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Bringing Balance to the (Work) Force: Jedi Tactics for Defeating a Technician Shortage

Article Highlights:

  • Develop a Jedi Order of skilled techs to navigate the technician shortage.
  • Enhance teamwork and technology to overcome service challenges.

As we celebrate May the 4th, let’s look beyond the stars and into our service departments, where a challenger nearly as daunting as Darth Vader looms large: technician shortages. This universal issue has dealerships everywhere seeking solutions. Drawing wisdom from the ways of the Jedi might offer the insights needed to navigate these dark times.


The Yoda Approach to Talent Development

In our quest for up-and-coming technicians as coveted as the rare kyber crystals used to power lightsabers, we turn to the wisdom of Grand Master Yoda. His approach of nurturing potential through patience and guidance holds the key. For service departments, this translates to prioritizing skill development alongside experience, and implementing a structured training program that combines traditional methods with continuous online or virtual learning modules. This dual approach ensures technicians are not only well-versed in current technology but are also prepared for future advancements.

Service departments that invest in upskilling their staff and provide clear pathways for career advancement are building their own Jedi Order. They’re creating a formidable force of skilled technicians committed to the dealership’s mission and vision for the future. As Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn declared in his dying breath, “He is the chosen one. He will bring balance. Train him.”


May the Force Be with Your Service Department

As cars become more integrated with complex electronics, addressing the technician shortage becomes even more critical. Using the latest technology is vital not just for managing the workload but for ensuring that technicians can keep pace with evolving service demands. Service departments can take a page from the Jedi, who use the Force to enhance their abilities, by implementing innovative solutions that optimize the efficiency of every technician. To start, a solution that allows you to electronically assign jobs based on the technician’s unique expertise would help improve service efficiency without needing additional space or people.

You could go further, though. Imagine if you could eliminate paper ROs, the need to walk to and from the counter, and waiting on parts and work approvals. Embracing modern solutions could give you the edge you need to attract talented technicians and keep them in your service drive for years to come.


Building a Strong Alliance: Collaboration Is Key

The story of the Rebel Alliance’s triumph is one of unity and collective strength, a narrative that service departments can emulate in their daily operations. Fostering a sense of collaboration amongst team members is essential. When service advisors, parts specialists, and technicians work in concert, the result is a symphony of productivity that John Williams could be proud of, which lessens the strain of a reduced workforce. It’s about creating a cohesive team where each member’s success contributes to victory against the rising tide of service demands.

As a team collaborates, quick and accurate communication is critical. Effective collaboration involves using real-time communication tools that connect the entire team—from service advisors and technicians to parts specialists—ensuring that everyone is on the same page and can respond swiftly to any situation. When a service department operates like a well-coordinated squadron of X-Wings, each member plays their part and can overcome even the most intimidating challenges.


“I Shall Become More Powerful Than You Could Possibly Imagine”

Facing the challenge of technician shortages head-on requires a blend of strategic talent development, technological adoption, and teamwork. Service departments can more confidently navigate the current tech shortage by taking inspiration from the Jedi’s wisdom, patience, and adaptability. As we celebrate Star Wars Day, remember that adopting new strategies and embracing change can lead to success in the face of adversity.

May the Force be with your service department, guiding you towards a future where challenges are met with innovative solutions and a team ready for anything the galaxy throws their way. Remember… the Force (and Reynolds) will be with you, always.

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Bryan Overturf is the Manager of Sales Training at Reynolds and Reynolds. He has more than 20 years of retail automotive, sales, and learning and development experience. He is responsible for the definition, design, development, and delivery of learning programs across the entire Reynolds portfolio of businesses. His proven approach includes oversight of all facets of training, including new hires, tenured associates, and leadership development.

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