In 2017, the first local service contest was organised by Toyota Material Handling UK: Toyota Technician of the Year . Almost 100 technicians applied to compete, making it a great success. The winner was automatically qualified to compete in the European edition as well.
Under the slogan “service at its best” the Toyota Material Handling Europe service team organised the very first European Service Skills Contest. “After putting a high focus on rolling out STEP and ASEC programmes in Europe, it was important to promote the role of key service actors such as service technicians. The Skills Contest is a way to recognise their expertise, as well as to attract potential external candidates,” says Antoine Réminiac, organiser of the contest and Manager Service Development Market, Toyota Material Handling Europe.
All technicians trained through the STEP (Service Technician Education Programme) training, were invited to measure their knowledge by joining the competition. Each country was free to organise a first local selection, the rest of the technicians needed to qualify through centrally provided tests. Eventually, contestants from the Baltics, Belgium, France, Norway, Poland, Portugal and UK were able to qualify for the final.
On 5 April, the contest final took place at Toyota Material Handling Manufacturing France, the factory in Ancenis. This location provided the opportunity to give the technicians a factory tour, and for the factory employees to find out more about the technicians, their role in the company and what they do on a daily basis.
A jury made of service and quality members evaluated all technicians on different aspects: the theoretical part of the contest tested their knowledge in Product, Special Design and Normatives. The practical part focused on various skills of the technicians: not only maintenance, troubleshooting and software, but also safety, tidiness, their behaviour towards the customer and how they applied the values of the Toyota Service Concept.
In the evening, the award ceremony took place in the castle of Nantes. Kévin Ferrand (26), from Toyota Material Handling France, was revealed as the winner of the European Service Skills Contest. According to the jury, Kévin undisputedly showed the best performance throughout the day: with only two years in the company, he surprised everyone with his skills. All technicians received a personal trophy, and the winner was awarded with a trip to Japan.
If, like Kévin, you’re interested in becoming a Toyota technician, don’t hesitate to apply. You can find out more about our technician training programme in this case study, or read about some personal experiences in this interview.