During a recent presentation at the 2022 ASE Instructor Training Conference at Frisco, Texas, Ben Johnson, Director of Product Management for Mitchell 1, shared the benefits of teaching shop management systems to the next generation of commercial truck technicians.
He demonstrated how industry-standard shop management systems can be leveraged to teach the next generation of medium and heavy-duty truck technicians the art of running a shop to maximize productivity, reduce downtime and help ensure customer satisfaction.
His seminar attracted college and high school instructors around the nation who specialize in truck, auto and collision repair.
Johnson explained that instructors should take the opportunity to teach students about the business aspect of shop management—in addition to standard technical training—because the training will benefit both the shop and the technician.
A greater understanding
“The tech will get a greater understanding of the whole process of receiving a vehicle for repair, diagnosing the problem, fixing it, and delivering the vehicle back to a satisfied customer on time,” Johnson said, “and the shop benefits from return customers and technicians that are fully engaged with their business.”
He added that shop management tools can help technicians “tell the story” about a vehicle’s visit to a shop, including documenting the actual repair, the steps taken to diagnose the root cause, the work that was performed, and whether or not the repair resolved the customer issue. The software also helps technicians accurately measure and improve their own efficiencies – and at the same time, provides the shop with a full history for every customer and vehicle to help build a successful business.
Johnson also encouraged instructors to “treat their training centers like a shop,” and illustrated each step of the process using Mitchell 1’s Manager SE software. Some suggestions in Johnson’s presentation include:
- Introduce modules within the training program on building a business plan. Trainees can “work the plan” as part of the curriculum and evaluate success – performing the front-shop duties as well as the back-shop technical work – working each job as a shop would.
- Use the shop management system to measure the trainees’ productivity as they advance through each step of the repair.
- Teach students how to use time management tools to measure their productivity against what they are “paid” for (flat-rate).
- Have trainees design and implement a consistent vehicle inspection, helping to identify and document the overall health of the vehicle
Mitchell 1’s Manager SE Truck Edition provides complete shop management tools for Class 4-7 trucks to help businesses streamline repair processes, improve shop communication, engage with customers, track performance, and more with a complete view into each phase of the operation.