Lifelong learning is mandatory today, also for the around 63,000 employees at the household appliance manufacturer BSH. New, digital learning formats give them a playful understanding of challenging topics, such as value stream organization, and whet their appetite for more.
An avatar sits at the beach bar and has a lively conversation with his colleague. Both are executives in an international corporation, one works in Germany, the other in India. Their employer sent them to an island for further training. Several stages have been set up on the beach, on which the individual contents of their seminar are presented by means of films, quiz formats or lectures. Sun loungers under palm trees invite them to linger.
What looks like a computer game is actually part of a new learning experience at BSH, Europe’s leading manufacturer of household appliances (including the brands Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff). “We send our managers to this virtual island so that they can continue their education in value stream organization,” says Dr. Arnd Schöfer, Head of Business Excellence at BSH. So far, the further training took place as a classic classroom training; the content was conveyed to individual groups in workshops and with PowerPoint presentations. “Functional excellence is very important to us in manufacturing household appliances, and that applies to production as well as to engineering, quality management and logistics. But that always harbors the risk that the functional units work in silos,” says Schöfer. “The value stream organization connects employees of the functional units with the responsibility for a defined value stream (e.g. hobs, washing machines, etc.). These value stream teams are led by the value stream manager. He is responsible for achieving the goals in the value stream and can lead and focus the specialists from the functions accordingly. The teams in all locations should work according to the same principles and methods in order to efficiently manufacture the products ‘on time’ in the defined quantity and quality for the customer.”
Dr. Arnd Schöfer
Head of Business Excellence
BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
Platform enables exchange across national borders
Although the globally distributed production teams exchange information regularly, joint face-to-face training is not so easy to implement. The new learning experience should now further improve the exchange across national borders. “The first feedback after the pilot phase was very good,” is Arnd Schöfer’s interim assessment. “With the virtual training, we have awakened a great willingness among our colleagues to deal with this important topic in a playful way.”
The training presented above is just one example, many more could follow. BSH also relies on learning in the digital space in the area of value stream analysis in the digital space. “The training is important in order to be able to read and interpret information and material flows end-to-end in practice,” says Alexander Fuchs from the Bosch Production System at BSH. However, a real exercise on site has so far often disrupted the production process in the factory, employees had to be available to show the learning groups around. All this is eliminated with the virtual tour.
Image: © BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
Joint product of software specialists and value stream experts
As with the value stream organization, BSH also cooperated with Staufen and Rooom‘s software developers on the value stream analysis. Together, they developed the two learning formats: The software specialists programmed the virtual environment for the value stream organization. For the value stream mapping, they produced a 360-degree tour of the factory in Traunreut (Germany). After being welcomed by an avatar, the participants can walk through the digital image of the factory, similar to Google Street View, and view the production in detail. The Staufen experts developed the concept and contributed the learning content in both cases. BSH, Staufen and Rooom quickly found themselves on the same wavelength, and the first two modules for the digital cloud-based learning platform, the virtual BSH campus in Traunreut, were ready for use within a few months.
Image: © BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
BSH Production System
BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
“Digital whiteboards, teams and PowerPoint are boring for the TikTok generation. We have to use technology to pick them up where they are,” production expert Fuchs is convinced of this. “The digital learning platform can be used worldwide,” explains Guido Gratza, a partner at Staufen in the area of organizational development and responsible for creating the learning content. “Employees are not tied to any time or place. They can learn on their own responsibility and independently, when and where they want.” BSH manager Schöfer adds: “The opportunity to see other employees and talk to them also ensures a better learning experience.”
If the new learning experience continues to be so well received by BSH employees, it is very likely that the offer will be expanded to other subject areas. And BSH in-house consultant Fuchs has already received many inquiries from the parent company Bosch.
billion € turnover
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