By Andy Fiffick, MACS Chairman and CEO, Owner Rad-Air Complete Car Care Cleveland,OH
It is no secret that vehicles and sub-systems are changing at an alarming rate, and we need to keep up with technology or else get left behind. We also know if we don’t buy the new tools and equipment, we will no longer to be able to perform our duties in the not-so-distant future.
Knowing this, our actions as shop owners does puzzle me at times! Many of the shop owners I talk to have no problem purchasing the latest and greatest tool or scanner, and even brag about it; however, no one brags about their training program.
Training their staff is one area in which our major competitor has us dead cold. The new vehicle franchisees schedule and require their staff to continue their education as part of their new vehicle franchise agreement. Their staff gets the best vehicle-specific training and equipment each year as new technologies change. Believe me, these vehicle manufactures know training pays dividends for their brand and long term survival.
I honestly believe most independent shops employ staff as good or better than most vehicle or brand- specific shops do, so why are we not training our staff as well? It is easy for the dealer – the manufacturer requires the training as part of the deal. For us, it takes an outright effort to develop a training program for our staff.
For me, our staff is our No. 1 asset and we need to treat them as such. In our shops, we require continual education through affiliate programs and in-house training. Annual performance reviews ensure all employees are on the path to becoming the best technician they can individually become and receive incentive bonuses for updating their education. All training expenses are paid by the company, and we make every effort to develop the professional and technical skills of each employee.
The real question here is: “How are independent shop owners going to compete for the brightest and best talent out there if we do not put a value on training and education of our staff?” Starting a training program in your shop will also reap benefits and ensure your survival. Consider a formal training program for your staff today.
Speaking of training, make sure you attend the MACS Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas. You can’t get better training for such a small investment anywhere.
See you in Las Vegas!
The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.
You can E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.
The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.