A man takes notes at his desk while taking an online educational course from his laptop.

Innovation in Employee Training—A Case Study in AI-Driven Solutions

By The TSG Team • Published October 18, 2023

When it comes to employee training, can AI tools improve low engagement and poor retention? Our case study proves it can.

Challenges in Employee Training

In an era where automotive technology transforms almost yearly, keeping employees up-to-date is non-negotiable. When our team was recently approached by a prominent car manufacturer, the issue at hand was not minor: low engagement and poor retention of information among employees in their internal education program. The stakes were high. In an industry where product lines and technical specifications evolve annually, being up-to-date is not a luxury—it's a necessity.

The Research Phase: Uncovering the 'Why' Behind Low Employee Engagement

Embarking on a robust research phase, we went the extra mile to understand the problem's intricacies. Our team visited dealerships, conducted interviews, and even participated in secret ride-alongs. Our objective went beyond simply identifying the “what;” we wanted to uncover the “why.” Why weren't the employees engaging with the existing tools? 

The answers we uncovered were essential in shaping our solution, ensuring it aligned with the company's overarching goals: to disseminate accurate product information and serve as the go-to authority for technical questions. This wasn't an exercise merely to identify what tools weren't working, but to unearth the deeper reasons behind their failure. After aligning these findings with what the corporate office envisioned for their educational program, the blueprint for our AI-driven solution began to take shape.

The Solution: A Private AI Tool with Merit Badges

Our initial recommendation was a merit badge-based program integrated into a secure web system and an enterprise iOS app, both of which employees could access using their existing Single Sign-On (SSO) credentials. But could integrating AI further enhance this solution? Our extensive research indicated positive results.

Infusing AI into our approach did more than just offer another educational tool; it provided a competitive edge. Not only could the employees learn easily and earn badges in this program, but they’d essentially have their own private tutor. The AI could be asked questions, analyze internal documents and resources, and return an accurate answer within seconds. With such a cutting-edge tool, the company could now position itself as an innovator in employee training.

Management found the system extremely engaging.  The tool can dramatically reduce the time required to search for information, which will create a ripple effect. Customer interactions will be improved, and the potential for revenue growth becomes more tangible.

Cost-efficiency was another immediate perceived benefit. By streamlining the training processes, the company won’t just save money; they’ll also optimize their existing training workflow, squeezing more value out of their previous investments.

The solution was designed as a private platform, offering robust encryption and private data management. This allows the company to have complete ownership and control over their data.

Mechanic at dealership uses an AI software to search for how to complete a complex process.

Behind the Scenes: Utilizing RAG Methodology

We built the core of the system as a Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) application and it utilizes a three step process.

In step one, data is imported into a vector database. This involves processing possibly hundreds of PDFs and other documents. But it’s not limited to just document files. Any data source that can be represented as text (even YouTube video transcripts) can be imported. 

Step two is the retrieval step. It means that a user’s query is used to first search the vector database for relevant context. 

In step three, that context is then sent to the AI (or more specifically, to the Large Language Model) along with the user’s original question. The AI is instructed to answer the user’s question using only the provided context—that is the document excerpts that were first retrieved from the database containing the car manufacturer’s data. 

The application was built using Python, LangChain, and OpenAI, but we are transitioning to Hugging Face for ultimate privacy. Pinecone was chosen as the vector database. For the server and the frontend, we used Svelte along with the TypeScript version of LangChain. All of these tools work together very well.  

The Future of AI-Enabled Training

The horizon looks promising. With plans for a second phase, we're considering integrated analytics that could correlate training data with performance metrics. This will provide a comprehensive view of how the training impacts various facets of the business. Moreover, we're exploring features that could make the learning process even more interactive and engaging, from daily engagement streaks to context-aware training suggestions.

The Transformative Power of AI in Employee Training

While this particular tool was designed for an automotive context, the core technology of this AI solution is adaptable and can be reconfigured across industries. Additionally, each customized solution we develop is rooted in a deep understanding of the unique challenges our clients face. We don't believe in one-size-fits-all; we believe in tailored solutions that solve specific problems.

Incorporating AI into your business solutions is not just a trend; it's a fundamental shift that offers both immediate and long-term advantages. Our recent project stands as a testament to the transformative power of AI, offering a solution that addresses immediate pain points while laying the groundwork for future innovation.


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