27 April 2011

What have I learnt from VISTA?

With less than four weeks before the world final, everyone’s attention is on the thirty teams who have qualified. However it’s important to remember that VISTA is about learning and training before all else. Everybody who has taken part, has learnt something, and can therefore bow out of the competition a winner. It might be a new skill, using a new tool, new information on Impact, or better team work.

It is estimated that every participant who completed the first three qualifying rounds received around 90 hours of extra training. That’s roughly 375,000 hours of training for the whole Volvo Trucks and Volvo Buses global network. We ask some of the many competitors who took part in the semi finals, what they learnt from VISTA 2011.

Nola Barca, Costings, CMV Springvale.
Nola comes from Melbourne, Australia and took part in the Australia/New Zealand semi final in Sydney.

“It’s been a really good learning curve – going into the different areas that you’re not familiar with in Impact. Usually we work very much as individuals: costings, spare parts, sales and the workshop. But to work as a team and getting to know the guys better has been really good. I think it will make for a better working relationship because you actually get to know each other.
The semi final has been fantastic, everything has been organised so well. It’s been a bit daunting at times as what we have done so far has been very technical. But I’ll definitely participate in VISTA again.”

Eugene Taylor, The Bulls
Eugene and his teammate all joined Volvo Gauteng in 2004. While most have competed in VISTA before, this was the first time they took part as one team, and they reached the Southern Africa semi finals in Johannesburg. They are named after their local rugby team, whom they all support.

“We have learned how to work better as a team, each person knows what his role is and the strengths within the team. The VISTA semi finals also gave us the opportunity to meet other people in our market and people from Sweden.
Team members should know each other’s strong and weak points, and therefore compliment each other to achieve a goal. It is also important to have fun while doing VISTA and respecting each other. That in my opinion makes a successful team.
I can see that my team members can get information much faster than before, and that saves time and improves productivity, which is good for business. VISTA is a great training tool that improves all participants’ skills.
To have made the semi finals makes me feel that we as a team have done what we set out to do. Even though we did not win, we gained a lot of knowledge and friendships, and that’s what’s important to us. There is no doubt that I will encourage all my co-workers to take part in the next VISTA. It is a win-win situation. Everybody that takes part gains that extra knowledge and that is the most important thing to me. And of course there is the reward to work for the semi finals and the big final. The Bulls can’t wait for the next VISTA.”

Igor Dodevski, Volvo Macedonia
Igor comes from the Macedonian capital Skopje. This year he and his team reached the region East semi in finals in Thessaloniki, Greece.

“We learnt the most from the three qualifying rounds before the semi final. We have more time to find information. In Thessaloniki we made a small mistake and it cost us a lot of time. But the important thing is meeting colleagues. We get together, we talk and we share information. We are all good mechanics.
For us VISTA is the cheapest training, and the most fun. In our workshop we don’t just correct answers – we go through them together so that everyone learns.”

Alfred James, Parts Consultant, The 4 Mafia’s.
Albert has worked at the Alliance Truck and Bus in Auckland, New Zealand for 18 months. VISTA 2011 was his first competition, and his team reached the semi finals in Sydney.

“One word sums it up: awesome. Just knowing that we were coming over here to Australia to participate was exciting in itself, but to actually be here and to be going through the activities is great. It’s an awesome experience.
To be a good VISTA team, first of all you need patience. Being patient allows you to hear everyone’s opinion and then make a decision. The other thing that is key is working together. Despite our differences, our main goal is always to achieve. Working together, following procedures, and getting the task done to the best of our abilities.
From this experience it has really been highlighted to me that cooperation in the team and the focus of the team make sure we have the same idea, the same principle, and also the same goal to achieve. Once that’s our key objective, it allows us to focus on that and move problems out of the way, but also to reach our goal.
This ALL would have not been possible if I didn’t have a great team here at Alliance Truck & Bus. I wish to offer a special thanks to Mike Searle, Brian Andrew, Hunia Waenga and Paul Topia. Due to their special commitment, training and passion for the Volvo Product, it rubbed off on me. Now I myself carry that NEW will of fire!!!!”