Investing in the Future: No Longer an Option
Ongoing education is the key to growing your business.
If there’s one thing everyone in the automotive industry agrees on, it’s that ongoing training is no longer an option in keeping up with changing technology. So how do we keep up with changing technology?
Some of the answers can be found by attending industry events. We’ve attended shows all over North America from NACE/Automechanika held in Chicago this past July to AAPEX/SEMA in Las Vegas in November 2017.
With these shows being the largest events of their kind, they provide the ideal opportunity for showcasing the latest technology in the automotive aftermarket industry. Automotive repair professionals can experience the latest in education and training, ranging from diagnostics to hybrids, electric vehicles, diesel, and brake service as well as business management and marketing.
Top diagnostics experts such as John Thornton, Craig Van Batenburg, Danny Sanchez, Jerry Truglia, and more frequently conduct seminars at these events. These big events also feature OEM input with automakers like Toyota, Nissan, Fiat/Chrysler, Ford, Volkswagen, GM and more, showcasing developments on their side of the business as well as numerous suppliers who provide parts and systems to the OEMs. Getting a handle on what the OEMs are currently doing is a great way of understanding what we can expect in our service bays in the coming months and years. Besides technical training, big industry events often feature special courses designed for shop owners and managers on running their business and other key factors such as budgeting, hiring, and training.
I noticed when attending the AAPEX and SEMA shows this past November that we seemed to connect with friends and industry peers from all over North America who are also there to learn, and that’s a good thing.
Training and education play such important roles in your success. It is essential in order to continue servicing your customers who purchase and drive ever more complex vehicles. There are some shops that find it hard to justify the cost and time away from the business in attending these types of events, but there are many service providers I’ve spoken to that value the information on technology and training as well as access to the latest tools and equipment. For them, attending these events is worth the time away from the shop.
Make no mistake, in Canada we need more training specific to modern vehicles as well as a safe and productive working environment. It’s something AARO is committed to.
One particular area of training that shop owners should pay attention to is Compliance training courses, such as WHMIS 2015 with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (which was revised in February 2015).
If you fail to comply with the Occupational Health & Safety Act or WHMIS legislation you may be fined up to $25,000 and or serve up to 12 months in jail. A corporation can be fined up to $500,000.
Other requirements include Workplace Violence and Harassment, Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls, and Accessibility Standards, the AODA, and the Human Rights Code, courses that are available through AARO at no cost to members.
Awareness starts at the shop level. By educating yourself on these as well as the latest in technical training and management practices, you will better position yourself to navigate the changes and challenges ahead.