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Liz Mistretta joins Scania Dandenong

Liz Mistretta came to the role of Branch Manager at Scania Dandenong after almost 30 years in the energy industry, seeking a change of scene and an opportunity to leverage her people-skills in a new environment.

“Although I had never worked in the industry, I had had exposure to the industry, and my leadership experience and my love of coaching and mentoring people fitted in well at the branch,” Liz says.


She set her first-year sights on creating a harmonious and energetic culture in the Scania Dandenong workshop, located in the busy industrial south-eastern Melbourne suburb. “We now have a good team of people who are passionate about their roles, and increasingly their values are fully in line with Scania’s,” Liz says. “I see my job as ensuring we have the right people with the right skills in the right roles. I am now confident we are heading in the right direction. “Customer feedback has been good, and from a business perspective we are doing better, and I feel that everyone knows what is expected of them,” she says.


“I have learned a lot in the first year, not only about trucks but working with the customers, and integrating myself into the role and the workings of the branch. I believe it is important to recognise that we are a premium brand, and our standards must be aligned accordingly. 

“The Scania House provides a foundation and something to leverage from to support people and understand what we are doing, and why we are doing it, every day. There is a bigger picture, that is supporting our customers and making them feel like they are a priority every time they walk through the door.


“Being able to give everyone a different perspective on how to view things has been good for the team, it’s a growth opportunity. I support them every day, greet them every day, and connect with them. We have added some socialising activities which has been nice, to get people to have a conversation with each other away from the daily rush,” Liz says.


“We recognise that every moment a vehicle is in here, it is not working or making money for its operator. So, we want to turn these vehicles round as fast as we can. If we can’t, we need to be transparent about that, and give our customers a realistic estimation as to when the truck will be ready.


“We have two shifts running, including one that finishes at 1.30am, which has been really valuable for customers. They can drop off a vehicle at the end of their working day and have it serviced and ready to go first thing next morning,” Liz says.

“We continue to face the industry-wide challenge of securing enough technicians, as well as finding the right people for customer-facing roles because that is a very fast-paced environment. I am confident we will secure good people, by word-of-mouth or via international search.

“The biggest change I have seen in the first year has been the improved connection between the team, and their positive attitude, everyone feels happier. We have broken down walls between people and we have a more trusting and supportive culture. I am here as a people leader to support them and recognise the efforts they are making.


“This has translated into business benefits, with 2023 closing out with a profit for the branch, and it has been backed up by positive customer feedback – they report noticing a difference, which is nice,” she says. “Getting the right people in with the right energy and passion is critical, something that I drive every day,” she says. “I think everyone knows now I how I like to operate, to take us to the next level. There’s always opportunity to grow and move up. It is a constant cycle. “I would like nothing more than each of my team to achieve a bonus, month-on-month, for reaching their stretch targets,” she says.