Mastertech accreditation – Essential for your garage

Being or having a Master Technician in your garage will change your business forever
Published:  24 February, 2020

Running a garage can be difficult. There you go I said it. ‘Difficult’. No spin; no, let’s put some fluff around it and call it a ‘challenge’. It can sometimes be a down right pain in the backside.
Like you, I’ve experienced these problems firsthand, and also have the fortunate position of discussing these issues every week with those on our garage development programs. Initially a garage owner may feel like the problems they face are isolated to their business, but I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that there is a great deal of commonality - many garages are faced with exactly the same issues.
So you get it. It’s difficult. But is there a solution? Of course there is.

Life just is
No, I’m not sitting here cross-legged practicing my Mantra, but I like that theory and it has often helped me to make sound decisions when running a garage. But what does it really mean?
For me it’s about constantly reminding myself that I’m not in control of what happens around me (i.e. what employees and customers do), all I can control is how I react. Let’s take a look at how this works in practice.
Imagine you’re a workshop manager. A technician, approaches you with a forlorn look on his face and the head of a bolt in his hand. “It just snapped” he proclaims, or “I’ve fitted that ECU and it still won’t start”, or “I’ve test driven that car for 50 miles and I still can’t make the fault happen.” Sound familiar?
It’s not just related to technical issues either. I’ll often hear a garage owner say, “I’ve lost a customer, but I’m not competing on price”. And indeed, why should you! BUT!…It’s certainly an issue that’ll need to be addressed.
As you know these daily occurrences are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems a garage has to deal with, and often seen as ‘bad’ by a garage owner. Remember however, that there is no good or bad, it’s just how it is. It’s how it is for many garages, the key is accepting this and then taking action. After all, there may be much you can’t control, but you are in complete control of the action you take.

It’s not about being good at Plan A
OK, that’s not quite right. I love a great Plan A, but I’ve gotten used to quickly implementing Plan B or C when required. In fact, being great at B and C is often the difference between stress and success. But what does all this have to do with Mastertech accreditation?
Quite simply, many of the problems a garage experiences can be largely rectified by planning to develop a technician (or technicians) to Mastertech level. Not convinced? Let’s take a look at how it’ll help.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the IMI Master Technician Accreditation was just about technical capability. It’s not. It’s about ensuring a technician is well rounded, has a wide vision of the business, and can display both technical and non-technical skills to assist with the smooth operation of your garage. Let’s take a look at the different tasks required to pass the Master Technician assessment.
Instructional support: A lot of headaches can be avoided in your garage if your technicians can teach others in the workshop as well as front of house team members. It’s this ‘on the job’ training that makes such a difference to the business in the medium and long term.
This module ensures that a technician has sufficient technical knowledge to explain fundamental vehicle systems, component operation and test procedures, then impart that knowledge as required throughout the business.
Customer liaison: Not all front of house team members has the technical ability to tease the right information out of a client, or help a client to understand why a particular technical procedure is necessary. It’s these skills in your garage that often shortens time to diagnose or placates a grumpy customer.
The module is designed to ensure that the technician has great communication skills, can assess the customers needs and deliver the information in a way the customer understands, making them feel valued no matter how challenging the client!
Technical assessment:  It wouldn’t be Mastertech without the three technical tasks. It goes without saying that your garage will benefit where your technicians use a logical process; the right tools; relevant information to carry out the right tests when required; as well as know what the answer should be prior to the testing.
This module ensures a technician can display these skills, while completing the tasks in a timely manner, across different vehicle systems and subsequently document their findings. Knowledge is then confirmed in an online test prior to concluding the day.
All in all, it’s a great experience for a technician to have their skills recognised and be added to the IMI professional register, but equally as great for the garage owner to have this necessary skill set under their roof. There are also some benefits that may not be immediately apparent.

Upon closer inspection...
While there are a number of obvious benefits such as reducing misdiagnosis; vehicle comebacks; reducing workshop stress; support for workshop and front of house team and increasing efficiency, there are others that might not be so obvious.
How about staff retention? We all know how challenging, not to mention time consuming and expensive it can be to find great team members for your garage, but once you’ve found them what steps can you take to ensure they stay?
Well, from the right technicians’ point of view being allowed to take part in a training program that helps them to develop and become a Mastertech will ensure they feel invested in and therefore easier to retain. Not only that but the whole team will appreciate the reduction in stress as they now have support in the workshop, as well as with those awkward technical points at reception. It really is one of those rare situations where everyone wins. And then there’s the marketing opportunities.
Do you recall the earlier problem? The “I’ve lost a customer, but I’m not competing on price”. Having a Mastertech (or a whole bunch of them) in your garage can help here too. It’s often challenging for a garage owner to separate their business from others like it, but having a Mastetech on your team can often fix that.
If you search the IMI Professional Register for a Master Technician in your town then you’ll usually find that the register displays a number of franchised dealers and only one or two (if any at all) independent Master Technicians. This is an outstanding opportunity when communicated correctly for you to separate your garage from those in your locale, and one that the ‘right customer’ will value over your cut price competition. Now that really is a BIG win for your garage.

Decisions decisions
Ultimately, developing a Master Technician in your business is an investment, and like all good investments pays dividends for many years to come. The interesting part with this investment though is that the cost is roughly the same as visiting your local coffee shop daily. What would you rather have, a Mocha Chocha Bokka Latte or a Master Tech? The choice is yours.
As always, I’m here to answer your questions. If you’d like to find out how Auto iQ can help your team to become a Master Technicians at our IMI Approved Centre, then feel free to call on 01604 328 500.


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