The buzz is all about Web 2.0, and Chrysler LLC isn’t just talking about it anymore. It is on the verge of incorporating it into everyday learning. Chrysler Academy, which provides training to the company’s 200,000 dealership employees and field personnel, soon will unveil discussion forums, blogs and wikis that will further the learning experience.
But before these tools can become part and parcel of learning, the organization must ensure the process has no hiccups. As a result, the academy will roll out these applications to dealers and field personnel in phases and, to start, all material will be reviewed before it is published.
“It’s introducing a totally different concept into a 90-year business model,” said Bob Hoyer, Chrysler’s strategy and learning center manager. “We’re changing the business model by introducing collaboration across markets, towns and countries, so we want to step, [not] run.”
Chrysler will use Latitude’s 3.0 release of the Learning Center LMS that wraps an LMS application with a commercial content management system to develop these collaborative efforts.
One of the greatest challenges in this process has been consolidating all of Chrysler Academy’s training content and resources. With a talent shortage on the horizon, Hoyer saw Web 2.0 as the best approach for capturing retirees’ knowledge and passing it on to the younger generation.
“This is Bob’s theory and Bob’s theory only,” Hoyer explained. “With the onset of retirees coming, we are going to see a large turnover. Based on the statistics that have been [sent] out by several government departments, by 2015, there’s going to be a large gap. In order to take the product knowledge of our current experts and give it to the future, you have to have some sort of mechanism. Social tools are the greatest mechanism to grab that knowledge and give experiences to those who don’t have them yet.”
Chrysler built a prototype of the application with Web 2.0 tools, and the academy hopes to roll out the system to field personnel first and then to the dealership populace by the end of the year.
“We want to be customer-first, we want to hit our revenue targets, and we want to help our sales people do the best job they can, so we want to give them the most tools we can,” Hoyer said.Filed under: Technology