Chasing human excellence at DSK Benelli’s Technical Centre, Pune
The relationship between a motorcycle owner and his mechanic is very crucial. And since we are one of the fastest growing sportsbike brands in India, we have understood the value of such a bond. When a customer arrives with his bike, they are made comfortable in our guest lounge or the entertainment centre and still get a good view of their bikes being serviced. And that’s the DSK way,” says Joseph Augustus P F, AVP of DSK Benelli’s After Sales Support, which runs the National Manpower Excellence Centre (NMEC) on the outskirts of Pune.
The NMEC is combination of a well setup training facility for current and future DSK-Benelli technicians along with a servicing facility. Joseph explains that it was set up to deliver the high customer satisfaction levels that DSK as a brand have become known for, courtesy the experience at DSK Toyota dealerships. Hence, a lot of the methods that are used at these dealerships were used for the NMEC so that it was built to match high standards. But since bikes are quite different to cars and especially such highly technical motorcycles, DSK had to tune the facility to match the requirements necessary for dealing with bikes.
One of the things they came up with were the dedicated service bays with pneumatic lifts. Each bay has been designed to keep the motorcycle firmly in its place while the technician is working on it. Each bay gets its own set of regular servicing tools as well as a joint set of power tools with the required torque figures for each sub-assembly put up on a poster next to the bays. In case of a major repair or if any bike requires an assembly overhaul, the bike is taken to a separate room where just the one bike is worked upon. Other necessary areas such as the washing centre and the spares room are adjacent to the overhaul section.
DSK Benelli have prepared a manual for their dealers all around the country to adhere to when it comes to servicing. While they agree that it is a bit too much to ask dealers to have an infrastructure identical to the one at the NMEC, the manual has taken into account the different sizes and recommended the layout of the service area.
However the highlight of the NMEC is their training facility. Every DSK Benelli technician, sales person or management staff does go through a mandatory training phase here. As Joseph puts it, “When we started out, the operators we hired were lacking the knowledge to operate on such motorcycles. If we take car dealerships for example, a technician from company A can go and still be proficient in working for company B, C or D. But in motorcycles, the guy who operates on bikes of such calibre, can’t be hired just on the basis of his experience with commuter motorcycles. Hence, the main purpose of the NMEC is to train our technicians to be capable of handling such bikes and also work towards their workmanship skills.”
He adds, “In India, we have the zonal heads who are the main personnel across for their particular zone. Every year we have an eligibility test for our zonal heads so as to help them not lose touch of the dirty side of servicing.”
The NMEC training is two fold. The first being theory where the applicant is made known of the company and the motorcycling folks it deals with. They are made known of the different subassemblies and their wherewithals. The other part over the training is the practical part. Now this entails the basic servicing of the bike, checking the electronics and making sure all systems are in order. After a year or two, these same technicians are trained for more detailed parts of the bike. This is fine to ensure their future with the company as well as their personal growth of knowledge.
The training doesn’t just stop at DSK Benelli employees. Rather, it is to impart real world knowledge to engineering students. Having successfully carried out their first session with four students from a college in Chennai, DSK now seek to hold the same session for students in Pune, once their exams get done with that is. The programme is tailor-made to cover technologies which are absent from university syllabi.
The NMEC allows DSK Benelli to be future ready when it comes to after sales support and should stand it in good stead with a pool of trained technicians to rely on for future expansion.