Employee development in the Metaverse: On the job training in BSH’s virtual campus
- Case Studies
Professional training and professional development are part of our everyday working lives. For many employees, there is now a choice between face-to-face seminars and online trainings. While live, face-to-face events usually involve travel costs and time, you can attend online formats from the comfort of your own home. Despite significant advancements of e-learning tools over the past few years, many formats still have potential drawbacks. These can include a lack of interaction, not enough personal exchange, and increased distraction due to external influences. Unfortunately, the lack of social aspects in particular has a negative impact on the motivation of many learners.
So how can online training be designed to minimize these disadvantages? The BSH home appliances group, the leading manufacturer of home appliances in Europe, was also faced with this challenge. With approximately 63,000 employees around the world, there is a substantial need for in-house training and education.
When the pandemic hit, there was an increased demand for online training opportunities. And even after the pandemic subsided, people recognized the value of virtual upskilling programs and continued to use them. During the initial stage of the pandemic, online offers often consisted of web-based training, PowerPoint presentations and tools like MS Teams or Miroboards. However, these methods fell short of providing engaging interactive learning formats. Additionally, facilitating effective communication and collaboration among global teams posed a significant challenge that needed to be tackled.
BSH was aware that training in the digital space had to be designed differently than in reality. Gamified and interactive elements are a success factor for learning in the digital space. BSH aimed to create an in-house learning platform that is scalable, cloud-based, and ensures secure handling of sensitive data. “We want to break new ground as a trendsetter, reinvent smart learning and try out new things,” says Alexander Fuchs from BSH Production System. He understood the importance of reaching “Generation TikTok“ right where they are – in the digital environment. Enhancing user experiences and leveraging innovative technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality can be the key to engage future generations. It was particularly important to the project team that trainers could individually design their virtual training sessions. In doing so, they wanted to reach employees across the globe and ultimately minimize travel expenses associated with in-person trainings. “Our requirements included speedy data transfers and the flexibility to access the learning platform on different devices without requiring any installation,” says Alexander Fuchs.
This is where the BSH Startup Kitchen came into play – the corporate venture division at BSH works closely with startups to identify innovations and drive them forward within the BSH Group. Startup Kitchen’s market analysis put rooom on the radar as a leading provider of smart learning platforms. With its high-quality depiction of virtual environments, avatars and content, the Metaverse platform scored well and was used for the visual implementation. The ability to integrate existing data easily and seamlessly was yet another plus.
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Now it was time to start drawing up the concept for the digital training courses, which involved bringing the Staufen Akademie on board. The lean management and further education experts didactically prepared the learning content. The e-learning journey “Value Stream Organization” is aimed at approximately 400 managers worldwide who are responsible for an organizational transformation at several locations according to the same principles and methods, with virtual support throughout the process.
Another innovative training was the virtual value stream mapping, in which virtual factory tours are used to document information and material flows as well as processes. These are then visually presented in a value stream map, enabling managers and employees to effectively apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios.
In order to make the learning content easily available to BSH employees, rooomSpaces was used to create a Digital Twin of the physical BSH Campus Traunreut (in Bavaria/Germany). Once learners have created their personal avatars, they are welcomed by an avatar of the founder, Walter Mohr, at the virtual campus entrance. They will also find:
- Different 3D models of the products with explanatory annotations for the components
- The possibility to view individual objects in Augmented Reality (for example stove tops)
- On-demand learning paths covering various topics
- Learning videos and tutorials developed with the help of artificial intelligence
- Smart learning environments for collaborative live workshops (set on a virtual beach or in a forest)
- Optional access with Virtual Reality headset
- 360° tour of the BSH museum, where historical home appliances can be explored in 3D, and the product history is presented
- Virtual tours of different production halls in Traunreut to gain insights into processes and workflows
You can get an overview of the different possibilities in the trailer:
With rooom360, it was possible to create a learning path with multiple stations within the 360° factory tour. These stations incorporate interactive elements that deliver learning content related to workflows in the value streams at the BSH factory in Traunreut, for instance. Additionally, an expandable online whiteboard allows users to take notes simultaneously and directly record important findings. Each station also presents questions regarding previously learned topics. The content could easily be imported from existing courses into the rooom system.
Standards such as SCORM or xAPI enable interoperability between different learning management systems or learning experience platforms. Learning modules that follow such standards can be easily transferred from one learning platform to another. In this way, content can be reused or combined which reduces costs overall. Authentication for multiple systems via single sign-on can also be an option to integrate data. With a flexible platform like rooom, interfaces are versatile and compatible with a wide variety of systems.
With rooom’s interactive learning platform, BSH now has an innovative tool to bring online learning to life in a new and smart way. In the future, virtual trainings can be implemented in-house more easily, presenting significant potential for long-term cost reduction. Furthermore, the platform greatly expands the reach and makes trainings accessible to employees worldwide. Thanks to the 360° tours and 3D spaces, the museum, factory and campus in Traunreut are just a few clicks away, even for BSH employees in Asia. Managers from Germany and India are connected better than ever before and can exchange ideas via avatar at the virtual lounge on “Smart Learning Island”.
"The virtual campus is a great opportunity for BSH and for modern, cutting-edge learning for the future." – Kai Sponer, responsible for the BSH Global Learning Campus
AR, VR, AI – new technologies are being utilized and not solely because people want to follow a trend. The added value is already evident, for example, in an increased interest in the e-learning journey value stream organization and an increased willingness to learn, especially among the target group of digital natives. The platform offers a remarkably wide range of learning possibilities, facilitating both synchronous and asynchronous learning. This means that trainings can take place collectively as a group, as well as individually and autonomously. Employees can decide for themselves when and where they want to take part in training – and that is highly appreciated. Further flexibility is provided by the fact that workshops can be held both online and hybrid (partly digital, partly in person). The project was so well received at BSH that it was nominated for the company’s startup awards.
The task now is to continue to fill the platform with content and establish it as a fundamental tool within the corporation. Alexander Fuchs is already actively collaborating with colleagues to integrate further learning content and production sites into the virtual campus. Live streams directly from the physical BSH campus in Traunreut are also planned to share learning content with an international audience and make it available on demand. Avatars in combination with artificial intelligence open up new possibilities to further enhance the platform in the future.
BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is a global leader in the home appliance industry. The group’s brand portfolio includes twelve well-known home appliance brands such as Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff, as well as the ecosystem brand Home Connect and various service brands, including Kitchen Stories. BSH produces in 39 factories and is present in approximately 50 countries. People are at the heart of the corporate culture – fostered by global collaboration and networking. Employees have the opportunity to develop their skills in line with their own abilities and interests and are actively encouraged to learn on an ongoing basis.