Scania Top Team: At your service
24 APRIL 2018
Scania Top Team is a competition to find and celebrate the best service technicians in the Scania global network, but it’s also about putting the customer first and recruiting new workshop talent. Project Manager Håkan Sjögren and Head of Jury Harald Cederberg explain more about this key element of Scania’s global brand.
If you want a good example of Scania’s dedication to its core values of team spirit, determination, integrity, elimination of waste, respect for the individual and customer first, then you’d be hard pushed to find a better one than Scania Top Team.
This global competition showcases Scania’s commitment to customer service in its efforts to find the best service technicians in the service network. It has been part of the Scania brand since the 1980s, and, in keeping with the company’s expanding geographical footprint, it has grown from its Sweden-only roots to become the worldwide event that it is today. Some 8,000 competitors from 70 countries are taking part in the 2017/18 edition.
Planning Top Team
First and foremost, the Top Team concept form a five-strong team of service technicians that compete against each other to solve practical and theoretical problems relating to a Scania vehicle at five individual stations. The competition starts with national finals, progresses to regional finals, before concluding with the world final. The final showdown of the world’s best in 2017/18 will take place in Södertälje in December.
Håkan Sjögren is the Project Manager for Scania Top Team. He works with Director of Technical Training and Top Team Head of Jury Harald Cederberg to plan the events. It’s a challenging and important project.
“Harald and I start organising the regional finals nearly a year before they begin,” says Sjögren. “We speak to the host market for each region and work with them to arrange facilities for the competitors and administrators, all the competition logistics and other arrangements.
“During each regional final, we have 25 people involved in running things. It wouldn’t be possible to do it without them. In addition, we have great help from the host markets. Even though it’s a recurring event with a set concept, the different content, focus areas and technology development as well as increased expectations make every new competition challenging.
The competition alone promotes some of Scania’s six core values, including team spirit and determination, as well as meaning a lot of useful skills training for technicians in the lead-up to the events. The Italian team taking part in the first European regional final in Trento, Italy, in April 2018 were training every Wednesday evening and Saturday for months before their event. The national champions of Brazil will have qualified ahead of more than 250 other teams to qualify for the Latin America/Africa regional final.
But Top Team also works as an HR platform that can both recruit and help to keep service technicians through its mixture of team building, skills development, pride in the job and respect for the individual. It shines a light on people who are often unsung heroes of the Scania family, working long hours under time pressure. And the heavy vehicle industry has a shortage of service technicians, so events like this are vital to keep the supply of talent in this key job.
The changing role of the service technician
“We at Scania really want to keep and attract service technicians. We need more of them and we want the best ones in the industry,” says Sjögren.
As Scania’s trucks and services have evolved to take in new technology, so has the role of the service technician. As Harald Cederberg puts it, “It’s more about using the equipment and support systems in the workshop. It’s no coincidence that we call them service technicians and not mechanics because there’s a highly technical aspect to the work they do.”
How the customer benefits from Top Team
Top Team is also about putting the customer first, another key Scania core value, as Sjögren explains.
“There’s a real benefit to the customers in having motivated, competitive teams. In fact, the winning teams often tell their customers that they have top-ranked service technicians working on their vehicles.
“Scania is not just producing the best trucks in the world, with Top Team it’s also supporting the development of the best service teams, who can attend to the customer’s vehicle as quickly and efficiently as possible, ensuring they can maximise its availability or uptime.” That’s good for business because, in the hard-pressed haulage industry, time is money.
An event with integrity
Even though Top Team is a Scania-only event, it is followed with interest by others outside the company.
“It’s a concept that really works,” says Sjögren. “Top Team has never been bigger than it is today.”
By running this competition and inviting schoolchildren along to see it, Scania hopes to find the service technicians of tomorrow, regardless of their gender or background.
“We really try to find the joy of being a service technician…” says Sjögren, “…and spread the word that Scania wants to create the best service network in the world, with the best technicians. We are highlighting this with the Top Team competition.”