IBM speeds learning at Shell

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 12 July 2011



(2011), "IBM speeds learning at Shell", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

IBM speeds learning at Shell

Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 43, Issue 5

IBM has teamed up with Shell to transform the way in which the oil company trains employees on its new automated system for loading fuel on to trucks, barges, trains and pipelines.

IBM is working with Shell to increase the effectiveness of training by helping 1,000 employees, in 13 countries, to improve their decision-making skills while building their knowledge of the fuelling automation system, named the global terminal automation system (GTAS).

The GTAS training solution is a new e-learning tool, designed to provide Shell employees with an on-demand, interactive and hands-on environment that recreates typical fuelling scenarios in a safe learning environment.

The e-learning tool was built through collaboration between Shell experts, a team of IBM consultants and e-learning developers. It provides a long-term learning solution for GTAS, eliminating the need to fly in experienced users to provide training.

The tool tests staff by providing typical scenarios they may have to deal with – a truck driver’s pass code failing to lift a barrier, for instance. The employee then goes into the system, checks available information and resolves the problem. User scores and response times are stored to provide Shell with data on the results that employees are achieving. This also enables Shell to identify which users require additional support and training.

“We predominantly used classroom training before the pilot”, explained Jeroen Ravelli and Rivhu Khan, of Shell Distribution. “However, working with our partner IBM, we explored the cost and learning benefits of developing an on-line e-simulation, rather than flying trainers around the world to deliver face-to-face training. This had the potential to bring interactive learning direct to the terminal control centres and make the training more realistic and engaging”.

The first phase of implementation began last year. The e-learning tool will be used in Brazil, the UK, Norway, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Turkey, Italy, Denmark, Malaysia and Oman. The tool has been translated into languages including Portuguese, German, Italian and Turkish. The solution has also won a Learning in Practice Gold award in the Excellence in Simulations and Games award category from Chief Learning Officer magazine.

“The objective of the learning solution was to enable Shell to up-skill its employees in a smarter and more efficient way”, said Andi Britt, Organisation and People Lead, IBM Global Business Services, UK and Ireland.

The GTAS program has helped Shell to standardise terminal-automation-system applications across Shell’s 150-plus terminals and depots around the world. This has resulted in standard processes for terminal staff and drivers, enhanced safety controls and lower maintenance and support costs. The system also interacts with Shell’s business and finance systems, enabling increased efficiency of the loading, invoicing and financial processes.

Royal Dutch Shell plc has operations in more than 90 countries and territories, with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production, production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids, the manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals, and renewable energy projects.

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