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Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. saves 30% on training by migrating to Totara Learn

Yamaha Motor is a Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles, marine products and other motorized products. Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. is the European head office responsible for the distribution, marketing, sales and support of these products and its spare parts via a dedicated dealer network.

The Challenge

Despite being a large European company, Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. was using spreadsheets to manage all of their learners and content as recently as 2012, along with a simple LMS.

While this LMS fulfilled their needs initially, the development of the system lagged behind the rest of the market and Yamaha’s own needs. Knowing that they needed a European learning platform that would move at least as fast as their own business, Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. set out to find a more modern, developed platform to support their growing learning requirements.

The second part of this project was to synchronize and centralize all of the training content itself. Yamaha’s products are the same in each country, but the same content was often being produced multiple times for each country, leading to a massive duplication of efforts.

Their plans to centralize training development on a single central platform would enable Yamaha to save time and money, and to create a consistent, multilingual, learning experience throughout the European operation.

The Solution

Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. made a wishlist, specifying their LMS needs for the next 3-5 years, as well as what was good and bad about their existing LMS, and went began the search for bids.

First, they ended up with a list of potential systems, one of which was Totara Learn, and then a list of vendors, from which they chose Bright Alley. The way Bright Alley presented Totara Learn and their understanding of Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.’s unique requirements were a key selling point, and negotiations started in late 2015.

With the old LMS contract due to expire in the near future, Bright Alley and Yamaha Motor needed to ensure that there wouldn’t be a gap between the two platforms. In addition, they needed to ensure that the Totara Learn platform satisfied their wishlist from the start, which included responsive design, personalized learner dashboards, personalized manager dashboards, extensive reporting and support for a wide variety of content across their blended learning program.



Bright Alley implemented Totara Learn’s audience functionality to match each learner with the correct content and certificates, and to enable Yamaha to deliver individual e-learning based on job titles and product groups throughout Europe. This is because the LMS would be accessed by a very diverse range of learners, from a learner in a motorcycle shop to a learner in one of the branch offices. The audience functionality made it easier to facilitate this, based on the part of the Yamaha network that each learner represented.

“The Totara Learn platform enabled us to have our students study a web training or sign up for a classroom session with the same simplicity as when they go to any other website or reservation tool when planning their vacation, all in their own language.”

Paul Ammerlaan, Senior Service Network Coordinator, Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.

Both learners and managers also benefit from personalized dashboards. For learners, they are presented with the activities they need to do next as soon as they log in, and managers have access to an instant overview of their team’s progress. At the European level, Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. sees the progress of all learners, while the trainers for each market have access to the progress of their own learners and their results for a more targeted overview of performance across the organization.



It was also crucial that the LMS be intuitive and very user-friendly. A learner at the dealer level only uses a computer 20% of the time, meaning that the platform itself needed to be available on tablets and smartphones. Content needed to be able to launch from any type of device or browser, and needed to connect seamlessly with their other systems for easy access to data from anywhere. Bright Alley’s Totara Learn platform has completely fulfilled this need, giving learners anytime, anywhere access to both essential training materials and extra learning content via a course catalog.

The Results

Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.’s LMS currently has over 11,500 learners registered in total, with around 7,500 of these active every year. When the platform originally launched to all markets in October 2016, there were 5,000 learners, meaning the platform has grown rapidly. Yamaha believes that the reason the platform is so popular is because Totara Learn is so user-friendly, being one of the easiest platforms of its kind to use.

Prior to the full launch, Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. opened the LMS first to a select group of learners in August 2016 with a competition, inviting technicians to take part in a technical grand prix challenge. The winners were then invited to the EU head office, with the top three technicians from this group going to Japan to participate in a global competition. This enabled them to register highly motivated learners in the new system first, using their experiences for direct feedback and fine-tuning before the full October launch.



Following the launch of the new LMS, Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. has cut training costs by 30% and experienced a 15% decrease in effort for generating reports, saving time on administration work. The new Totara Learn platform has also supported Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.’s increase in online learning, from 20% with their previous LMS to 35% today, demonstrating the value of a flexible, modern learning platform.

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