Auto Service World
News   July 21, 2005   by Auto Service World

On-Line Training Delivery Spurs Change in Thinking


University of Toyota’s John Saia says that on-line training is a real boon in terms of cost and time savings, but there are important things to consider.
Speaking at the Automotive Aftermarket e-forum wrapping up today in Chicago, Ill., Saia says that for those who embark on similar initiatives, it is about more than just a different way of delivering information.
"You will be undergoing a culture change. What you are doing is transferring the responsibility for training to the learner.
"What gets measured is what gets done," he says. "And we have the ability to know who has been naughty and who has been nice." More importantly, however, the way that training modules are structured is important to the success of a program.
"We keep modules under 30 minutes," he says. Any longer and you lose the individual. "And we inlude a test at the end of each module–10 questions are typical." The tests, patterned on the ASE style of question, are scored instantly and results are tracked. "We use this to drive certification."
While questions about what level of Internet access should be required at the launch of the program a few years ago, Saia says that Toyota opted for rich content that would require a high-speed network. The company accepted the fact that not every dealer in the network had on-site capabilities at that time, but were confident that it would help to convince dealers of the need to get that capability.
Saia says that car dealers, where these modules are being delivered, needed to understand another change that this new method of training delivery raises. While the dealer technician might have previously been sent to a training program offsite and compensated for that time, the time spent in training wasn’t necessarily viewed the same way by the dealer. Technicians, however, did expect to be compensated for the time they had to spend off the floor.
The argument made to dealers why they should accept this was compelling.
With the system, Toyota dealers have saved $30 million in gross profit, saved 30,000 training days, and removed the need for 240,000 training seats.
"Think about that and think about the capacity that that saves."


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