ASML creates training modules substantially faster to support thousands of users across business lines

Challenges

  • Train over 4000 users across multiple business lines
  • Keep up with the massive demand for training modules
  • Create interactive training for all versions of SAP and homegrown applications

Solutions

  • Assima patented authoring tool
  • Guided interactive simulations
  • Hundreds of training modules created with the assistance of Assima consultants

Results

  • Thousands of end-users trained effectively using interactive simulations
  • 30-50% faster content delivery
  • A complete library of training modules and curriculums structured in line with the demands of the organization

“If you ask me today why we prefer Assima to its competitors, it’s because we have the option to work closely with the people from Assima to create content. That’s a huge plus for us. Their expertise, flexibility, and customer service are unmatched.”

Jeroen De Haan
Program Manager, ASML

Challenges

Starting in 2018, ASML, a leading Dutch manufacturer of chip-making machines and the world’s largest supplier of photolithography systems - embarked on a massive business process improvement program. This undertaking consists of 45 different projects that spans across functions including planning, procurement, finance, customer support, supply chain management, and more. The business applications involved included all versions of SAP as well as homegrown applications.

The company is still growing fast. ASML needed to support an increasingly large portion of its workforce in charge of helping customers and executing maintenance on the field. This part of the workforce grew from 2,500 in 2016 to 5,500 in 2020.

That implies an enormous and constant demand for training material.

Their challenges went as follows:

  • The sheer number of users meant that it wasn’t possible to train them simultaneously online or in the classroom. The ASML training teams needed computer-based training delivered asynchronously.
  • Old training material consisted of slide decks with hundreds of slides. This training method pushed a lot of information to people but didn’t let users interact with the tool.
  • The training was informal: employees got in touch with colleagues who were already working with the application for quick peer-to-peer training. The lack of structure made this method inconsistent and unscalable.
  • The demand for training was enormous. The company didn’t have the time, people, and bandwidth to create the volume of training modules required internally. They needed a reliable and flexible partner with the expertise to help them meet the demand for new training material.

Solutions

In his previous roles, program manager at ASML Jeroen De Haan, had experienced interactive software training. He’s witnessed first-hand how employees using simulations has had positive impacts on learning outcomes. “The installation of the Assima product was easy and the tool itself is also user friendly, ” noted Jeroen.

First, the ASML training teams used Assima’s patented authoring tool to create hyper-realistic simulations of their applications - including all versions of SAP. This provided a safe environment for users to practice, build confidence and make mistakes. “The major benefit of Assima’s simulations is that people can be trained interactively in an environment that looks familiar to them. From the users’ perspective, the training environment looks and feels just like the real applications,” said Jeroen.

Training modules were also available online 24/7 as self-service learning. This approach ensured thousands of users could be trained asynchronously.

Next, ASML partnered with Assima’s consultants to develop training fast and cost-effectively. “Several Assima consultants develop training for us. The people from Assima are experienced and very flexible - if we need to ramp up for a couple of weeks, the customer success team is very willing to work with us to meet our goals,” said Jeroen.

"The installation of the Assima product was much easier than the previous authoring tool we were using. Not only could we use the cloud solution from the beginning, but the Assima tool itself is also more user friendly than its competitors”

Jeroen De Haan
Program Manager, ASML

Results and Benefits

“We estimate that we are creating training material 25-50% faster than we can create with other tooling, thanks to Assima”

Jeroen De Haan
Program Manager, ASML

Increased learning retention with hyper-realistic simulations

Software training is intrinsically interactive. Learners must interact with the tool to learn it - they will not learn new software by reading slides or listening to an instructor talk. Before Assima, ASML was using mainly slide decks to train users. This made training passive, tedious, and ineffective.

Today, with Assima’s guided simulations, users can practice in an environment that looks and feels like the real system. “Instead of looking at slides, they can interact with the tool. The menus, structures, dropdowns - they all work. Employees think they are working in the application but it’s actually a clone of the system that’s completely risk-free,” said Jeroen.

Up to 50% faster content delivery

Before Assima, the ASML training teams were already familiar with e-learning authoring tools like Captivate. Although they work fine for static recordings, Assima has a huge advantage in terms of development speed for standard applications like SAP. “When it comes to an application that is already in the library of Assima like SAP, the Assima tool has a huge advantage because then you have a quick jumpstart and you can develop training modules much faster,” says Jeroen.

Increased business agility by creating content before go-live

Assima’s patented technology lets content developers capture application screens as editable objects. Any object or data can be modified, copied and mass replaced across lessons. This makes it safe to capture screens directly from the production system. Any changes or sensitive data can be swiftly replaced post-capture. Since they don’t have to wait for a picture-perfect version to be released before creating training content, training teams can create and iterate on training modules faster to reach go-live with lessons already prepared.

A few years ago, ASML had a big go-live on the horizon. They needed to develop hundreds of training modules. The training team in the Netherlands could start working on the first draft, send it to the team in Spain who would complete the storyboard, screens, and workflows, and send it back to the first team for final edits. Bottom line: Assima enabled ASML’s training teams to become more agile, establish a faster development cadence and collaborate more effectively across teams in separate countries.

A learning culture structured in line with the demands of the organization

Systems training at ASML wasn’t structured the way it is today. Without interactive training at their disposal, employees had to ask other employees to coach them on new applications.

Using Assima’s patented authoring tool, training teams at ASML built a complete library of training modules and curriculums structured in line with the demands of the organization. These modules cover all versions of SAP and homegrown applications. This created the foundation necessary for an enterprise-wide learning strategy to take shape, helping ASML train thousands of users more effectively across functions and applications.

Today, guided interactive simulations are available online 24/7 for users to practice. Business lines at ASML including planning, procurement, finance, customer support, and supply chain management are using training modules created using Assima.

Train employees faster, improve performance,
reduce costs and increase revenues.