That being said, servicing is still the number one income earner for the automotive aftermarket right now, but the business of vehicle diagnostics and repair is changing fast. Problem-solving in modern vehicles bristling with computers and sensors is no longer possible with so-called “traditional methods” or outdated knowledge.
Many workshops lack the equipment, knowledge and understanding to tackle modern-day diagnostics. They practice what is commonly referred to as dartboard diagnostics. ‘Throw another ECU at it’ has regrettably become the diagnostic attitude for many.
Nobody wins in this game. Not only is it a costly solution to any problem, but it will most likely result in the loss of the customer.
Workshop owners who embrace training are the ones who will be able to stay in the game and, through their gained knowledge, will be able to build more profitable and successful businesses.
Those owners who say they are too busy to invest in training or think that they know it all have some very interesting years ahead of them.
How can workshops ensure they are ready to tackle the business of car servicing and repair in the twenty-first century?
Invest In Training Your Staff
Untrained staff translates to poor productivity and poor outcomes for your customers. The investment you make in paying to train your staff will repay itself many times over, especially if you’re one of an increasing number of workshops that is comfortable charging fairly for diagnostics.
While this has been an area of concern in the past, it’s pleasing that our State of the Nation report this year found that an increasing number of Members are investing more in training and keeping themselves up to speed with new technology in vehicles.
That being said, it’s important never to become complacent. Training isn’t a “one and done” type affair. As vehicles continue to involve, individuals will need to undergo ongoing training to ensure that they’re able to keep up with the increasingly rapid pace of change.
Get The Equipment You Need
There is no point in investing in training courses if the workshop doesn’t then invest in the appropriate equipment and data resources to tackle the job.
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Set Training Goals
Set a goal that all appropriate staff should complete a certain number of training hours every year. The successful completion of training could be part of regular performance reviews, be a condition for ongoing employment or be a determining factor in receiving an annual bonus.
Discuss Diagnostics And Solutions As A Team
Make it a habit to casually discuss diagnostics and solutions during toolbox meetings and tea breaks. And once a diagnostic job is resolved, ask the team to discuss the solution so that the knowledge is shared with all employees.
Here’s the challenge – identify your training needs and start investing in your staff and business. It will cost you money, but nowhere near as much as the cost of keeping untrained staff on the payroll.