With 240 dealers displaying the Saab logo nationwide, Saab Cars USA takes its technical and sales training responsibilities very seriously. Facing enormous pressure to meet faster new model introduction cycles and ever-more-complex training needs, Saab turned to CyberU and its Cornerstone OnDemand solution to deliver a rapidly deployable and scalable solution.
Due to the limitations of a prior learning management system (LMS) and Saab’s business requirement to employ an ASP solution that would offer complete and flexible LMS functionality without an IT or personnel burden, combined with a rapidly approaching deadline for the purchase and implementation of a new LMS, Saab needed a product that met all requirements of its extensive requirements proposal and could be fully operational within a very short time period. Prior to selecting the automated solution, Saab had been delivering both technical and sales training through a variety of methods including paper-based materials, CD-ROM and instructor-led training (ILT) at regional and national training centers. The absence of a universal standard, as evidenced by the use of these multiple platforms for learning, prevented the company from fully coordinating training among its vast network of in-house and extended enterprise representatives. Saab’s executive team charged Saab training with reducing delivery and travel costs for the corporate and enterprise network, while increasing training opportunity and minimizing the delivery time for new product training.
Additionally, Saab’s universe consisted of corporate users and employees as well as a network of independent dealers and service departments who were not a part of the company’s computer network. Saab did have a closed intranet dealer communication system, but training could not utilize that avenue due to security and bandwidth considerations. The company wanted to quickly develop and deliver meaningful training outside of the corporate domain, but to accomplish this, it required a 100 percent online solution with the goal of migrating all training materials over time. Saab maintained the desire to conduct blended learning utilizing the LMS as a curriculum administrator for e-course delivery and ILT registration.
Initially, Saab utilized an out-of-the-box ASP solution to deliver pre-developed courseware to get learners used to the e-learning concept. Saab continued to deliver product training via ILT during the transition period. Once the learning team got to the point of developing and delivering Saab-specific e-learning, it began to recognize the need for a more customizable LMS solution.
Cornerstone OnDemand was chosen for its flexibility and simple design. Because of Cornerstone’s open architecture, Saab was able to integrate 80,000 records from its current dealer communication system, and proprietary content was transferred into the new system with ease. Additionally, the new system’s Web interface allowed Saab administrators to customize the system to meet individual dealership needs. In addition, since Cornerstone is a Web-based service, Saab’s entire extended enterprise had immediate access to the application from any Internet connection.
As a part of its best practices implementation process, CyberU helped Saab achieve a successful rapid deployment through the use of a targeted and phased rollout. By targeting the most critical functionality for its business and migrating to an online solution one training medium at a time, Saab is able to utilize the full benefits each Cornerstone module provides.
In the end, Saab was successful in meeting its three-week deployment deadline, and was able to implement the new system without creating additional stress on the organization. With Cornerstone, Saab was able to return a total of 34,461 hours to its network, which translates into a total of 4,308 days saved at an average of 20 days per dealership. As a result, Saab’s sales force was trained in a fraction of the time learning used to require, allowing more time on the sales floor and the sale of an additional 846 automobiles.
Today, Saab continues to expand its use into other modules of the LMS and has recently deployed the ILT module to manage classroom training across the extended enterprise. The migration to a blended e-learning approach utilizing a flexible LMS solution in an ASP environment has allowed Saab to deliver effective training to the entire enterprise faster and cheaper with less corporate staff and reduced travel and downtime for the enterprise.
Randy Risley is the national training manager for Saab Cars USA, based out of the GM Service Parts Organization in Warren, Mich. Randy and his team stay focused on delivering critical product training prior to vehicle launch and throughout the product life cycle. Randy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.