Calling all Volvo truck and bus technicians! Registration has opened for the world´s largest service market competition, the Volvo International Service Training Awards (VISTA). More than 18 000 technicians from the Volvo Trucks and Volvo Buses global dealer network are anticipated to take part in the VISTA 2017-18 competition working together in around 4 500 teams.
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Performance is Everything’ recognizing that to work for Volvo Trucks and Volvo Buses, performance must be top class at all times. VISTA is also a way for Volvo Trucks to address the worldwide challenge of both recruiting and retaining workshop technicians. Through teamwork and competence development, VISTA aims to attract and maintain skilled technicians.
“VISTA improves our skills and gives us the motivation to be the best crew in the world. And if our mechanics are the best in the world, they are motivated to do the best job for the customer,” says Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks.
The VISTA challenge has, in the past, included teams representing South Africa. One to highlight was the 2013 team that managed to reach the semi-finals where they came 17th out of a total of 32 teams that participated.
This team saw Manqoba Mkhize, a recipient of Volvo’s local Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme, Star for Life, participate at the Madrid semi-finals. Mkhize has since become a fully qualified diesel technician. Star for Life is a multi-faceted programme which also offers apprenticeships to students from underprivileged communities.
Even though VISTA is a competition, the main objectives are to encourage teamwork, build team spirit and pride, as well as encourage self-improvement and competence development. It´s a way for service market personnel to increase their knowledge and the quality of their work as well as get to know their colleagues from around the world. The results of this lead to improved customer service and greater customer satisfaction.
Highly skilled and motivated technicians enable Volvo Trucks workshops to carry out fault diagnosis and fix trucks’ problems ‘right first time’, in a timely manner and to high quality standards. These skills are vital to help customers achieve maximum uptime for their trucks.
The competition started in 1957 and was originally held as a competition for Volvo technicians in Sweden only. By 1977 it had reached out across all continents attracting authorized Volvo dealers from all over the world. Today VISTA is a biennial event and the biggest competition for service market personnel in the world.
To qualify, participating teams need to complete two parts comprising theoretical and technical questions. The winners in each market qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden in April 2018. Here, a total of 240 teams will compete over a three-week period. The top 40 teams from the semi-finals then qualify for the world final in Curitiba in June 2018.
So c’mon you local Volvo techies. Get your spanners – or rather, computers out and enter. After the Springbok’s performance against the All Blacks, we need a winning team to bring home a trophy for us.