Service Technicians

The complaints are still out there- “I can’t find any experienced equipment technicians.” Isn’t it obvious by now that anyone worth anything that has experience is going to be working already? If there is a technician available and they apply for work I am sure that you will give them a very thorough interview and background check.

We need to develop our own technicians. As obvious as that seems to be we continue to be in denial.

Hire willing young men and women (yes women) who have a mechanical aptitude and get them into a development program. Start as we did in the old days with one “help/trainee” for every two technicians. Set up a training program. Work with local technical schools and unions and customers who offer technical training. Establish a “career path” training program. It will take roughly three years to create a market ready technician.

There are wonderful programs at Oklahoma State University in Okmulgee for one which works with dealers and manufacturers to offer specific brand training programs. Caterpillar, John Deere, Toyota and Ditch Witch to name a few work with schools around the country on these programs. Check out your local area to find the schools that you can partner with in this area.

Caring about your employees, providing training and a safety aware work place will go a long way to retaining your employees. Some dealers, and extremely success dealers, have never had a layoff of technical employees. Imagine what that says to the employee.

The time to complain has long since passed – don’t you think we should start developing our own? The time is now…..

Can we make a difference

The transition to team management while still encouraging curiosity is struggling as management doesn’t know how to encourage risk taking without contradicting the work of the team.

The story of the ages is that people will take risks when they have less to lose and be risk averse when they have a lot to lose. How to break through this paradigm will be a challenge.

To lower parts inventories while improving customer availability.

To guarantee completion dates on repairs while embracing employee satisfaction.

To retain customers while payment patterns change.

All of these challenges exist because we have been rather timid over the past years to tackle changes necessary in a meaningful manner. Now is the time.

Are employees looking around today?

December was the first month in many years that had more people quitting their jobs than being laid off or fired. Is this the beginning of musical chairs with employees? Is the labor market now strong enough to absorb all the employees that feel they were hard done by over the past three or four years by their employers?

What should employers do to keep their employees satisfied and happy and stimulated in their work to retain them as employees?