Friday, 15 October 2021 21:20

Techs of the Future: How to Grow Skilled Technicians & Improve Performance in Your Collision Repair Facility

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Part of BETAG’s Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) program includes aluminum panel repair training. Part of BETAG’s Outer Panel Repair Specialist (OPRS) program includes aluminum panel repair training.


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Auto body shop owners and managers across the U.S. are struggling to attract, motivate and retain skilled technicians in their facilities. Many say this has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic.

During an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar, Dave Flockhart, chief operating officer of BETAG Innovation, talked about ways to develop and shape the next generation of high-performance apprentices and journeyman technicians to address this challenge.


“The reality is, and we can’t blame it all on COVID, we’ve been thrown a curveball,” said Flockhart. “We’re all contending with the fact that claim volumes are down and driving patterns have changed, perhaps irreversibly.”


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Dave Flockhart


However, he encouraged repairers to come to grips with the situation and be open to embracing virtual claims.


“Although COVID has led to a series of challenges, a lot of those were in play pre-COVID and the pandemic has just accelerated some of them,” he said.


He shared one of his favorite quotes from Vivian Greene as a way of thinking about the current circumstance: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”


In times of challenge, Flockhart has often found there is also tremendous opportunity.


“We just have to go looking for it,” he said. “We need to find new ways to think and act differently as well as identify ways we can perform better.”


This includes implementing new ideas, systems and processes in shops.


As the current population of technicians continues to age, Flockhart said it is critical to find ways to attract new and younger people to the industry to learn the trade.


The furlough that occurred during the pandemic and people leaving the industry for other sectors has contributed to the current shortage of skilled technicians. In addition, many say there is...

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