FOR ANY COLLISION CENTER, sending staff to instructor-led training is a huge investment in time and money. There are the expenses of travel, accommodations, the training itself, not to mention the lost production time when the employee is out of the shop. This can raise the question—is the expense of time and money worth the ultimate goal of being trained by Toyota? The answer, according to many professionals in the business, is absolutely. Being Toyota trained provides so many benefits to a shop’s efficiency, customer satisfaction and ability to perform correct, high-quality repairs that the cost of training is negligible in comparison. The cost of sending a technician to training can pay off in many ways. It helps to reduce cycle time and repair mistakes, and ultimately helps to fix the vehicle correctly the first time.
“Training provides owners, managers, and customers with the peace of mind that cars are being repaired correctly,” says Robert DeBarr, Longo Toyota/Lexus Certified Collision Center Manager. “Toyota training provides so much detail about how to carry out specific repairs that it would be difficult to get elsewhere. Even when a technician with years of experience goes to training, that technician still comes back having learned something valuable, such as doing something in a more efficient way.”
INCREASE PROFIT, REDUCE CYCLE TIME
Ensuring that your staff is Toyota trained can go a long way to help increase profit and reduce cycle time in your collision center.
“At training, my employees and I are able to learn repair processes according to Toyota guidelines,” says Chris Hui, Owner of Insurance Collision Center. “The tips offered in the training class help ensure our repair methods are efficient and confirm that we are repairing vehicles accurately.”
Even just the confidence of knowing that they are doing the job right can help technicians perform better in the shop. While you might think that this type of training is important just for technicians who are working on vehicles, having a Toyota-trained staff can help increase efficiency across the board in your shop.
“For estimators, training is a huge opportunity—normally they might accidently miss important steps, but training helps them understand the full scope of a project so they are less likely to miss things,” explains DeBarr. “They are also able to explain to bill payers what needs to be done to the car and why.”
As a result of the training, our estimators have been able to write a more detailed and accurate estimate as well as order the parts in advance. This actually brings down the cycle time in our shop 15%.”
—Chris Hui, Owner of Insurance Collision Center
As many who work in collision centers know, when an estimator misses something in the original estimate, it can have a large impact on the overall repair. It can extend the length of the repair time, because technicians might not have all of the parts and information they need to complete the repair at the beginning of the process. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction and profit loss. For collision centers, omitting something from the original estimate may also be a lost opportunity to charge for work that is being done to the car.
THE TOYOTA TRAINING EXPERIENCE
Collision repair professionals who have attended Toyota training report that it provides students with the unique opportunity to practice the techniques they are learning under the guidance of an experienced instructor.
“What’s really nice about the class is that you spend half the time in lecture and the rest of the time in the lab, so you are actually out there practicing what you have learned in a hands-on environment,”says DeBarr. “If you take a paint class, you actually get to go into a paint booth with a paint gun, regardless of your position. Whether you’re an estimator, manager or painter, you’re out there so you can actually get an idea of what it takes to do that job.”
Students who attend Toyota courses are learning directly from manufacturer information and receiving recommendations about how to properly repair Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles.
“Toyota takes a lot of pride in the quality of its vehicles and Toyota is among the few car manufacturers that provide complete collision repairs and refinish hands-on training that is open to all collision repair shops,” says Agustin Diaz, Collision Repair and Refinish Training Administrator, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “If a shop wants to increase their profits, reduce cycle time, and have satisfied customers, they should enroll their technicians in our training program. It is affordable and it is open to all shops through a relationship with a dealer.”
To learn more about Toyota, Lexus and Scion training and to signup for classes, visit www.crrtraining.com.
Part of Toyota, Lexus and Scion training is learning how to effectively and efficiently use the Toyota Technical Information System (TIS). TIS is a web-based service that hosts information and support on all Toyota vehicles sold in North America from 1990 on. TIS is rich in content and provides collision centers with crucial information that is needed to properly service these vehicles. Toyota training includes instruction on how to use TIS and where to find necessary information.
“A huge advantage of being Toyota-trained is learning about how to use TIS,” explains DeBarr. “TIS contains critical and technical information that you are required to understand about how the vehicle you’re working on actually needs to be repaired. It provides information such as which parts are reusable and non-reusable—information that is key to every repair.”
TIS access includes the following:
- Collison Repair Information Bulletins (CRIBs)
- Technical Training Course Books
- Quick Training Guides
- VIN specific vehicle options
- Collision and Service Repair Manuals
- Wiring Diagrams