There are also the costs of having to re-issue training materials and content, and this also makes the Web-based learning system more efficient and far more economical. Lastly, the support of the strategic initiative on the part of MBUSA of having the highest quality service delivered via its STARMARK program is also essential to keep the Mercedes Benz brand solid and the reputation of the company for exceptional service intact. All of these factors need to be taken into account as the customers' day-to-day experiences with MBUSA will dictate its JD Power ratings which are mentioned in the study, and over the long-term, impact its brand as well. MBUSA must align its strategies to support line-of-business objectives if the company is to be successful. A critical area of this is the developing of agile, responsive it architectures that can align with the needs of MBUSA employees, and in this case, the training and certification departments. From the standpoint of Corporate Performance Management, the ability of MBUSA to monitor, evaluate and quantify the savings of creating a Web-based learning system are shown in Appendix a of this document. At a minimum, even with the minimum amount for travel expenses and the lower range of technicians needing to be trained, MBUSA will save $4.2M in travel and training costs. When the upper range of the number of technicians needing to be trained is taken into account, the figure jumps to $5.25M. In addition, MBUSA will also be able to save on tape duplication expenses, a cost taken into account for this calculation. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of acquiring a server and installing Windows Server operating system is also taken into account in these calculations. The costs of the Corporate Intranet, NetSTAR, already incurred, the business case becomes more compelling that MBUSA needs to undertake a Web-based learning system in order to reduce travel costs and the time spent on the road by technicians on their way to trainings. There is also the opportunity to save on training across the merged companies, further adding operating efficiencies and more effective training quality, further supporting the STARMARK standards of support and their integral role in the MBUSA branding strategy as well.
Assessment of the risks associated with each of the two options. For the option you select, you should discuss the steps you would take to mitigate the risks associated with it.
Inherent in both options are major financial and operational risks for MBUSA. To build additional teaching facilities also assumes the capital budgeting process of the company, and with it, top-line revenue growth will continue at existing levels. As the car business can be sporadic in nature when it comes to consumer spending, it is advisable that MBUSA look first to cost savings with minimal outlays of cash or capital. Beyond this risk of making the incorrect financial decision, the far greater risk is not aligning it processes and platforms to align with the specific requirements and needs of the training department. Not supporting their core process areas is by far the greatest risk.
In the context of the Web-based learning system, the risk of the system being compromised and its security specifically is alleviated due to the maturity of the NetSTAR network and its proven use. Another risk related to security is the scalability of the Web-based applications themselves as the dealer network continues to grow and with the addition of Chrysler dealers, this is going to only make the scaling to specific technician testing and studying all the more critical. Third, the need for having an information system architecture that allows for rapid updates to training content in the context of an enterprise content management system is also going to be critical for the long-term success of a Web-based learning system. Taken together then, security, scalability and agility of updates are the risks of having an online Web-based learning system.
Appendix a Cost Savings of Using Web-Based Training
Cost Savings Element
Costs cost per training per day including airfare and hotel minimum days required by certification minimum cost for certification per tech
Number of technicians to be trained (4,500-5,200)
Lower-Limited Savings From Online Training
Per Model Year Updates
Per Model Tape Charge ($10/tape per model)
Hosting Charge ($ mos)
Total Cost Savings
Total Cost of Ownership, multi-purpose Intel Server