Vista from Volvo

Volvo In­ter­na­tional Ser­vice Train­ing Award is a bi­en­nial com­pet­i­tive event about brush­ing skills and scal­ing up knowl­edge.

Commercial Vehicle - - CONTENTS - Story by: Anirudh Ra­heja

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.

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