Winnipeg is home to a highly passionate professional auto service practitioner by the name of Adrian Vander Graaf, who operates Cutting Edge Automotive Technologies Inc.Just recently, Vander Graaf wro...
Winnipeg is home to a highly passionate professional auto service practitioner by the name of Adrian Vander Graaf, who operates Cutting Edge Automotive Technologies Inc.
Just recently, Vander Graaf wrote to SSGM about how he sees the industry. Shop owners and technicians across Canada might appreciate a peek at his viewpoint:
Cutting Edge Automotive Technologies might sound like overstatement, but there is no exaggeration as it is applied to this young man’s business. “We have a state of the art environment to work in and all, and I mean all, of the latest equipment and information to help solve whatever problem is thrown at us,” he said in his letter.
Vander Graaf is one of those Type A individuals who is driven from within to excel, and has no doubt about his chosen field of endeavor. “I was meant to do this and I love repairing vehicles more than anything. I love it because of the challenge, and the technology,” he said.
But as high as Vander Graaf is about his love for auto service, he has no illusions about the real problems facing the industry. What he sees is an industry full of disregard and disrespect for itself, trying to achieve high expectations; an industry which has proven incapable of dealing with chronic, old problems.
In the five years of operating his own business, the challenges he faces each day are just like those confronting many other auto service operations throughout Canada. Finding and keeping good employees, achieving profitability and controlling expenses require constant attention.
That’s not to say his business is in trouble; quite the contrary. At issue for Vander Graaf is dealing with success and growth.
“We are an aggressive company with a focused action-oriented goal in mind . . . but we have also come to realize a great obstacle to our growth. People. For our company to really prosper, I need good highly motivated people that have a desire to build a career in this industry.”
All the faults and failings of the industry become evident in a distinct lack of supply of good quality human resources.
Obstacles facing the industry, such as the lack of a tool tax deduction, low wages in comparison to other trades, and a flat rate system that can work against achieving quality job, all work against attracting quality people to the industry.
Yet, there is no slowdown in the rapid pace of technological change. Meanwhile, the industry is mired and held back in its response to this challenge because of a lack of solutions to its longtime and chronic problems.
With young, aggressive minds like Vander Graaf on the case, though, the solutions may be at hand soon, even if they aren’t readily apparent.
Please share your viewpoint with other readers by writing to SSGM via e-mail at email@example.com.
Adrian Vander Graaf would also like to hear from fellow technicians and business owner. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.