About the RV Technical Institute
While RV sales are increasing, the number of proficient, well-trained RV technicians is steady or declining. In June 2018, the RV Industry Association Board of Directors approved a comprehensive strategic plan and multi-million-dollar investment to address RV owner satisfaction by creating a supporting foundation, the RV Technical Institute (RVTI), to solve the RV industry’s shortage of trained technicians and to implement metrics to track the RV customer experience.
By taking a leadership role in reducing the repair event cycle times for consumers seeking to repair and maintain their RVs, the association assembled a team of subject matter experts across the industry to address the shortfall of trained technicians.
Approach to Training
Many industries monitor customer service experiences through the Repair Event Cycle Time (RECT) metric. RECT is impacted by various factors including but not limited to causes such as lack of parts information, inconsistent part stocking programs, delivery options and technician training. The goal of this project is to position RECT as a key performance indicator for customer service to every segment of the RV industry. The institute uses RECT Six Sigma principals developed by a coalition of RV OEMs, dealers and suppliers. RECT is the metric that will be used by the industry as a key performance indicator (KPI) along with best practices around parts stocking, communication and management of the RECT process.
Using Lean Management to analyze the current landscape of RV technician training, three key areas for improvement became clear:
- Lack of standardized, centrally managed training,
- No focused efforts to identify and recruit technicians to the career and
- No clear career path for new or existing RV technicians to follow to become proficient in the field.
To address these areas, industry participants were encouraged to think beyond the current paradigm of industry training and instead focus on how they would address RV tech training if they were starting from a blank slate. The result of that thinking is a plan that is revolutionary rather than evolutionary. Each recommendation being implemented is supported by detailed project plans created by teams of industry subject matter experts.
The institute’s focus is on the creation of world-class RV technician training curriculum by utilizing industry subject matter experts in conjunction with professional curriculum developers and technical writers.
Launching the RV Technical Institute
The institute will launch in early 2019 in Elkhart, IN. Curriculum and credentialing development are already underway. In addition to hands-on and theory-based training, the institute is implementing a new learning management system and technician database as a part of the process. This will help standardize the process and allow technicians to track all of their education regardless of the location and time that they received it.