Top Technician 2017 winner to be announced at Top Tech Live

Published:  19 July, 2017

Top Technician 2017 reached the final last week, and all eyes now turn towards Top Tech Live, where the winner will be announced in September.

The final took place on Thursday 13 July at the RMI Academy of Skills in Southam, Warwickshire as the remaining contestants threw themselves into the last tasks of the competition. 

The finalists were: Shaun Miller   Miller’s Garage, Berkshire Kevin Toms  FRL Autoservices, Devon Karl Weaver  Bull Lane Garage, Kent Richard Lukins Fiorano Cars, London Neil Currie  Robertson Gemini, Dumfries & Galloway

Each of the five faced the range of challenges with aplomb, but only one can be named Top Technician for 2017.

Top Tech Live All the finalists will be on hand at Top Tech Live on Saturday 16 September at the Henry Ford Academy to see who will be revealed as the winner for 2017, along with winners from the past and many significant figures from the sector.

There’s far more to the day than the announcement though.

Top Tech Live is able to offer an exclusive Ford technical seminar as a result of the location. This is a rare opportunity to receive official instruction from a Ford technical trainer and you will want to make sure you take part.

Then there are the speakers. A number of judges from the final will be there. Andy Savva, David Massey of ADS, Pico’s Steve Smith and John Batten from AutoIQ will   all be giving top-level presentations on a range of topics

Joining them will be Rob Lewis of Jaguar Land Rover, Peter Coombes of Tech Club and Eliot Smith, as well as representatives from Snap-on and Our Virtual Academy.

That’s a packed schedule for one day, and it’s easy to make sure you are there.

Tickets are £82 plus VAT , but anyone who entered the competition gets a special discount and pays just £62 plus VAT.

To assure your place call  01732 370340 today to book.

Top Technician 2017 Top Technician 2017 is sponsored by Ring Automotive and Snap-on.

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  • Miller on a mission: Just say NO!  

    Top Technician 2018 champion Shaun Miller is on a roll. Apart from being crowned as the best tech the country, he has diagnostic investigation as a passion as well as a profession. If that’s not enough he is also a new father with plans for the future of the family business, Millers Garage.
        
    Sounds like a busy life eh? Well that’s not the half of it, as Shaun is also one of the brains behind a growing campaign to change attitudes to the fitment of customer supplied parts. Together with Steven Paterson from Krypton Garage and MOT Centre, Shaun has set up 'Say NO to customer supplied parts (UK),’ a Facebook group dedicated to spreading the message of, as you might expect, educating customers not to fit customer
    supplied parts.
        
    A year after setting up, the group has almost 2,000 members, with participation on the rise.

    Steady increase
    Shaun explained the thinking behind it: "It came about as I noticed a steady increase in people asking us to fit their own supplied parts. I didn't want to do it, as at the end of the day, the parts profit is part of our business, Also, the parts they where supplying where normally incorrect or cheap budget parts which we won’t fit anyway.”
        
    Shaun had some experience of the problems fitting customer supplied-parts brought, as like many businesses, there was a time when Millers Garage would do it too: “We used to fit parts provided by customers, everybody did.“
        
    When the business made a stand against the practice, Shaun found that a solid explanation of why they were refusing would come in handy: ”When we started to say no, people wanted to know why.”
        
    So talking to Steven, Shaun discovered one of Steven’s friends lost a lot of money when a part they fitted supplied by a customer went wrong, “Public liability insurance is actually a massive issue with this. If you fitted the part, you are a professional, that means you are saying that the part is fit for purpose. Most public liability insurance will only pay out if there is a paper trail where the company has supplied the part. This way, if they can trace it back to the supplier in cases where something has failed and caused a lawsuit, the manufacturer of the part can officially be questioned about the issue.”

    Education
    Shaun felt this was something people should be talking about more, and the social media realm beckoned: “Not long after I started to look into it,  I was speaking to Steven Paterson about it – he is probably the best diagnostic guru in the country – he said he'd also had enough of it. That is when we set-up the Facebook group, along with admin help from Dave Hill another very well respected technician. Within a few days we had 700 members up and down the country. It is trying to educate the industry to stop fitting customer supplied parts.”
        
    He obviously hit a nerve.
        
    Shaun wants to spread the message that, while a business may believe it is helping a customer by fitting a part they brought in, long-term it is bad for the customer and the sector as a whole: “One you are damaging the industry, as it is a rapid race to the bottom, with everything cheaper and cheaper. Two – If something goes wrong you are going to be in massive trouble for it. Is it worth it?”
        
    It also raises the question of who is your customer: “Mostly those customers who bring their own parts  are not the customers for us, although I have managed to convert one or two – the ones who say "can you fit it?” I explain why not.
      
    “I ask how much they paid for that clutch and I tell them I can get it for maybe £20 more, but they are getting value for it as they have cover. It is that perceived value and that is what really made us start pushing it. We have 2,000 members now.”

    Watch this space
    Not that we want to let the cat out of the bag, but Shaun was keeping quiet about his involvement in the group: “I go to training courses now and people say, 'have you heard of that group?' They start talking about it, but I don’t say anything. It is interesting to hear people mention it. It’s quite cool.“
        
    On plans for the future of the group, Shaun said: “We want to spread the word countrywide and completely end this fast growing trend created by the internet. If garages keep allowing this it will become the norm and we will lose control of our industry. We will keep pushing the group and trying to get as much publicity in the industry as possible.”
        
    The campaign may extend to other platforms as well: “We may look to expand to other networks such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube as some point in the future. Watch this space.” As for right now, Shaun is looking to the readers of Aftermarket to join the campaign: “We all have a responsibility to protect our profit and the future of our industry so now is your turn to help stop this cancer in our industry.” If you want to join the group go to: http://bit.ly/saynouk

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