Scandura & Lachowitzer at Vision: Unleash the Power of Your Shop Foreman

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Mar. 9, 2022In a workshop aimed at improving the role played by shop foremen, Frank Scandura and Matt Lachowitzer of Transformers Institute laid out a plan to achieve more success while asserting more leadership in the shop.

“[This is about] helping foreman to develop the systems and processes they need to run a smooth shop where the entire team is on board and knows their protocol,” said Scandura.

By and large, the role of shop foreman is filled as a promotion for the best tech. However, as Lachowitzer pointed out, many foremen don’t know how to make the leap from bay buddy to boss.

The pair walked the room through several areas where foremen need to have their fingers on the pulse for the best health of the shop. Those areas included tech productivity and efficiency, workflow, bay management, quality control, equipment, hiring, and more.

“What is your process and is everybody trained on it? In a lot of shops it's a big black hole. There's no consistency. Your job as a foreman is to make people better,” said Lachowitzer.

One area the pair emphasized was the role foremen play in recruiting, training, and onboarding new techs, which can be the lifeblood of the shop. Lachowitzer asked the attendees to be deliberate about how they handle this process.

“What are you offering? Is training mandatory or optional? It's the job of the shop to train technicians fresh out of school on how to apply their knowledge in a working atmosphere,” he said. “Have a plan for your technicians and have it written out.”

They encouraged foremen to be hands-on with new techs, ingraining the mission and vision statement into them, conducting daily reviews, and taking time to get to know them and how they work.

 "We go over our processes, core values, mission statement the first day," said Scandura. “People want to work for places that have this kind of structure in place.”

Perhaps the most impactful moment came in the form of a Henry Ford quote shared by Scandura: “What is worse than training someone that leaves? Not training someone that stays.”

Both speakers urged foreman to take up the mantle of being shop leaders and making sure their staff has everything they need, from tools and equipment to having every process written down and accessible. In doing this, tech have the discipline and structure to be successful at their jobs.

 "If we can grow our technicians we can grow our future," said Scandura.

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