No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Case Study: Ford Revs Up Staff Development with E-Learning


Ford Motor Company has rolled out an e-learning portfolio to its franchisees to help ensure consistency of training among a potential audience of 225,000 employees.

Recently celebrating its 100th anniversary, Ford Motor Company is one of the world's leading consumer companies for automotive products and services. The company’s major brands include household names such as Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, and Hertz. The company's North American Marketing, Sales, and Service division is responsible for supporting domestic Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships. As part of this division, the company's Retailer Education and Training group, which consists of 35 trainers, project managers, and curriculum designers, is responsible for supporting the non-technical training needs of 225,000 employees in this dealer channel.

The Business Challenge
To ensure consistency in service amongst its franchisees, Ford has developed competency models for each of the management and non-management roles across the following operational areas:
* New vehicle sales
* Used vehicle sales
* Service
* Finance and Insurance
* Parts

The Need for Scale
Building content in these areas is not a core competency of the Retailer Education and Training group. The professionals in this group are largely responsible for designing training that is proprietary to Ford Motor Company's vehicles. Therefore, the company immediately knew that buying from a training vendor was the only option. With a possible audience of 225,000 professionals in dealerships across the continent, Chuck Seilnacht, manager of dealership curriculum design/development, highlighted the company’s need for a scalable, consistent learning solution that allows dealers to pay a fixed fee to Ford Motor Company for services such as education.

Ford sought an e-learning solution since it could more easily scale to the various locations for the required competencies. The company investigated a number of providers, but ultimately chose Thomson NETg, a company it had already been working with for 10 years.

Solution Implementation
Thomson NETg made its entire library available to dealer employees within two weeks of approval from Ford's procurement unit. Retailer Education and Training have communicated availability of 100 online courses in this library based on the curriculum gaps discussed earlier. It promotes availability of training to dealer employees mainly through direct mail of print materials, including a magazine called Frontline.

Thomson NETg hosts its courseware, which can be accessed off the dealership portal, Employees are free to explore the courses they and/or their managers believe would benefit their on-the-job performance. Registrations and course progress are tracked at the dealership level. Today, flat files are ported from the host to Retailer Education and Training's internally developed LMS to show student registrations, and to track progress through courses.

Programme Results
Retailer Education and Training is now in its third year. The hosted courseware library has enabled Ford Motor Company to offer a professional development curriculum that addresses all non-technical competencies needed in its North American dealer channel.

Through the first 5 months of 2004, there were 704 active dealership users and 549 successful course completions.

Lessons Learned and Near-Term Plans
* Plan for System Configuration Challenges - Since the program delivery is through desktop computers, it is important that local computers are equipped with the right hardware and software for e-learning course delivery. Although not a significant problem for Ford, a company official suggested that e-learning program managers should ensure that computers are properly configured and provide adequate help desk support when users have trouble.

* Plan to be Proactive when Promoting Internally – Retailer Education and Training has noticed spikes in usage following print communications of the courseware's availability to dealer employees. Although the company is satisfied with the return on its investment in the courseware, it realizes that internal promotions are critical to driving usage and value from the learning content. The company is considering developing non-technical certification paths so that employees and managers think of training and development as core to performing their jobs more effectively and advancing their careers. The company is also considering leveraging the marketing expertise of Thomson NETg to help develop awareness and to coordinate a comprehensive employee communications strategy.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!