Stressing on knowledge and skills

SML Isuzu held the second National Skill Competition for its technicians.

Story by:

Anirudh Raheja

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Vehicle complexities are on the rise. With the upcoming BSIV emission norms, complexities are expected to rise even further. Usage of electronics is at the core of complexities rising. The other is composites. Combined with rapidly changing buyer requirements and market cyclicity, OEMs, it is evident, are training their workforce to tackle what could be termed as weird and unanticipated challenges. Such training, and transfer of knowledge to be able to tackle challenges is being extended to dealers as well. It is in this direction that Chandigarh-based SML Isuzu has set up two new regional training centers in India, at Bangalore and Kolkata respectively. According to Eiichi Seto, MD and CEO, SML Isuzu, “The two centers are strategically placed to enable us to impart better training and education. These centers will also ensure that one does not have to travel to Chandigarh for the purpose. This would help us to keep our costs down.” The Bangalore center is expected to go on stream in December 2016, and the Kolkata center is expected to go on stream by early 2017. Over the last one year, the company has applied thrust on improving its sales and service network. It has invested in the training of its dealers, and has taken steps to further study and enhance its operations. SML Isuzu is gearing up to evaluate trainees once they come down to attend the training sessions regardless of the duration. Said Nawal Kumar Sharma, General Manager, Product Sales and Customer satisfaction, SML Isuzu, “The pre- and post-training evaluation will allow us to understand the improvement in the trainee. It would also help us to understand if we need to change the training module for better imparting of knowledge and skills.” For its technicians, SML Isuzu organised its second National Competition at its Ropar, Chandigarh plant recently.

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Second National skill Competition for technicians

Following in the footsteps of the first National Skill Competition, the second edition saw SML Isuzu further fine-tune the competition model to make it more effective. Aimed at strengthening the company’s dealer and technician network, the competition saw over 110 dealerships across India participate. Out of the 110 dealerships, 50 dealerships were shortlisted. They made it to the competition on the basis on their demonstration of skill sets and technical abilities. The last edition had 25 dealerships. Averred Seto, “The basic motive of such competitions is not to imbibe a spirit of competition among various dealerships, but to help them to build an ability to meet service challenges.” Out of the 50 dealerships shortlisted, six were selected after further evaluation. These six dealer teams were invited to the Ropar plant to exhibit their knowledge and abilities, and show their aptitude towards problem solving. “If they are able to deal the situation well, the customer will return to them for his or her service needs,” expressed Sharma.

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The six teams were challenged with SML Isuzu vehicles in the eight to nine tonne GVW. These were Samrat XM, Supreme XM T3500 and Prestige T3500 to be precise. All three were fitted with BSIV emission compliant engines. Based on six basic parameters including safety, protection, inspection, failure analysis, measurement, and tool selection and usage, the competition reflected upon skills and knowledge. Held in two parts with three teams taking part in two groups, the first 10 minutes of the competition had them field a five set questionnaire; the works managers and service engineers. This was about judging their abilities in situations like a vehicle not starting, and how they would diagnose an error. It was also about identifying issues in a vehicle during general inspection. The next task involved the inspection of a connecting rod bush and piston by using appropriate tools. An issue regarding the clutch was also to be identified and dealt with. For 45 minutes, service engineers used various tools and gauges including micrometer, digitech multimeter, vernier caliper, dial gauge, etc., to identify and repair the vehicle. There job was complete when they brought the vehicle to life.

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Solan-based BEE GEE Automobiles, won the competition, and was awarded Rs.30,000 in cash. They were also given shopping vouchers worth Rs.10,000. The first runner up in the competition was Rathinam Motors, Coimbatore. It was awarded Rs.20,000 in cash and vouchers worth Rs.6000. The HKS Automobiles team from Delhi was awarded a cash prize of Rs.16000 and shopping vouchers of Rs.6000. SML Isuzu gave a consolation prize of Rs.5000 to the rest of the three teams. Opined Sharma, that it is necessary for dealers to have a modern setup, and be well equipped to tackle a service challenge. They also have to ensure that a vehicle is back on the road quickly. “From April 2017, BSIV emission norms will be implemented. This will complicate repairs. Repair skills will become more crucial, and a systematic approach will be vital,” concluded Seto.

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