How Scania Top Team became a global phenomenon
29 SEPTEMBER 2022
Scania Top Team has grown from a modest Sweden-only event to a global phenomenon where teams of service technicians from 70 countries compete in practical and theoretical skills. “The pandemic has strengthened the case for putting extra focus on service technicians and their importance for the transport industry,” says Project Manager Håkan Sjögren.
How can we put the spotlight on service technicians and their importance for the transport industry? How can we develop the skills of our own service technicians and at the same time attract new ones to our workshops globally?
The idea that Scania came up with was simple but, like many great ideas, long lasting: a competition in which five-member teams from the country’s workshops challenge one another in practical and theoretical skills relating to a Scania offering.
From this basic idea, the Scania Top Team concept was developed. Today it has grown from the modest Sweden-only event of the 1980s to a global phenomenon that attracts interest in the entire transport industry.
“In the 2022/23 edition, some 8,000 competitors from 70 countries will take part,” says Håkan Sjögren, Project Manager for Scania Top Team and the person responsible for the overall planning. “New countries for this edition include Colombia and Ghana.”
The first phase of the competitions is the national qualifications, peaking with national finals in each country. The winning teams from these qualify to go on to six regional finals – three in Bratislava, one in Buenos Aires and two in Bangkok. These will be held between September 2022 and February 2023.
Finally, in April 2023, the 12 best-performing teams of the 70 participating Scania markets challenge each other at the world final at Scania’s headquarters in Södertälje, Sweden.
What advice would Sjögren give to the competing teams? ”First and foremost, act as a team,” he says. “Cooperate the best you can and make sure you utilise each team member’s strengths. And don’t forget: be well prepared. The competition is super hard.”
Special focus on sustainability
Right now, Sjögren and his colleagues are busy organising the regional finals in cooperation with the respective host market. A special focus for the activities surrounding the 2022/23 edition is sustainability in the workshop, when it comes to health and safety and to how the environmental footprint of the “rolling fleet” can be organised with workshop services.
“Furthermore, we make sure we organise sustainable international events,” says Sjögren. “At the finals, we have sustainability in focus when planning and executing the event. We will serve only locally produced food, and we will measure the environmental impact of all our transports.”
In line with Scania’s core values
When the Top Team competition was started in the 1980s, it was immediately clear that it connected extremely well to Scania’s core values. “A perfect match,” says Sjögren.
“We have the core values Team spirit, Determination, Integrity and Respect for the individual, which is about cooperation and capturing everyone’s respective skills. We also have Elimination of waste with a strong focus on continuous improvement, and we have Customer first, which is what high-quality workshop services ultimately is all about.
“Over the years, Top Team has meant a lot to Scania,” Sjögren adds. “It has contributed to raising the competence and engagement in our global workshop network and putting the spotlight on this extremely important part of Scania’s operations. It has also contributed to our ability to retain and attract talent to the company.”
Keeping society alive
According to Sjögren, the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened the case for putting extra focus on service technicians and their importance to the transport industry.
“One thing the pandemic taught us was that road transport plays an essential role in people’s daily lives and mobility,” he says. “Our sector kept working 24/7 all through the pandemic. Here the service technicians in our workshops were the unsung heroes. Thanks to their contributions to keeping well-maintained vehicles on the road, these vehicles could deliver all the crucial goods we needed in society.”
Scania Top Team in short
- Scania Top Team is a competition for service technicians in Scania’s global network.
- Five-member teams of service technicians compete against one another to solve practical and theoretical problems.
- The competition started in a modest way as a Sweden-only event in the 1980s.
- The 2022/23 edition of Top Team comprises 8,000 competitors from 70 countries. New countries for this edition include Colombia and Ghana.
- ·The competition starts with national finals and progresses to six regional finals, three in Bratislava, one in Buenos Aires and two in Bangkok, held between September 2022 and February 2023.
- The Top Team world final will take place in Södertälje, Sweden, in April 2023
Top Team is a global competition for professional service teams within the Scania service network. Everyone who works in the service area is welcome to compete in teams of 3–5 people. The most common contestants are service technicians, parts specialists and service advisors.