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Investing in people and in brands

Introduction What the Brand stands for

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In the modern world brands are as important as the products they represent. The heritage of a premium brand is important – research has shown
Customers only trust reputable brands, so maintaining its brand’s reputation that Audi drivers like to be associated with a long and successful
is a key objective for a successful business. At the heart of any organisation premium Brand. This premium is reflected not only in the cars but also
are the human resources – the people, who through their skills and expertise, in the independent franchises who sell the cars and service them for
help create the brand image of an organisation. Today we use the term customers. Audi originated in Germany in 1909 when it was founded by
intelligent organisations to describe the way in which organisations develop August Horch. The name Audi first appeared on a car in 1910. Right
a competitive edge through recruiting, selecting, training and developing from the start, the company was known for its innovation, a notable
highly skilled and intelligent people. This Case Study focuses on how one of example being the introduction of headlights that turned sideways to
the world’s best known motor car Brands - Audi - is helping its independent reduce drag – somewhat of an innovation for 1912!
franchised dealerships (known as Audi Centres) with a host of issues relating
to their employees. By investing in this group of skilled people Audi is also Most people associate Audi with its four rings logo. This resulted from
investing in the future of its Brand. the merger of four leading motor manufacturers Audi, Horch, Wanderer
and DKW during the 1930s Depression. The merger was successful
The Brand grew strongly in 2003 with an outstanding 54% increase in sales because each company had its own particular speciality. From 1932 – Each Audi Centre is supported through investments in modern
over the last four year period. This means a requirement for more staff in the 1969 the company was known as Auto Union. This was later changed buildings and new showrooms and more importantly, in people and
franchises. Audi UK introduced a Recruitment Service in April 2003 to to Audi NSU from 1969 - 1977 before finally being simplified to Audi processes. Audi sets out to improve the customer experience and make
support franchises recruit in larger numbers and employ quality staff to help AG. AG is the German equivalent of limited, meaning the company is it more memorable, so customers want to tell their friends. A training
decrease the employee turnover rate. incorporated and its shareholders’ liability is limited to their investment. and development programme has also been designed to encourage
employees to think of themselves as a team that can contribute to
The Audi Brand is based on a number of values that are illustrated below: identifying and delivering improvements in meeting the customers’

Recruitment and selection

Sporty Progressive
The recruitment process at Audi is designed to attract and select those
Vorsprung applicants most suited to working for a dynamic premium Brand, i.e.
durch those individuals who best fit the Audi culture. Audi provides a
Technik comprehensive recruitment service to all Audi Centres, which includes
role profiles, pay advice, recruitment advertising, interview guidelines
Sophisticated and assessment centres for selection. Audi provides job descriptions for
Audi Brand Values all roles including Apprentice and
A u d i Te c h n i c i a n , b a s e d o n
researching the activities that high
Franchises quality employees will be expected to
The franchised Audi Centres are independent, service sector businesses that
buy cars from Audi UK - the sole official importer of the cars (another
service sector business). Audi UK buys the cars from Audi AG in Germany. By formalising and sharing these
This is the secondary sector business that manufactures Audi cars. processes, Audi UK helps improve
quality to make customer service
Because they are independent, Audi Centres are free to run their own uniform across the network of
businesses as they see fit in accordance with franchise standards. As the franchises. Centres are able to utilise
Audi experience is determined by that in the Audi Centre, Audi UK sets a central Recruitment Service to
out to help the franchise re-inforce consistent Brand values in the help attract and select talented
showroom and service centre. individuals for their businesses.


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The process How the Recruitment Service helps Who are the Technicians? Progression of Technicians at Audi To help reward and recognise
6 7 achievement technical team members
Audi Centre identifies vacancy Defined job descriptions are
available (see John Heaton - Master Technician Audi has developed an approach to training and development that meets are offered various motivational What attracted you to Audi? the individual needs of Centre employees and provides them with a incentives, including competitions to
Audi Centre registers vacancy Provides quick and easy registration Family ownership of Volkswagens and the love of cars led me to an structured career path for their continued development. test technical skill and expertise that
with Recruitment Service via telephone/web Apprenticeship at the VW/Audi specialist (Smith Knight Fay) straight also help the Audi Academy identify
from school. A natural progression up to Audi when the brand All employees have an opportunity to become "qualified" in their training needs. Significant prizes are
Recruitment Service attracts Standard advertisement templates
separated. awarded, in 2003, the winning team
applicants if necessary via available - saves time desired job role and have specialist development support on offer. For
advertising or a CV search in Advertisement costs reduced by technical team members, the diagram below illustrates the structured won a three day trip to Hungary.
What section of your training have you enjoyed most and why?
the talent pool centralised negotiating power training and development available through the Audi Academy.
I enjoy all training but get most satisfaction from technical subjects. I
CV search amongst speculative
enjoyed the Master Technician training as its good to get together with
applications can save cost of 8
Technicians at the same level- share thoughts and ideas. Structure to qualification programme
advertisement Audi recognises the benefits of recruiting appropriate staff and having
Applicant completes Audi A competency based form is Master Technician (Advanced Course) well-led, well-trained, well-motivated people who are happy in their
What do you see as your next career move and why?
Application Form provided that is to Audi Corporate • Advanced Petrol Engine Management • Advanced Body Electrics work. Those who work in a team with like-minded colleagues are better
To continue learning as new models/technology comes along and pass • Advanced Diesel Engine Management • Advanced Diagnostic Equipment
Identity standards
my knowledge onto others and try to remain at the top of the tree. able to deliver the level of service customers deserve. At the heart of the
Applications sifted Can carry out for Centre - saving

