After evaluating several LMS providers, Volvo selected Redware’s empowered LMS. They were impressed both with the additional functionality and service available for the same investment as their previous system, and with Redware’s approach to the technology partnership.

The powerful functionality combined with ease of use was the main reason why Volvo Cars decided empowered LMS was right for them. The Learning Management System utilises advanced techniques such as machine learning that provides users with a personalised learning zone, showing only learning that is relevant for their next stage progression within their job role and country.

Having developed previous Learning Management Systems for the automotive industry, the Redware team understood the unique assessment needs of dealers and provided tools to assess all roles’ practical skills as well as knowledge-checking assessments.

Volvo Cars also found that the multi-faceted view of the same system was exactly what they needed to solve the problems they were facing in tying together the needs of L&D teams in the Head Office, different countries, and different dealer groups. They were able to solve all these diverse needs within one user-friendly system.

“We were looking for a learning management system and learning competence management system and we were looking at seven different suppliers. As a result of the answers to our questions, we had two suppliers left. We went to a meeting to see their solutions and with the other company it was a standard solution. We were going to be one company out of banks, pharmacies or whatever. In this case, if we went for Redware we would be able to modify the system for our needs.”

“I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s easy to work with, especially on the learner side. That’s the main reason we decided to go for it. With our 3-click rule it’s easy to find what I’m looking for.”

Volvo Cars needed an LMS partner organisation of the same calibre as the organisation they were becoming, to repair relationships with dealers and to generate buy-in to the aspirational brand positioning that would be supported and distributed via the new LMS.

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The Redware approach

Redware work with all their customers to develop learning technology that works for them. For Volvo Cars, the partnership began with Redware undertaking a sustained deep-dive analysis. 

Everybody in the Redware team was involved in becoming an extension of Volvo Cars’ L&D team and didn’t limit their involvement to pure technological solutions. Redware’s CEO spent 2 weeks in North America, embedding and promoting the solution to bring dealers back in using one centralised LMS and realising all its benefits.

The team also completed a large-scale data migration project as part of the LMS integration to ensure Volvo got the most benefit from their new technology. They restructured outdated data and brought it into line with the new business model, trimmed unneeded data and consolidated courses with multiple languages into one single course to radically reduce management overhead and provide continuity of reporting across the whole business.

“During this time, the Redware team lived and breathed Volvo, with team members seconded to Volvo’s offices and a Solutions Architecture team devoted entirely to developing the right technology for Volvo. As well as completing an analysis between empowered LMS and the incumbent LMS, the team overlaid Volvo Cars’ vision and learning strategy for the next 5 years and developed any bespoke customisations needed to achieve this vision.

Redware’s flexibility and ability to tailor solutions extended to financing the new Learning Management System; this bespoke technology was delivered to the same budget as Volvo’s previous LMS, and the implementation costs spread over the 3 years of the contract. Moving to empowered LMS has reduced Volvo’s total cost of ownership in their Learning Management System.

“The customer service was good; they were sympathetic to our needs...Everyone was working day and night to make sure everything happened and that impressed me. There was good communication. We had emails back and forth, regular phone meetings and face to face meetings. The contact was constant.”

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The results

Redware has supported Volvo Cars in their journey to become a recognised premium brand. In 2017, Volvo’s global sales grew over twice as fast as the industry average and their Customer Service Index score rose to 793/1000, keeping them in the top 3 automotive brands for customer satisfaction.

Learner engagement rose by 64% when Volvo Cars implemented empowered LMS, and Volvo learners have completed over 1.6 million courses in empowered LMS. Volvo Cars also have better reporting than ever before, and can analyse training compliance at group, national and international levels, with relevant reports generated for each area of their extended enterprise. They can also demonstrate the improvement training is having on real business outcomes including reducing staff turnover within their dealer network.

Another benefit of empowered LMS for Volvo was the fact that it is global by design and allows for simple management of multi-lingual learning. Unlike in many Learning Management Systems, one course can be presented in as many languages as needed, reducing the number of courses and associated reports by up to 95% in some instances.

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“In the past, other systems were capable of reports, but not to the same extent as the current system. For instance, I can go deeper in to find out the exact details in a launch assessment for a dealership now. By seeing the full details, we can ensure the control of the quality of knowledge of our technicians.”