Vista from Volvo
Volvo International Service Training Award is a biennial competitive event about brushing skills and scaling up knowledge.
Volvo International Service
Training Award is a biennial competitive event about brushing skills and scaling up knowledge.
Volvo International Service Training Award (VISTA) began as a competition for Volvo technicians in Sweden in 1957. Over the years it has grown to become a global event that is held once every two years. Attracting technicians from markets around the world that Volvo is present in, VISTA has come to be one of the most regarded events in the CV industry. It attracted 17000 technicians from 93 countries in 2012-13. Reaching the final stage after the completion of a world semi-final at Goteborg, Sweden, in April, the final VISTA championship this year was held in late June at Curitiba, Brazil. Organised by both, the truck and the bus business vertical, VISTA at Curitiba saw 5,200 teams come together. These comprised of over 19000 participants from 125 markets around the globe. Focusing on knowledge and technical skills, in theory and in practical, the participants were gauged for their abilities.
They were also gauged for their abilities to improvise the service personnel’s ability to work as a team and improve customer service. Terming the event as big, Dinakar B, Senior Vice President, Volvo Trucks, expressed, “The sheer size and magnitude of VISTA has ensured that thousands of people across the world get an opportunity to upgrade their skills and do better at what what they have been doing.” Recording a growth of 18 to 20 per cent edition upon edition (16,500 participants registered for 2016-16 event), VISTA, from a technical perspective, covers complete vehicle architecture.
Focusing on 14 different areas of development, which includes hard and soft products from powertrain, electrical systems, chassis parts, transmission, super structure, coach builder to Dynafleet telematics, VISTA helps to analyse the weak areas that need to be addressed through specific training. Working on six essential elements that include communication, system knowledge, understanding, questions, time investment, practice and learning, the championship provides a platform to highlight experience and absorb as much information as is possible. Reaching out to almost every market that Volvo is present in, VISTA, in about two decades, has attracted not just authorised dealers, but also service personnel. It was in 2007 that Volvo scaled up the event. It expanded the reach of the event beyond Europe and turned it into a competitive championship for service personnel. Stated Dinakar, “From the very beginning, the championship is about people, their learning and the ability to compete. What they do, creates a competitive spirit. It puts the spotlight on team building. It is a team competition rather than an event for individuals.” Opining that the Volvo Group has no influence on who forms a team, Dinakar said, “it is the competitive spirit that channelises efforts.” About team strength as much as it is about identifying who best does what function, VISTA reflects Volvo’s investment towards what its customers most appreciate. A window to the training imparted at Volvo to upskill, VISTA is an effective tool to motivate and inspire employees, said Dinakar.
A novel way to value the hard work its network carries out across the world, the VISTA championship could have a team formation that varies in size between two and four people. Attention is paid towards acquiring members that can lead to a good skill balance. Diversity is given precedence with a view that the team should be able to address any challenge the competition throws at them. May it be related to spares, or to warranties. The format of the championship is prepared at the Volvo headquarters in Sweden. The Curitiba championship for example was divided into four parts. A result of a study spanning 10 to 12 months to ensure no staleness finds its way in, the Curitiba championship involved two rounds that gauged the theoretical knowledge of the participants. There were two rounds of Pit Stops that looked at e-learning. These were followed by the implementation of theoretical knowledge into
practical situations. Ensuring that the championship criteria is purely merit-based, Volvo Group, according to Dinakar, has made sure that no market gets to influence the way the event flows. “The time-lines remain the same. The competition is common for all markets, and the VISTA project team has full control in terms of how many teams qualify for the final round.” The registration call for the championship was floated on September 4, 2017, by Volvo. The first round started with the enrolment of 19000 participants. It was largely a theoretical round that comprised of 50 questions set at Sweden. Of the 50 questions, each team attempted a minimum of 20 per cent (35 questions).
Based on what is the current technological trend or what could be the technology in the future, questions are filtered out. Answers to the questions need to be sourced out of Volvo’s global application. This requires certain skill, quipped Dinakar. “What makes such an exercise important is that a technician would have to attend to a vehicle that is ‘fully-built’ import,” he mentioned. A week of Pit Stop challenge followed the first round. It gauged the ability to self-initiate. The challenge comprised of 20 questions with a focus on handling a situation under pressure, and to rope in resources to resolve the problem in prescribed time. A time of one week included e-learning. The technician could learn about issues related to electronic architecture, and the effects of power management of trucks. The Pit Stop challenge was again followed by three weeks of theoretical knowledge test, albeit more complex. Round two was followed by a second Pit Stop challenge with emphasis on e-learning. Before moving to the semi-finals, Volvo organised a preparatory camp for the participants. “There is much change in terms of the environment across the diversified Indian market. Since it is an exhaustive program, we ensure that the teams are prepared,” said Dinakar.
Except for the preparatory camp, the championship follows a global format. Of the 1043 participants from India, two teams qualified for the world finals according to Dinakar. These were team Iron Knight and team Jalangate. At the semi-final stage that took place at the Volvo Truck Experience Center (VTEX) in Sweden between April 9 and April 27, 2018, 1000 participants comprising of 231 teams made it to the finals. The semi-final stage was divided into six tasks of 25 minutes each, and looked at co-ordination of resources using Volvo techniques without focusing on any particular emission norms. Defining these tasks as generic in nature, and applicable to over 90 per cent of the markets, Dinakar averred, “Fourty teams qualified for the finals out of the 230 semi-finalists.” In Group 8, the Indian teams Iron Knight and Jalangate qualified to go to the finals held between June 25 and June 29, 2018 at Curitiba. Team ‘Viies Ratas’ from Estonia won the VSITA 2018 championship at Curitiba, earning in the process certificates that will influence the careers of the team members, and a much coveted trophy.
⇧ VISTA championship provides a platform to highlight the experience of the service personnel.
⇩ Participation from India comprised of 1043 personnel and 267 teams.
⇨ Team Iron Knight from India was one of the two teams that qualified for the VISTA finals.
⇩ Team Viies Ratas from Estonia won the championship at Curitiba, Brazil.