Typically, a dealership will invest over $40,000 to get a technician certified to master status. To keep this technician current will require investing additional thousands in training every year. Historically dealerships haven’t attempted to maximize this investment by sharing with less trained newer talent. With the shortage of new technicians entering into the automotive industry, dealerships must challenge old standards and develop new programs to address current issues. For new technicians to enter into the industry they require large investments in tools and training before applying for dealership positions. Even with these investments, the lack of manufacturer certifications has dealerships paying entry-level wages on flat rate programs that forced many new technicians to seek employment in other industries due to a lack of income. Entry-level technicians rarely generate enough flat-rate compensation to provide their basic necessities such as food and rent. The Technician Mentor program addresses the challenges in today’s marketplace and will develop a consistent flow of talented individuals that will meet future requirements of the dealership.
1. Entry-level technicians should be selected on the quality of character and desire more than existing training certifications or tools.
2. A realistic hourly rate that will provide enough income to support the individual entry-level technician must be paid without concern for flat rate compensation requirements.
3. The dealership must assist with tools if necessary. This is one of the largest stumbling blocks for new technicians to enter into the automotive industry and can’t be ignored. Dealerships could arrange payment plans with the tool vendor and assist with payroll deductions for the technician trainee and offset a percentage of the individual cost based on an agreement of longevity. If the individual continues employment with the dealership over three years the funding received is retired and the technician would own their tools.
4. Online training certifications by the manufacturer should be taken with one day set aside per week for the trainee. As the trainee develops hands-on manufacturer training should be provided along with ASE certification.
5. Service management should perform a monthly review with the mentor and trainee to review progress.
Mentor Selection and Benefits:
1. The mentor should have an established successful history with the dealership and a positive attitude.
2. Mentor will receive 50% of trainee flagged hours at their current flat rate of pay. Revenue share will not extend beyond 12 months.
3. Mentor will assist in diagnosis and direction of trainee while allowing the trainee to complete repairs.
4. Mentor will assist management openly and honestly with trainee evaluations on a consistent basis.
5. Mentor will not have multiple trainees at any given time to allow appropriate focus on the individual.
6. Mentor will receive a bonus of $1,000 on successful completion of trainee into a line technician position.
If we desire a change for tomorrow, we must take action. We must develop in the future together; one technician at a time would be a positive step.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
Cell: (419) 282-1351
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