Volvo Construction Equipment has launched a mini-MBA business program at one of China’s most famous universities for its dealers’ brightest managers.
Whether you are at the top of your field or the top of your class, there is always room for improvement. To adapt to the rapid development of Volvo Construction Equipment’s (Volvo CE) organization in China and to improve competitiveness of its dealers, Volvo CE’s Region China has launched the first mini-MBA course of its kind, designed to grow and develop senior management within its dealerships.
In cooperation with the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, one of the most respected universities in China with a history of more than a century, the advanced training program was launched in January and is being taught by some of the leading professors in their fields.
Volvo CE’s target audience is top level employees in its dealerships, ranging from directors, dealer principals to executive managers and senior personnel. These people on the ground can make a significant difference to customers and to the business. The class of 2013 began their first module on the official launch day in January, and if the course proves to be popular it will be run again in 2014.
As one of the finest institutions of advanced learning and higher education in the country, Fudan University has achieved worldwide fame thanks in part to its venerable past. The university was established by Ma Xiang-bo in 1905 but is now one step further towards its ambitious aim of becoming one of the best universities in the world.
The purpose of the course is to enhance the leadership, strategic thinking, and enterprise management capabilities of dealer executives. On the day of the launch, Florence Shea, Volvo CE’s head of human resources in China, attended the opening ceremony of the program at the university and delivered a speech to emphasize Volvo CE’s support for the program, as well as her expectations.
“It has been amazing to see the commitment and dedication shown by the group so far,” says Shea. “The 26 enrolled students are taking this learning experience very seriously because they are trying to better themselves at work and on a personal level. The knock-on-effect for Volvo CE China will be extremely positive because it will give us more confident and knowledgeable employees working at our dealerships, with a greater understanding of the market and economic issues.
This is a tailored program with numerous modules available so that pupils can build on their existing strengths, skills, knowledge and contribute more to their dealership’s success.
Some of the modules include: macroeconomics, strategic management, financial management, marketing, human resource management and traditional Chinese wisdom. The program lasts for one year, with 24 days of full-day learning. The participants are expected to carry on with their self-learning studies outside of university.
“This dealer MBA program initiated by Volvo CE helps to improve management’s strategic thinking and business acumen,” says Wu Han Zhong Nan, sales director from Chinese dealership, Xia dingtao. “We also share our experiences and learn from each other. The systematic study can improve my holistic view on the market situation and trends, allowing me see things from a different perspective and make more informed decisions, which will benefit my dealership’s development.”
The mini-MBA program acts as an effective platform for dealer executives to establish contacts and share experiences with each other while updating their market and business management skills.
At the end of the program, each dealer participant is asked to submit a learning summary for a ‘graduation reply’ and work out an action plan using knowledge that they have acquired throughout the duration of the course.
“Because trading conditions have been tough over the past year, many dealerships have faced unforeseen challenges and now want to better prepare themselves for any future situation,” says Shea. “Instead of just teaching our students operational and management skills, it’s important to also focus on the holistic approach of the construction machinery business.”
“To cover this important topic, Volvo CE has catered for people who want to learn more about the Chinese market as well as the global and local economy,” continues Shea. “The professors at the university are true experts, so our students will be learning from the best.”
“From what I experienced at the opening ceremony, there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm from people who are eager to learn more about running a business,” says Shea. Interaction between students on launch day was great, so I have every confidence that the course will elevate our dealers’ business know-how to the next level. These are committed, self-motivated people that the Volvo organization is very proud of – and I am positive the course will help the students to make a dynamic impact in their dealerships, “adds Shea. It’s just another example of Volvo CE’s innovative way of thinking and caring for its employees.”
By: Chloe Doyle
Picture 1 : The class of 2013 listens intently to what’s in store
Picture 2 : Florence Shea welcomes all the attendees into this year’s program