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Scania Top Team: Uncovering the value of competition


It builds company culture and supports Scania’s core mission of driving the shift towards sustainable transport. It also promotes learning and is an important recruitment tool. These are just some of the reasons Scania created Top Team, a competition to celebrate the best service technicians in the company’s global workshop network.

To find out if you're the best, you need to beat the best.


Yet few people outside of the world of sport ever get the opportunity to find out where they really stand against their peers.


Scania service technicians are one of the exceptions. Top Team is a regular competition for professional service teams within the Scania service network. Teams of three to five people - usually service technicians, parts specialists and service advisors - tackle technical challenges designed to reveal who has the brains, skills and teamwork to shine on a global stage.

Connecting to Scania’s culture and mission

For Scania, Top Team serves a wide range of functions. The events connect participants with Scania’s culture and its core mission of driving the shift towards sustainable transport systems. The competition acts a recruitment tool, taps into Scania’s goal of promoting constant learning and demonstrates the value of service staff to the organisation at large.


For participants, exposure to new techniques and technologies acts as a gateway to self-improvement. The competition offers a rare chance to benchmark their skills internationally, not to mention the opportunity to secure serious bragging rights for those that walk away victorious.


“Top Team provides a great opportunity to compete in a friendly environment with colleagues from all over the world, and to make it clear to our service technicians that they are absolutely at the core of everything we do,” says Rafael Vara, Head of People & Culture Commercial Units, at Scania. “We lead by consistently breaking new ground, from the technical aspects to promoting safety in the work environment, and Top Team clearly demonstrates how rapidly new techniques are evolving.”

Customer satisfaction the ultimate objective

The competition begins with theoretical challenges in local workshops before successful teams progress to national and international regional finals. Just twelve teams make it to the global final, where challenges span both the practical and the theoretical. Satisfying the needs of the customer is the ultimate objective.


Service staff are consistently on the front line dealing directly with customers, so it makes sense for customer satisfaction to be the competition’s ultimate goal. Service teams by design are adept at offering a tailored service that throws up new challenges every day. Few periods have demonstrated that more effectively than the pandemic, when workshops remained open to ensure the delivery of essential goods like food and medical supplies.


“The service technicians were working daily to keep things running, because if they aren’t working, the whole system collapses,” says Rafael. “They are the company’s true heroes.”

A mix of experience and young stars

Many teams enter their best and brightest to Top Team, which usually means highly experienced operators with many years on the job. Recently, however, some have been breaking the mould. Switzerland, which often does well in the competition, regularly ensures that at least one young technician or apprentice is included.


“I love that approach. It’s a great signal and ensures our young stars are breaking through and leading,” says Rafael. “It’s not about just winning the event; it’s how we promote our culture internally while ensuring we have the right mindset.”


That culture is underpinned by six pillars spanning customer first, respect for the individual, elimination of waste, determination, team spirit and integrity. Only the teams that encapsulate all six tend to become winning teams, according to Rafael.


The 2022/2023 edition of Top Team is set to be the most competitive so far. The transport industry is in the midst of a period of rapid change. Electrification, automation, and sustainable transportation technologies are increasingly represented at all stages. That presents opportunities for new faces to shine.


“This is the big picture that we want to connect our service technicians with,” says Rafael. “We want what’s coming in the future to inspire our people.”

Top Team’s positive effects:

  • Connects participants with Scania’s culture and its core mission of driving the shift towards sustainable transport systems.
  • An important recruitment tool.
  • Taps into Scania’s goal of promoting constant learning and demonstrates the value of service staff to the organisation at large.
  • An opportunity for participants to learn new techniques and technologies and a gateway to self-improvement.
  • A great way to compete in an interesting context against colleagues from all over the world.