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Three groups of talent the automotive industry needs to address

Monday, July 29, 2019 - 07:00
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In a previous article, I discussed the idea that our industry is not attractive to the talent pool we so desperately need. This idea is tough for our industry. I don’t want this discussion to be comfortable, however, because comfort is what has brought us to this point. We have been comfortable with the way we’ve always done things. We’ve always had a model whose foundation is based on piece work priced on a time standard that has little context with what actually happens in our bays. Our teams have always been paid based on what they produced, without consideration for what they need or what they earned.

We rely on the production team to provide the tools and equipment needed to do the job without consideration for process and accuracy, and we’ve always hired based on verbal acknowledgement of skill and years’ experience rather than hire to competency or proof of skill. We rarely have someone ready to take the place of a team member who leaves the company. Instead, we wait until they’re gone and then begin the search for a replacement. All the while complaining about the lack of response to help wanted ads and the cost of recruiting. For my generation, we’ve always thought it was normal for a tech to always be a tech and never want anything else except the few who go out on their own and compete against us. How many of you have had these thoughts?

As this industry faces the largest challenges in its history with respect to the advancements in vehicle technology, I don’t want you to miss the reality that our industry is being left behind as an attractive option for young people to consider investing in as a profession. We must realize that while we provide services for consumers on their vehicles that are some of the most complex technology machines on the planet, as an industry we lack innovation in making our careers one of the most preferred places to work. Many of you are taking innovative actions to make your businesses look attractive to motorists, have invested in beautiful facilities and education for your teams, etc. But at the core of what we do lies a crumbling cornerstone that we must replace if we are to survive: new talent.

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