The technician shortage is a common concern across the United States and everybody is looking for solutions. Many dealerships are placing ads looking for experienced technicians with little response from qualified applicants. The focus is on the immediate need without an understanding of the overall solution. I understand immediate needs must be addressed, however dealerships should look well in advance for future needs and instill a practice that develops technicians now to fill those requirements. I have always been strongly committed to having dealerships grow their own technicians for future needs. The finest example I have seen that illustrates this involves service manager, Chris Henry with Brown’s sales and service in Elkader Iowa. This is a small town of 1500 people near the Mississippi River that definitely increases the challenge to find technicians that are qualified. Chris Henry found a young man that desired to become a technician Nick Brink, however, he had no certifications or training. Chris believed in Nick’s potential so much he offered to sponsor him in the Ford asset program. The dealership paid for the program cost, housing, food and fuel needed while he was in school. The dealership did require Nick to commit to five years at their service department or fully repay the investment they made in him. The dealership and Nick met every commitment to learning and obligation with great results. Nick is now a certified Ford Master Technician with eight years at Brown’s Sales and Leasing. He generally produces $14,000 monthly in service department labor and parts gross profit. As this example illustrates investing in people over the long term can generate success stories that provide a greater purpose for your dealership. The partnership between manufacturers, individuals, and dealerships need to be developed to fill the need for technicians throughout America. Some of the individuals you select won’t make it, however you’re either going to be a part of the solution or the problem. My hope is we reach for the solution together with great stories like Chris and Nick in your dealership.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.