YANMAR America’s EVO//CENTER newly opened 50,000 square-foot facility features six state-of-the-art product training labs with classroom and hands-on space, three classrooms, multiple meeting rooms, office space, a 250-seat auditorium, the EVO Commons dining area, concept lab, museum and outdoor product demonstration areas. The center combines learning methods in a futuristic facility to “empower sustainability.”
That’s the shell, but the heart is the student, says Tim Miller, YANMAR America’s senior manager, learning & development, who manages the facility. The EVO center has a lot of outreach opportunities, but the basis and heart of the center is the student. Our goal is to help the dealer students, the technicians, the salesmen and the managers. I want them to be able to do their jobs better so that they can enjoy a better lifestyle and be more comfortable in their roles.
“My theory is that if I take care of them, they are going to take care of the customer, which increases customer satisfaction. If you have a well-trained technician with a management team behind them that supports them and they fix your product right the first time, you’re going to be happy and that’s what we are after,” Miller says.
In a statement, Takehito Yamoaoka, President YANMAR Co. said, “The EVO//CENTER is one of the most unique and innovative facilities in the YANMAR portfolio. It represents our long-standing commitment to build close and meaningful relationships with not only global customers, but also local communities. The facility’s mission of ‘Empowering Sustainability’ completely champions our global vision for ‘A Sustainable Future.’”
Training Dealer Teams, Customers
The center features technology-based and hands-on focused training rooms dedicated to its six product areas: ag equipment, construction, energy systems, engines, marine engines and utility vehicles. The training rooms have student computers, 60-inch computer display screens, master tool boxes, student boxes and room exhaust systems, so the equipment can be operated inside.
YANMAR has five technician training courses (beginner, intermediate, expert, advanced and train-the-trainer.) Five additional classes will launch in April. YANMAR is also now launching its Yanmar Academy and its Power/Train learning management system. The Yanmar Academy an 8-class school, which consists of 7 classes for dealers and one for customers. Power/Train is an e-learning system for dealers and their employees in such areas as sales, marketing, service, parts, finance and other business topics.
“My goal for the system is to not just train how to fix things that are broken, but how to properly trouble shoot and to develop the right diagnostic steps and practices so that when technicians get on different machines, they can use the same steps and the same theology,” Miller says.
“What I like to hear is feedback that the technicians who take our training are now the manager of their departments. We eventually want to tie the training to CEUs (continuing education units) to eventually help someone earn an associate’s degree, which only improves their lives more,” he says.
YANMAR is also planning to pursue partnerships with local schools, colleges and technical schools to expand and enhance educational opportunities for their students. Product demonstration fields will provide customers with an opportunity to try before they buy. The fields will also serve as a venue for safety and operational training courses as well as host community events.
Futuristic Support Capabilities
YANMAR’s goals are to take the center’s technology capabilities even further into the future. For example, equipment today already has telematic capabilities for sensing and diagnosing problems. The company expects its future to include using telematics to predict potential failures and then communicate to dealers so they can offer preventative support to customers.
Another idea being explored is that one day equipment telematics could communicate with the EVO//CENTER and a drone could deliver the part before failure occurs.
Croft Architects and Engineers based in Kennesaw, Ga., and Carroll Daniel Construction from Gainesville, Ga., worked together to complete the new facility, which broke ground in November 2016.