Steve Scofield is the Head of Business Development at The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. Possessing nearly four decades of experience in the automotive industry in various capacities, Steve Scofield is the Head of Business Development at The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. Possessing nearly four decades of experience in the automotive industry in various capacities, Scofield oversees national and international business development and strategy for the IMI in the UK and around the world. His key portfolios also include the implementation of sustainable industry skills solutions, people development, automotive specific training, and high-level cross-sector engagement with a view to influencing key industry standards and strategy as well as the research and development of automotive skills and standards. Founded in 1920, IMI is the only professional association of automotive industry professionals as well as a premier accreditation and standards organization for the industry. The organization specializes in learning and development solutions for a global community of automotive professionals by working with partner organizations to address skill gaps within the industry.
At the spare parts conference that was held as part of the Automechanika Academy in 2016, Scofield presented best practices and insights gained from working with governments and organizations from around the world. IMI seeks to enable people to reach their full potential and is the authoritative voice on the skills required for a global automotive workforce.
Some of the new challenges arriving in the UAE include finding automotive strategies that are enablers for economic and business growth, improvement of consumer confidence and protection, and preparation of the automotive sector to meet the challenges that the future holds.
How can Garage Standards Help?
Consumer Protection: Industry standards provide a framework for business and economic success while placing consumer protection at the forefront of government and industry initiatives. This is directly related to driving consumer confidence while corporate responsibility should always feature in the standards that the industry uses.
Skilled, Educated, Professional Workforce: One of the core threads while working with governments is a skilled, educated, and professional workforce. The key elements of this thread are the attraction, recruitment, development and retention of talent. Staying ahead of advancing and new technologies is a key challenge and a vital requirement for technicians. Accurate inspection and diagnoses is also a major challenge in this area.
Delivering on the Customer Experience: Today, the customer experience process is evolving at a rapid pace and begins before they walk through the garage doors. A first-time fix and meeting customer expectations are crucial elements to the delivery of this experience. The rate of customer retention and the changing retail environment are elements that need to be considered while developing standards.
Quality Parts, Materials, and Equipment: New standards in the UAE and surrounding regions are designed to achieve safe maintenance and repair while minimizing rework and complaints that come at multiple levels.
Effective Industry Standards
• The standard must provide solutions to all local stakeholders involved such as garages, parts factories, used car dealers and must work for both consumers and governments with both entities using one standard.
• Businesses and staff represent involvement opportunities because a standard can attract staff but must also provide a measurement scale to define progress.
• B2B such as insurers, fleet managers, are also integral to the implementation of best practices.
• The industry needs to show leadership from the start while government support is critical for sponsorship with the use of effective steering groups and expert working groups.
• Inclusive and wide consultation and a single solution that customers and employers can understand.
IMI Global Insights
People are always at the core of:
• Government economic policy and standards
• Business needs, talent development, driving efficiencies, succession planning, and other critical-to-business parameters
• The delivery of an outstanding customer experience by staff.
Whatever the challenge, skills, and competence are at the core across multiple areas including:
• Customer experience
• Vehicle inspection
• Identifying repair methods
• Repair techniques
• Selection of parts
These skills and competencies also extend to managers so that it is extended to the consumer experience.
The Knowledge, Skills, and Competence Journey
The journey must start with the end in mind, with industry working towards globally recognized professional standards. Emerging markets and rapidly growing markets require these skills and standards. The journey has the following elements:
• Understanding and analyzing the need for skills is essential to facilitate effective training.
• Develop and close skill gaps effectively
• Certificating achievement is a part of the career journey and from a government perspective, serves as a mechanism to provide evidence of knowledge, competence, and skill
• From a consumer perspective, professional registration and recognition open information up to consumers who can see where professional establishments and technicians are located
• Professional registration also serves as an effective audit mechanism to check qualifications
IMI’s value proposition is in the provision of Quality Assurance across such standards in partnership with governments and industry organizations.
Scofield presented examples of such standards including an accident repair standard that resulted in a significant increase in safe repair, the use of appropriate materials and equipment, the accreditation and upskilling of 1,200 Vehicle Damage Assessors and 10,000 technicians. The standard helped create a culture of continuous improvement and showed a significant business impact. The second example was that of a vehicle testing standard featuring a rigorous regimen that certified vehicular testers to government and industry standards resulting in improved inspection decisions, enhanced government and customer confidence, and reduced consumer complaints and significant upskilling enhancements to over 80,000 technicians and managers in a year. The talk concluded with a Q&A session.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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