Technician Outlook with Jake Sorensen-Part 2 [RR 659]
Jake Sorensen- 2019 NAPA ASE Technician of the Year and 2019 Ratchet + Wrench All-Star technician of the year. He is an ASE Master technician with L1,2 and 3 advanced level certifications. He is the shop manager and diagnostic technician at McNeil’s Auto Care in Sandy, UT where he helped develop an apprenticeship program that is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. This program has graduated several high-performing automotive technicians and was used by NAPA Auto Care as a template for their automotive apprenticeship program. Jake also developed the curriculum for an automotive course that he teaches at an adult education high school. Listen to Jake’s previous episodes HERE
Listen to Part 1 HERE.
Key Talking Points
How do you keep technicians happy? Pay attention to why they left their job in the interview process. Pay isn’t the only factor. What is the work environment? What are the opportunities? How is the equipment inventory and is it updated? Consider simple things like a stocked fridge for your technicians. Your break room doesn’t have to be newly built- provide a clean table and some comfortable chairs. Painting the bathroom to make it look fresh also makes a difference
Training- offer different variety of training so it works for them
What is the next step for master techs? Everyone wants to work toward something. Move into diagnostics. Pay needs to reflect technicians continuing to progress and advance. Labor rates also need to continue to rise.
Dedicated diagnostic technician- separation of mechanical and diagnostics technicians. A diagnostic-specific technician needs to constantly be training to stay ahead. “A Tech” is superb with mechanical skills and can do light diagnostic work.
Diagnostic bays- Customers have a preconceived notion that a computer plugs into the car and tells tech what is wrong. Consider taking them to an area with diagnostic tech to show the customer the technology invested into diagnostics. Monitor total shop production instead of where it came from- diagnostic tech won’t be “most efficient” compared to “A Techs.”
Team events- BBQ’s, annual boating trip, bowling, Christmas party with spouses and family
Thanks to Jake Sorensen for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
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