How Purolator Used 3D and Augmented Reality to Develop Award Winning Facility Launch for Stakeholders
Purolator is a Canadian courier company and leader in the freight, packaging and logistics space. To prepare for the launch of their new National Hub – Ontario (NHO), a 430,000-plus square-foot sorting and shipping facility, Purolator needed to educate employees and visitors about the new facility and its cutting-edge automation processes.
Purolator’s learning needs were as follows:
Train all employees on the procedures and requirements for the new facility in a cost-effective and secure way.
Educate employees and visitors about the facility’s capabilities in a way they could retain the information and visualize the full scope of the facility.
Provide a tour and demonstration of the complete facility without having to enter restricted areas.
The Learning Network (TLN) conducted a five-month needs assessment to dive deeper into what educational gaps existed and how they might be resolved. We interviewed Purolator’s frontline workers, supervisors, managers, and the executive team to document what worked in the past and what didn’t work. The team also sought to learn how COVID-19 impacted employees’ wants and needs from a learning and development perspective. TLN delivered a 65-page report that discussed our findings, methodology and recommendations about the training Purolator should consider for their new facility.
Over the next two years, Purolator and TLN developed an innovative learning approach to meet business needs, learner needs and technological needs.
Our integrated approach to educating employees and stakeholders included:
Safety oriented programs were rolled out for employees, including training materials via text, video and other mediums. 3D assets enhanced learning modules to remind new workers of safety protocols.
A combination of in-person and augmented reality (AR) tours helped increase engagement.
An augmented reality (AR) tour via Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 was used in conjunction with in-person tours. The AR tour helped visualize the equipment operations and sorting processes that were not otherwise possible during regular facility operations.
Over the course of the project, TLN provided the following deliverables for Purolator:
- An entire digital curriculum for the facility.
- Instructor-led job aids and classroom materials to use on the facility floor.
- Assets and tools for managers to evaluate employees against their performance and measure key behaviours and skills (and keep with compliance requirements).
AR: NHO Facility Tour
3D: User Experience Video
Since its launch in April 2022, over 150 Purolator employees, client groups and visitors have taken the tour. By implementing a hybrid approach of traditional and AR tours, Purolator provided a cutting-edge educational experience to all stakeholders.
Some advantages of Purolator’s hybrid approach:
- Increased understanding: The NHO AR Tour can be experienced by up to 10 individuals at one time, each with its own unique HoloLens 2 device. This leads to an increased understanding of Purolator’s processes and a strengthening of knowledge for employees, customers, and partners.
- Better content: Learners can now explore the areas and functionality of the NHO they would otherwise not be able to experience due to safety or other restrictions.
- More innovation: The training approach exemplifies the Purolator’s NHO’s project goals of being at the forefront of technological advancement and innovation.
- Accessibility improvements: The technology and development are sophisticated, but the final learning experience is very accessible. It removes a barrier to using the technology in other applications in the future.
When employees were asked about their learning experience:
“I am comfortable working with the new equipment”
“Overall the NHO training prepared me to work at the NHO.”
“I understand the new processes that have been introduced at the NHO.”
Purolator won two coveted Gold 2022 Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management (HCM) Excellence awards in Learning and Development Technology.
Purolator won the Brandon Hall Group awards across two categories:
- Best Advance in Augmented and Virtual Reality: Purolator National Hub – Ontario (NHO) Augmented Reality Facility Launch Tour
- Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology: Purolator National Hub – Ontario (NHO) 3D Modelling Across Training