Educating your techs should be a priority.
Training’s important, right? It should be a no-brainer, but more employers might want to make it a priority.
If staff is properly trained, shops can boost productivity, limit liability, avoid injuries, limit downtime, increase customer awareness, and educate other employees as well. When your staff are working on tires, they’re responsible for making sure that when the vehicle returns to service, it’s safe for the customer and passengers. That’s a huge responsibility.
Instead of being reactive, it’s better to be proactive. Times have changed. There’s TPMS, electronic stability control, cars with 20 and 22 inch tires, trucks with 28 inch tires. It’s not the same old tire any more. From repair to installation, it’s a whole new ball game, with even more changes on the way.
Don’t think of it as losing a tech for a few days. I can understand that—I’ve had my own tire shop and it’s never easy to be down a tech. But at the same time, we have to understand that if we pick the right kind of training and the right person for the training, they’ll actually be bringing more productivity to the table.
Training isn’t just about learning certain things, it’s also about seeing new tools, seeing how other people do things, seeing new technology, going to trade shows, getting involved in the business. It’s what can put your shop on the leading edge, and differentiate you from the competition.
The certified training that we provide is in a school setting, so even though you lose your tech for four days, it’s worth it because it’s hands-on work and they get certified. Learning manuals and charts is important, but getting that one-on-one is really important. Your techs are seeing something different from somebody else.
Advertise your staff’s accomplishments
Think about posting certificates for training in your shop. Customers are impressed that your techs are educated. And instead of just providing tire service, your techs can educate customers about things like TPMS—what it means when the light is flashing, when the light is solid, that they’re losing 25 percent of their tire pressure. When their air pressure’s low, they’ll lose fuel efficiency, compromise safety, and shortening tire life. That’s a huge benefit to the customer.
Many vendors and suppliers will pay for training, and arrange it so that it’s not disruptive to your business. We train with some of the biggest tire companies in Canada. Once they saw the benefits, they do all kinds of training—from online to in-class. You can have a trainer come into your shop.
A common goal amongst competitors
And sometimes, it’s just a matter of reading, keeping up with the industry, talking with the shop down the street. Some of my competitors are my best friends. We get along because we all want to make sure our techs go home safe. You don’t want to wait until something happens.
The bottom line is, there’s absolutely no negative when it comes to training. Training is power. Is there a tool out there that can make a job easier? And more productive? We’re all out to make a profit, and quite frankly, education can also boost the bottom line!