Daimler in Rastatt: Trainees develop tool for 360° insights into the training location

How can you decide what career you want to pursue if you don’t know what it’s all about before you start? That was the problem we — Jannis, Patrick, and Moritz — faced before we started our training as mechatronics specialists at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt.

Within one year we found and implemented our solution to this problem. Since the end of April 2019 you have been able to take a look at our workplace (and perhaps your future workplace) in Rastatt at any time — completely digitally. In this blog we’d like to share with you the story of how we did that.

Step 1: Coming up with an idea for the AzubiInnoChallenge 2018

It all began last spring with the launch of a challenge for Daimler trainees, the AzubiInnoChallenge 2018. More than 4,500 trainees were called on to submit their ideas on how to digitalize Daimler’s training program. The challenge was a joint campaign of DigitalLife@Daimler and the central unit managing Daimler’s training policy. The three of us realized fairly soon which area we could address. Various Daimler locations organize a recruiting day called “Ausbildung Live!” (Training Live!), during which young people can get a sense of what it’s like to be a trainee at Daimler. It’s a great opportunity — after all, the nature of a workplace plays a major role when people are deciding on an occupation.

The only catch is that people who can’t come on this day are out of luck. That’s what had happened to us. For various reasons, we had not been able to come to the recruiting day, so we had missed out on this opportunity. That’s how we arrived at our vision: In the future, all potential trainees should have the opportunity to gain an initial insight into the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, no matter where and when they want to do so — by means of 360° views of our training location and short informative videos.

Step 2: Presenting the idea: Digital insights into the Rastatt plant

That’s why we felt that the challenge was the ideal platform where we could solve a problem we had experienced ourselves. It’s clear that our idea rang a bell with our audience. We were surprised to win second place in the voting by the trainees and the master craftsmen. It was an honor that entitled us to participate in a Shark Tank. As a result, we were invited to come to the DigitalLife Day 2018, where we could join nine other teams to present our idea once again — to almost 1,000 colleagues. We had absolutely not expected that!

We felt tremendous stage fright — but our faith in the value of our idea was greater, so we also looked forward to making our presentation. Our hard work paid off directly. Just the fact that we had the chance to stand on stage before so many people, including former Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche personally, was already exciting enough. We hadn’t even dreamed that at the end of the event we would also receive a budget and the support of Harald Rudolph, the Director of Daimler Strategy, so that we could implement our idea.

Step 3: Planning and implementing our idea with the help of Intrapreneur communities

Now we were able to make our idea a reality. A short time later we started to work together with the two Intrapreneur communities, the DigitalLife Hub and the FC Think!tank, to implement our idea. We analyzed similar products from other suppliers and planned the functions of our tool. After scanning the hall and creating our information videos, we finally finished our work this February: ViewNow360° was ready to go.

The finished product was even better than our original idea: Interested viewers can take a virtual tour through the training workshop in Rastatt. The interior of the workshop is represented in detail, so that you have the feeling you’re really right there. You can use clicks to move through the hall, in a manner that’s similar to the one we know from Google Streetview. At different stops of the tour there are short videos where trainees briefly provide information about the occupations they’re learning. We tried to make the whole thing understandable and to present it with a touch of humor.

At the end of February we joined people from DigitalLife on a trip to the international fair for startups “4 Years From Now” in Barcelona. There we presented the implementation of our idea to the public for the first time. Lots of people besides our sponsor, Harald Rudolph, were visibly enthusiastic about our achievement. We also received lots of praise and helpful feedback from people outside Daimler. After that we had a little time to explore the city. It was a wonderful reward for our hard work!

Step 4: The realization of our idea: ViewNow360° from Daimler in Rastatt is online

AOn April 30, 2019, we finally launched ViewNow360° on the Daimler website! Interested viewers can now dive completely digitally into our training hall in Rastatt whenever and wherever they like and find out about the occupations that trainees can learn there. It makes us very proud to know that through our idea we’ve been able to help others.

And our work is still far from over. All the positive feedback we’ve received has motivated us to implement our concept for other training locations at Daimler as well in the near future.

When we look back today, we can hardly believe how much we accomplished within such a short period of time, especially alongside our training program. We are grateful for the opportunity and for the support we received. Our recommendation to our colleagues is: Go for it! Lying dormant within each of us is an idea that can help us and our company to move forward.

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Moritz is in the second year of his traineeship as a mechatronics specialist. As one of the inventors of ViewNow360°, he has made a significant contribution to the digitalization of Daimler’s training program. Within the project he is responsible for several areas including communications.