Chris Nobbs has just been appointed to the role of Manager for the brand new Eastern Creek branch of Scania’s sales and service network. The facility, located in western Sydney will service a growing number of Scania truck and bus customers in the city’s far west.
Chris is one of the most experienced workshop employees within Scania Australia, clocking up close to 30 years of experience, and playing a key role in several successful Top Team competitions in Scania’s bi-annual global technical challenge programme.
Branch Manager, Scania Eastern Creek
“I started out as a junior tradesman and as my experience grew and our workloads increased, I found I was managing a team of four,” Chris says.
“I completed my dual trades and added my air conditioning license, and then became a team leader for the dayshift crew at Sydney’s Prestons branch, sharing the role with Frank Muscat due to the size of the team.
“From there I graduated to workshop controller at Prestons, responsible for 28 employees, which has grown to 52 with five team leaders across two shifts, operating between 0700 and midnight.
“I am very excited about my new challenge, Branch Manager at Eastern Creek. This is a goal that would have seemed unimaginable to a young Chris Nobbs three decades ago,” he says.
“As a manager, I’m coaching our team leaders and senior technicians. It’s something I didn’t know I could do until I was doing it. I really enjoy the team environment and we work as one for the customer and the company.
“Thirty years in, my experience has been so broad that I have a well-rounded perspective, giving me plenty of knowledge to draw on to make sound decisions. I have had to change my way of thinking and processes to suit the times we are in. It has been difficult at times, but with excellent peers and the support of the team, I feel I have really improved here,” Chris says.
“Our management team has a good relationship with our employees. We focus on the team, and we work in line with Scania’s core values. This is what separates us from other brands or other workshops,” he says.
“Scania is an equal opportunity employer, and we have a progression path for future growth. Scania Australia has a direct link with the factory, which can provide the options of international transfer.
“Training is a key part of working at Scania. I have completed many courses over my time and without doubt the best way to learn is through the Top Team competition. This is where the team of technicians train themselves outside of Scania working hours, poring over workshop manuals, technical bulletins, and the like, to hone our knowledge of Scania technology and systems and to work most efficiently as a team. The goal is to represent Scania Australia in the regional rounds and then in the global competition finals. That’s where our skills are tested against the best in the Scania world. Scania Australia has won Top Team three times, underlining our technical strengths,” Chris says.
“I have been lucky enough to be mentored by Lionel Saunders and Sean Corby of Scania Australia. I am currently working with Jack Barresi and the LXP platform, as well as with Annabelle Mundy of Learnsmith Leadership Coaching. Annabelle has been instrumental in me understanding what I can do and how to work with the team through role playing and discussing scenarios that I have experienced.
“Previously I spent some time with Jason Bargent, a coaching and leadership expert, who helped me understand how to get the best out of our team. There’s also been some in-house Scania training. All of these have helped me become the manager I am today,” he says.
“As a business and as an employer Scania strives seriously to live up to its core values. We offer flexible work arrangements and follow our company guidelines for maximum working hours to ensure a good work / life balance.
“Although I am now about to take this big step of managing the newest Scania company-owned branch at Eastern Creek, I would have to say my careers highlights so far have been representing Australia three times in the Top Team competition. We travelled the world, we won a World Final, we had dinner with Christian Levin (now Scania CEO) and had a party with the former legendary CEO Leif Ostling, as well as various factory tours in Sweden.
“All of this was made possible by the wonderful world of Scania, so it is very appropriate that our new Eastern Creek branch is situated in Wonderland Drive. It’s the perfect location for Scania’s new chapter in New South Wales to begin,” Chris says.