By Mike Davey
Hamilton, Ontario -- February 21, 2017 -- The constantly advancing technology in the latest cars means training is more important than ever before. We hear the same message from every quarter: to stay competitive and perform safe repairs, you must conduct regular training. But are repairers living up to this ideal?
Generally speaking, they seem to be, according to the results of our latest survey. Collision Repair magazine surveys its readership every week on topics of interest to the collision repair industry. The next survey looks at our own performance and how we might be able to serve you better. You can take the survey at this link, and it should take less than two minutes to fill out.
One of the first questions on our survey gets right down to brass tacks, asking “Have you taken any training courses, seminars or workshops in the last year?” A whopping 86 percent of our survey respondents indicated they had taken at least one training course in the last year. Of those, 58 percent had taken more than one course. Finally, just 14 percent of respondents indicated that they had not taken any training in the last year.
This does not necessarily mean that no training had been done at those shops. The vast majority of our survey respondents are shop owners and managers, rather than technicians or other production staff. The question asked about training the respondent had personally attended, rather than training they had sent others on or hosted.
Those who indicated that they had taken some form of training in the last year were then asked a series of questions about the type of training they had engaged in. First, we looked at management training, including topics such as leadership, human resources and profitability. The majority of respondents (62 percent) had taken this type of training in the last year, with the remaining 38 percent indicating that they had not.
Technical courses showed even higher numbers. Of our respondents, 68 percent had taken some form of technical course in the last year, with 32 percent indicating that they had not.
We also asked about welding certification. This question did not limit responses to training in the last year, but was open ended. It looks like the industry may still have some distance to cover when it comes to welding. Just 29 percent indicated they had taken welding certification. However, it may be a good time to once again note that the majority of our respondents are shop owners and managers, rather than production staff.
The weighting of management level staff in our surveys may also be responsible for the answer to our next question. We asked “Have you taken any courses on estimating in your career?” The numbers for this are almost a reverse of the question regarding welding certification. The vast majority of our respondents (73 percent) have taken formal instruction in how to write estimates at some point in their careers. The next most popular responses were “No, I’m self-taught” at 18 percent and “No formal courses, but I was trained by someone else at the business” at just 9 percent.
|This chart shows the prevalence of formal estimating training. Most of our survey
respondents have received formal training of this type at some point in their careers.
Finally, we asked respondents to let us know which organizations had provided them with training in the last year. Please note that our readers could choose multiple organizations, so the figures given do not add up to 100 percent. The single largest category was “Supplier training on specific equipment or procedures,” with 67 percent of respondents indicating they had received this type of training in the last year. Next in line was I-CAR, with 50 percent of those surveyed indicating they had taken an I-CAR course, followed by “Company Specific” training at 42 percent. We should note that “Company Specific” in this case applies to training provided by the company the respondent works for or owns, rather than training on a specific car brand.
“OEM factory training” and “Seminars or workshops at local trade shows” were tied at 25 percent each. Rounding out the list was the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) at 8 percent.
|This chart shows the popularity of training delivery organizations and methods.
It should be noted that respondents could choose more than one answer for this question.
Our next survey focuses on Collision Repair magazine’s coverage of the Canadian collision repair industry. You can participate in the survey here, and watch for results next Wednesday on collisionrepairmag.com!