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Audi Centre network lies a sophisticated recruitment, selection, training
Centre’s time
How do you feel Audi will help you achieve this? Qualified Technician and development programme enabling progression within the
Telephone interview (optional) Can carry out for Centre - saving Knowing the Audi Academy has set out goals/targets and increased individual Centres. Recruitment is based on identifying people who are
Requirement for these courses will be identified by TNA
competency based Centre’s time and providing an training days/courses, therefore training should become much more • Auto Boxes • Comfort and Convenience • ABS • Climate Control most likely to fit the Audi culture and who can be developed to delight
objective recomendation • Four Wheel Alignment • Occupant Safety
frequent, allowing me rapid updates to the latest technology. customers within the Audi Brand. Audi wants Centres to recruit
Face to face interview Interview guidance provided for
employees who are prepared to work as a team and seek to develop
each role to help process Briefly describe how going to college and working in an Audi Centre
Computer Based Assessment themselves while contributing to the success of a premium company.
Other selection techniques Tools provided for Centre - helping has helped you progress throughout the Apprenticeship programme?
Employees are continually seeking to develop themselves, while
(psychometric tests for them to make the most informed Many years working on VW/Audi (started 1977 after brand separation) and Mandatory Courses
improving customer service in line with the Audi Brand values.
sales/service roles, assessment decision Training Needs Analysis course. I became the first person in the UK to gain • Petrol Engine Management • Diesel Engine Management • Electrics 2
centres for senior roles) qualified status- with event of the New A8 and the need for Licensed status.
I was part of the ‘Fast Track’ route to Master Technician level.
Audi Centre appoints successful Glossary
applicant One day Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
David Jones - Audi Apprentice Technical Development Centre
What attracted you to Audi? Brand: A product with a unique, consistent and well-recognised
Staff development and training I took the Apprenticeship with Audi because at the time it offered me a character. A brand is well recognised because it has been around
5 for a long time.
good career within a subject I enjoy. Audi Technical Induction Course
Training is the process of enabling employees to develop the skills, which Culture: The typical pattern of doing things in an organisation,
• Service and PDI • Electrics 1 • Diagnostic Equipment • Audi Brand Induction
allow them to better contribute to meeting the organisation’s objectives. For ‘the way we do things around here’!
What section of your training have you enjoyed most and why?
Audi this includes acquiring the skills that enable employees to deliver its
I have enjoyed gradually seeing my abilities improve. Now some jobs, Development: Activities designed to further the personal needs
Brand values and to keep abreast with technological change. In contrast,
which initially would have baffled me, seem much easier now I have New Technical of individuals.
development is concerned with enabling individuals to meet their own Apprentice Technician
more experience and a better understanding of how things work. Recruit from Intelligent organisation: A dynamic and flexible organisation,
personal needs – e.g. for more education. More often than not, personal outside Network
development needs can be tied into organisational objectives. based on highly knowledgeable and skilled people
What do you see as your next career move and why? Objective:The end to which an individual or organisation is working.
The emphasis placed on training and development at Audi means that: I would like to stay within the Audi brand and gradually work my way Premium brand: A high quality, upmarket reputable brand.
Alongside this training and development offer Audi has developed a
◗ Audi UK benefits from having highly skilled people who are able up to Master Technician level.
career progression ladder for technicians to follow. This ladder of Training: Activities designed to improve the competence and
to enhance the Audi Brand. ability of individuals in order to better enable an organisation to
achievement provides real structure for individuals to develop within
◗ Audi Centres benefit from having high quality, enterprising and How do you feel Audi will help you achieve this?
the Brand and provides recognition for their level of attainment. meet its objectives.
motivated employees who are confident, independent and provide a Audi will provide training as I am gradually taking on more and more
Training Needs Analysis: Research carried out to find out the
high quality service. complex jobs. It will also identify any gaps in my knowledge to help
training needs of individuals.
◗ Customers benefit from knowing that they will always come first my fault diagnosis skills.
and that their expectations will be exceeded by highly skilled
n Master
Technicians and other Audi Centre team members. Briefly describe how going to college and working in an Audi Centre sio Technician
◗ Employees benefit through the identification of their development has helped you progress throughout the Apprenticeship programme?
Audi Qualified Technician
For more information about Audi and careers please browse:
needs and then developing the skills that enable them to become Within the Audi Centre I was put with a reporting technician as a rP
more effective and motivated. mentor. He always took time to explain vehicle systems to me and how Car Audi Service Technician
he had solved faults when I didn’t understand. That meant that when I Audi Apprentice
The following provides an insight into the technical side of the Audi went to college I usually had a good idea of how things worked before
business, the roles on offer and the development opportunities available. we studied them and was usually able to get good results in tests.


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