Lee Michael Greer is a consultant/master technician who has worked in the motor industry for 15 years. Below, Lee gives us an insight to his job and how he’s spent his time in the automotive industry.
My name is Lee Michael Greer and I am currently working as a consultant/master technician and have worked in the motor trade for 15 years. I’ve worked for my current employer since 2004 – 2018, and then returned after a 9-month absence in March 2019 where I am still currently employed.
What experience do you have within the motor trade?
I worked as an apprentice from Aug 2004 – Jan 2008 with Citroen. After this, I was a service and diagnostic technician from 2008 – 2015, also with Citroen. I then moved on to become a master technician from 2015 – 2018, which included carrying out workshop control duties at the same time as being a master technician. In January 2019, I took a job at Volvo as a workshop controller and later moved out of the workshop profession completely until March 2019. After this, I then moved back to Citroen to my original role as a master technician.
Why did you choose the automotive industry?
I was not originally interested in the automotive industry when I left school. I did a 2-year course at college in electrical engineering, but did not see myself after those 2 years fulfilling a job in this industry as I lost interest in the job.
It was my nan who pointed me in the direction of a trade, telling me that I would never be out of a job with a trade behind me. As it was my nan who gave me this advice, I listened as everybody would – she was the boss! So I had a think about what trade I would like to do and decided that I was interested in makes and models of cars, so decided to give it a go. I went back to college to complete a 1-year course as a taster, where I thankfully realised that this was the career for me. I was 19 at the time when I became an apprentice, and it took me around 6 months to find a job in the motor industry.
What did a typical day as a workshop controller entail?
I would turn up to work at 7.30am every morning, 1 hour before the workshop technicians. I would set my day up on the system, accommodating jobs carried over from the day before too. I would open the workshop and align the courtesy cars for the customers who were collecting them that morning. I would then greet the technicians every morning and hand out the 1st round of jobs at 8.30am.
After this, I would liaise with the sales manager for any sales jobs required that day or week and dates they were being given to customers to make sure the vehicles were ready and fitted into the diary.
Once the health checks from the vehicles started to come in I would add the labour for the work required and check part availability before telling service advisors, so they could speak to their customers. I would also make sure that tyre sales were accurate and tyres were available and restocked.
Once the jobs had been completed, I then made sure that all relevant paperwork was filled out correctly, passing it on to advisors so the customer can be informed that their vehicle is ready. I would also ensure that the vehicle had been cleaned.
If the sales cars requiring repair were not accessible, I would also retrieve the vehicles so that the workshop production was not affected.
Towards the end of the day, I would invoice any completed sales work, filing the paperwork and clearing down the area once the workshop technicians had left for home. I’d then lock up the workshop, ready to head home.
During each day I would also provide advice to the technicians on certain jobs if required, and liaise with the master technician over any problem jobs if any help was required.
I would always have a weekly meeting on a Monday morning before the start of the week with the technicians to discuss any issues that required attention, and update the technicians were we were in terms of targets set.
What does a typical day in your current role look like?
My day as a master technician is a little quieter and relaxed, but sometimes I prefer the pressure. I still help with workshop control now, but the role is half the job I currently had. I carry out complex diagnostics and repairs on a daily basis, also helping other technicians and service advisors, as I am highly experienced in pinnacle and dealer systems.
The hours of work are a little shorter too, although I’ll admit I am too committed to my role sometimes and stay on after others, and sometimes start earlier than others if work is required.
What do you think people need to thrive in either of the roles?
They are both pretty similar to be fair – a good work ethic is essential, and being able to stay calm under pressure is important too. Also showing the technicians you are calm helps, as I feel that is important as they do feed off you. A good relationship with your staff is also essential – always be honest. A healthy respect for the staff is huge, as if there is a mutual respect, then you know that they will work for you and put in the effort required. Appreciating the work the technicians carry out is crucial to a sound working environment and a well-oiled team.
What advice would you give your younger self?
In terms of me personally as my career has progressed I would say not much really as I have been myself and worked hard. Maybe I would have a little more self belief to push myself and my career development to the limit.
My advice to others hoping to succeed in the motor industry would be to keep your head down, learn your craft and listen and ask questions. I think overall I have been in the trade 15 years from apprentice to workshop controller, so I think that’s an ok progression in the trade in the timeframe. Now I’m ready to push on.