Shell Recharge Solutions, which is part of Shell Group, is the go-to place for everything related to EV charging. In thirteen European countries, North America, and Asia, this Shell business unit supplies the hardware, charging points, the associated apps, and charging cards to companies and households, while also taking care of installation and maintenance. And they do it all to make electric driving and smart charging possible.
When it comes to charging point installation and maintenance in Europe, Shell Recharge Solutions works with over fifty installation partners. All these Shell Recharge Solutions-certified installers are trained by Shell Recharge Solutions themselves to install and maintain the chargers correctly. However, since the former training approach was neither scalable nor consistent across the various countries, Jelle van Bueren, Shell Recharge Solutions’ Lead Product Manager in charge of installation and maintenance, decided to change things by switching to Drillster for their European operations.
On-site and fragmented training material
In their installer training, Shell Recharge Solutions faced two challenges. The first challenge was the training format, which was as time consuming as it was intensive. “In the Netherlands alone, a group of installers would get together on a site somewhere to spend an afternoon listening to a presentation about how to install the chargers and about common mistakes. However, the hands-on training on-site was intensive, time consuming, and costly. It was largely a one-way process where the learners would only listen, and the question was how much knowledge actually stuck for the long term. But most importantly, this training method was not scalable. And scalability is key if we want to realize our ambition of having at least 2.5 million chargers operational in Europe by 2030. We’re going to need a lot more trained installers for that, which requires a more efficient training method.”
The second challenge was the fragmented training material. “The training content is offered in the language of the installers’ country,” Jelle explains. “The content is translated, but also localized to adapt it to local legislation and regulations. In addition, each country has its own rules and training preferences. All of this led to major differences between the countries in terms of the training content used. It became necessary to standardize the training material and make it consistent.”
In order to address these challenges, Shell Recharge Solutions turned to Drillster. “I knew the tool from my time at my previous employer and it felt good to me. I especially liked assessment-based learning. Learners are instantly tested on the topics covered in the application through short questions. The application detects which topics are still found difficult and makes sure these topics are presented again at a later stage to properly anchor the knowledge. The topics that a learner does master already are repeated less often. I think this is a very effective way of doing it and Drillster is one of the very few tools to offer this. Recurrent learning is something I bought into a long time ago and Drillster does that perfectly.”
“Recurrent learning is something I bought into a long time ago and Drillster does that perfectly.”
Getting people to use it
The Drillster roll-out started in the company’s primary countries: the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom – with certification training programs for various EV charging point types that installers could take using Drillster. The other European countries followed later. Jelle: “We appointed a local coordinator and local delivery team for each country. They manage the installers and we have, therefore, made them responsible for getting their installers to start using Drillster. We involved these teams in developing the training material from day one. Together, we thought about how to design the training, what topics are relevant to the users, and how to capture it all in short drills. In the end, we created drills for each type of charger in this way, supplemented with general drills about our company’s history.”
And yet, adoption of this new way of learning was not all plain sailing. “The biggest challenge was mainly to get our experienced installers to start using Drillster,” says Jelle. “While using this kind of digital tool is second nature to new installers, installers who have been working for us for a long time already experienced it as a major change. They have a hands-on mindset, just want to get to work and did not immediately see how these drills could be efficient. We have, therefore, put extra effort into properly introducing them to Drillster and the value it adds. We also shortened the training content, added a lot of pictures and examples, and tailored the content more to the various installer groups. For experienced installers, for example, we focused mainly on common installation or maintenance errors instead of on how to install a charging point. This way, we gradually made excellent headway in getting Drillster adopted.”
Time savings and greater consistency
The major effort put into Drillster adoption paid off. “Our installers now get why we switched to Drillster and see the value it adds,” Jelle explains. “As a learning method, it is much faster than sifting through a manual, while it also gives us a lot more flexibility. Charging point technology is developing rapidly, meaning that there are regularly new products to incorporate and changes to be made to the learning material. Drillster lets us implement these changes ourselves and immediately recalculates users’ attainment level. Our training process has become a lot more scalable as a result. For new installers, we schedule a brief kick-off and then have them go through the training in Drillster themselves. And we make a FAQ list available afterwards. You can clearly see that a lot more knowledge actually sticks thanks to this continuous learning process. On top of that, we have gained a clear overview of our training material thanks to Drillster. This enables us to align and standardize the training content across the various countries.”
“With Drillster, training installers takes a lot less work. And at the same time, their knowledge is now at the required level.”
Having worked with Drillster for a while now, Shell Recharge Solutions’ new ambitions are also increasingly taking shape. For Jelle, this is mainly about gaining even more insight. “Our installers use an app to test charging points after installation. It would be great if we could link this app to Drillster, as that would give us greater insight into what installations are done by well-trained installers. It is my ambition to ultimately create a personal profile in this app for every single installer, where training information from Drillster is linked to installation aspects such as first-time-right or the Net Promoter Score awarded by customers. This would give the local coordinators even more insight into the performance of their team of installers. I look forward to getting together with the Drillster team to explore ways to make all of this happen.”