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Educated staff = more $$
Garry Bartecki
Garry Bartecki

If I had to bet on the title of this column I suspect I would win at least 90% of the time. What do you think?

Why do I suggest that spending more time and dollars on training and education will generate more dollars to either the top line or bottom line or both? It is because:

  • 70% of employers trying to fill open positions say they cannot find qualified candidates.
  • Compared to other major economies the US only spends 20% of what they do on training.
  • In your industry it is common to find department managers behind the curve when it comes to maximizing profits from the use of the latest technology.
  • Recent Forbes articles explain how much training matters and used examples of how sharing company financials leads to better performance and profits.
  • We are facing a period of rapid change related to IofT making it almost impossible for current employees to keep up.
  • Falling behind on training and the use of technology is a sure way to deplete the value of your company.
  • 30 million boomers will be retiring by 2020 taking all their experience with them.
  • Add some of your own.

The three issues that cause the biggest concerns are:

  • The scale and timing of the changes taking place
  • The continual creation of new Iof T applications
  • Losing Boomer experience

What this all means is that if you plan to upgrade your company to the use of the latest technology you best GET STARTED NOW, MAKE IT AN INTEGRAL PART OF YOUR ANNUAL BUSINESS PLAN AND CONTINUALLY REVIEW UPGRADES OR NEW SOLUTIONS AS NECESSARY TO KEEP YOU AT THE FRONT OF THE PACK.

Sounds a bit daunting to me. Needs a top down approach. Will require an internal team to manage the process. Has to be implemented within the allotted timeframe. May take some bucks to make happen.

Where would you start?

Good question, but I believe I would want to survey people in the industry to see what they are doing and how it is working. I guess I would:

  • Contact my OEM's find out what they are seeing out there and who is doing it.
  • I would contact MHEDA and ask the same question, and at the same time find out what changes they are making in their training offerings that may be of interest.
  • I would consider joining a performance group because participants in these groups are most likely the ones who will know what new technology is providing results based on conversations with their performance group peers.
  • Then I would duplicate these steps in related industries, such as construction equipment, heavy duty trucks and other service related entities.
  • I would search the internet for courses or training materials that might be helpful to your particular needs.
  • I would hire Millennial's who could help formulate a tech-savvy program.
  • I would get Six Sigma Lean data and see how that could be applied to your business.

The goal here is to upgrade current employees and introduce them to the latest technology. To have a training program available for new hires covering all departments. To provide adequate departmental metrics to department employees and encourage their feedback to improve the process and operating results. And finally, to annually update the current program and make changes as necessary to keep your team at a reasonable competitive level.

Not only do you have on-line training programs for every department in your company, you also have group sessions sponsored by MHEDA or some other industry organization. Coaches are also available to help manage both the parts and service and rental departments. The point here is that the training materials are there for the taking along with coaches who can assist with implementation. It will be up to management to monitor the process to make sure that the training courses are completed and that managers are buying in to the new techniques being displayed.

Most dealers need people. Sales people that can get the job done. Parts personnel who know how to handle customers both internal and external. Service techs who can proceed up the ladder as soon as possible. Having training programs for each new hire geared to their department will go a long way to making that employee both efficient and confident that he/she can get the job done.

There is NO doubt that training for existing as well as new employees is a must. You can either wait to find that perfect candidate or have a training curriculum available to put the best player you've found to work as soon as possible.

You may be at the forefront of change today, but don't look back because the future is creeping up at you at a very rapid pace.

Garry Bartecki is a CPA MBA with GB Financial Services LLC. E-mail to contact Garry.