Providing learning solutions to a geographically dispersed workforce

How ELMO helped Sime Darby


Sime Darby is a Malaysia-based diversified multinational involved in key growth sectors – plantations, property, motors, industrial equipment, healthcare, energy & utilities – with a workforce of more than 120,000 people in over 20 countries.

Sime Darby Motor Group (NZ) Ltd is part of the Motors division of Sime Darby, and entered the New Zealand market place in 1999 with its first acquisition – Continental Car Services (CCS) in Auckland.

Problems Experienced

" We did not have enough in-house training resources in Australia and New Zealand to deliver the training required."
Kim Parkes - Group Culture and People Development Manager at Sime Darby

Kim Parkes, Group Culture and People Development Manager at Sime Darby, oversees around 1,000 employees across New Zealand and Australia and has been a client of ELMO’s since 2016. He says a key learning & development challenge has been Sime Darby’s dispersed workforce across 2 countries (New Zealand and Australia), with headquarters in Malaysia. Staff engagement surveys also revealed that employees felt there was a lack of development opportunities available to them.

“We did not have enough in-house training resources in Australia and New Zealand to deliver the training required,” Parkes says. “We also have compulsory training that needs to be completed by new and existing employees. This was not happening to the level required.”

A final challenge was that Sime Darby’s managers did not have the necessary insights into whether employees were completing their training.

As a result, Parkes and his team looked at online training solutions to help overcome the above challenges. After looking at various solutions, they chose to go with ELMO.

1 Geographically dispersed workforce
2 Compulsory training needs for existing and new employees
3 Lack of in-house training resources
4 Lack of transparency for managers around employee training completion


Parkes says several elements stood out during the decision-making process. First, he attended an ELMO breakfast seminar that had current clients speaking about their organisation’s challenges around HR automation.

“It was very informative to learn how these companies were using ELMO and how they presented their business cases to get approval,” he says. “In addition to that, ELMO was very proactive at offering up information on their system to fit our need and helped us put together an ROI, which assisted in building a solid business case.”

Parkes says it helped that Sime Darby recognised that it needed an online training solution.

“Online training had advantages to us because of our dispersed workforce and the cost of classroom training. We have a requirement to deliver training to various teams across different time zones, and that was easier to do with online training,” he says.

The implementation was done via the business unit HR teams using training aids that consisted of screenshots and instructions. Parkes worked with ELMO to set the timetable for rollout.

The Result

" It is a great tool and it is a bonus that we do not have to create content from scratch and can modify the pre-built ELMO courses."
Kim Parkes - Group Culture and People Development Manager at Sime Darby

Prior to the system being implemented, Parkes and his team educated the various leadership teams on what the system was, what it could do for Sime Darby, and showed them how it all worked. They also prepared a manual with screenshots to help users understand how to log in and manage basic processes.

“We first rolled it out to people with company email addresses and then to those who did not have an email address,” Parkes says. “Most people have had no problems understanding the system. While introducing the system to the organisation in a staged approach takes a bit longer, it worked within the capacity of the resources we had available to roll it out.”

He adds that the bulk of Sime Darby’s employees are in sales or technical roles, and they’ve appreciated having the training online and accessible 24/7 from anywhere.

“They like the flexibility of being able to access the training at home or off-site,” Parkes says.

However, he was also aware that some employees are not as comfortable with the option of online learning, so based on this feedback Sime Darby is continuing with in-house classroom and external training programs. Where possible they are combining classroom courses with the online modules and they view this combination of training delivery as right for the organisation.

“The feedback from managers is that employees appreciate the online system and feel that it will help improve people’s individual performance and company engagement,” Parkes says. “It’s a great tool and it is a bonus that we do not have to create content from scratch and can modify the pre-built ELMO courses.”

His advice to those looking to implement a HR automation system would be to look at the ELMO solutions.

“See what other ELMO clients are saying about how they are using the system, go to companies who are using it and see the system in action. I’m very impressed with the suite of products ELMO offers. It provides everything we would ever want and more. The reporting capability is fantastic, the part of the system we are using is easy to use and you can customise it. I’ve been able to stop using spreadsheets and Word documents for reporting, which is fantastic.”

1 Multiple training delivery options to suit the organisation
2 Online training available anywhere at anytime
3 No need to create content from scratch and ability to modify pre-built ELMO courses
4 Enhanced reporting functionality