The current generation of carmakers is vastly intuitive, expressive, and experimental with their operations. This often leads to the birth of brilliant products that enjoy bountiful consumer attention.
Not too long ago, technology made its way into being one of the most pivotal enablers of convenience and performance in many, if not all, industries. As a causality, cars embraced technology with enthusiasm and before long, they had progressed from being mere means of travel to extended personal utility and transport machines, hence bestowing consumers with the aspiration of ‘owning a vehicle.’
This bond between technology and automobiles has strengthened through many levels of evolution over a period of time. Today, technological improvements in automobiles have resulted in the vast implementation of electronics, much to the consumers’ delight. Naturally, there remains no doubt that consequent diagnoses and repairs of these electronics require manpower to possess superior skills and expertise. Additionally, the productivity of machines and the efficiency of cost structures must also be improved on frequent bases so as to support the pace of evolution in the automotive industry. This makes it imperative for employees on all operational levels within the organization to undergo re-skilling and advanced skilling. So why does our focus still remain entirely on certifying people with managerial and communication skills?
The last two decades have seen managerial employees being further skilled and incentivized, which proved to be immensely beneficial for many organisations. But in the bargain, prospects of skilling manpower on basic tasks have gone down drastically. Adding to the decline is a lower pay scale for employees with basic skills, as compared to the higher salaries being earned by employees who are certified for managerial tasks. As a natural byproduct, this has caused people to move away from tasks that require skill to jobs that pose managerial elements. Beating this unfortunate trend, we are proactively implementing the kaizen philosophy in Tata Motors and ensuring that all our employees are experiencing a thorough upscaling in terms of knowledge, abilities, and specific areas of expertise, along with a redefined focus on incentivizing skills.
As our generation heads rapidly towards an electric future, I firmly believe employees should gain stronger acquaintance with new automobile technologies like electric and hybrid vehicles. I also think that the skilling of entry-level employees, like technicians and front office staff, will play a pivotal role in forming the future we desire. The earlier our employees are empowered with the means to deliver quality, the better our future will be, especially in a market where consumer demands and preferences are changing with phenomenal speed.
To enable this glorious environment of improved operations and consequential customer satisfaction, the Customer Care function of the Passenger Vehicle Business, Tata Motors, has commenced the initiative of certifying its Channel Partners’ manpower for basic and advanced skill levels with respect to automotive repair. These skill gaps are identified through an assessment process following which, training is imparted to the target manpower. Once trained, the employees need to undergo the assessment again, in order to earn certification. Of course, boosting morale is necessary to retain quality deliverables and operations.
Hence, in order to incentivise skills, contests are regularly organised throughout the nation, across all channel partners, and the winners are suitably rewarded. Around 12 training centres have been added across the geographical spread of our country, causing an expansive outreach of skilling and learning initiatives. Additionally, active participation in the government of India initiatives on skilling is also a priority for the automotive sector.
Provided that all these measures are implemented with timely intervention and swift execution, the benefits of skilling will result in elevated levels of brand loyalty and satisfaction amongst our customers. Testimony to this statement lies in the fact that skilling will have a direct impact on the quality of repairs which will substantially eliminate the customer’s need to make frequent visits to the service centre for rectification, once the work is done. Thorough skilling will ensure the prevention of these errors, thus leading to improvement in turnaround time.
The future seems bleak without investing in the empowerment of manpower. Better quality, faster delivery, and robust longevity of products and services will ultimately ensure enhanced customer satisfaction. I can state without any reservations that Tata Motors is taking a giant leap
(The author is the Head - Customer Care, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors)