EXCLUSIVE: Fixed Ops Training Helps Personnel ‘Sharpen the Saw’

A picture of Tony Yerman of Mike Molino during an NTP Stag Educational Seminar
Tony Yerman, technical consultant to the RVDA, teaches a session at NTP-Stag 2023 Expo

RVDA hosted two informational sessions at the recent NTP-Stag Expo in Aurora, Colorado, last week, introducing three Mike Molino RV Training Center online training programs for dealership fixed operations personnel.

One session at the Expo gathered a standing-room-only crowd. It was the first such session RVDA has hosted at a distributor show in years, RVDA President Phil Ingrassia said.

The well-attended sessions may have been an indicator of industry desire to establish a broader base of knowledge among fixed ops personnel, Ingrassia said.

“It shows you that people are interested. After two years of intense sales… there are people who are looking for this kind of training,” he said.  “It gives them a leg up especially for new people but also people who want to sharpen the saw.”

According to Ingrassia, the RV industry has been focused on supporting certification and technician training through RV Technical Institute (RVTI). However, the Mike Molino Center developed training to help RV service and parts personnel increase efficiency and get customers back to RVing faster.

“RVDA supports RVTI 100 percent, and both RVDA chairman Nathan Hart and myself serve on that board. We are committed to that training.” Ingrassia said. “At the same time now that RVTI is established, it allows the learning center to really focus on its fixed-ops training programs. Fixed ops are front-facing people for a lot of the customers at the dealerships, especially repeat buyers and buyers bringing their RVs in for service. Those people need training as well.”

Ingrassia said the industry is focused on improving repair event cycle times (RECT). It is a good time to train front line personnel to help that effort—especially before the spring sales rush. Training can give customer-facing employees a broader knowledge base, helping them to be more confident, better problem solvers and simply better at finessing customer expectations, Ingrassia said.

The Mike Molino Learning Center offers three fixed ops courses: Parts Specialist, Parts Manager and Service Writer/Advisor.  Each course takes three to five hours to complete.

The courses were developed by The Ohio State University’s Center on Education and Training Employment in partnership with RV subject matter experts. Each course offers audio voice-over,A picture of a young woman participating in online learning with a laptop progress checks and a timed, final assessment to test knowledge gained and skills learned during training. The courses can also be used to prepare students for RV Learning Center certification which is available for a separate fee.

According to Ingrassia, the courses were well received during pilot testing with RV fixed operations personnel from varied backgrounds. The online training was helpful to those new to the industry, more seasoned professionals as well as those with automotive experience who were seeking to understand the differences between RV and automotive operations, he said.

The Mike Molino Learning Center is developing two additional courses: Warranty Administrator and Service Manager. The courses will be made available in the same online format. For more information about available courses, click here.

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