Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) is driving value to motor retail businesses, according to an independent study involving Mercedes-Benz UK, Halford Autocentres and Allparts Automotive.
The 12-month research programme by Dr Paul Spear, of Leicester University, was commissioned by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to cover ATA accreditation programmes for disciplines ranging from technicians to customer service advisers.
It found a return on investment ranging from 89% to 187%, with benefits including raised technical standards, professional status, productivity, profitability and consumer confidence.
In Mercedes-Benz UK’s dealer network, service team managers with ATA customer service accreditation showed an uplift in CSI scores and improved retention and first time fixes.
At Halfords Autocentres, formerly known as Nationwide Autocentres, it found its ATA-accredited technicians were more loyal, had more confidence and returned 7% more gross profit than their non-ATA counterparts.
At independent aftermarket company Allparts Automotive, a year after ATA accreditation of all its parts advisers, it found the number of returned parts fell significantly – this provided considerable savings and a return on investment of 136%.
ATA accreditation demonstrated the parts advisers at Allparts were accurately fulfilling the vast majority of their orders first time.
Sarah Sillars OBE, executive chair of the IMI, which administers ATA, said: “Accreditation has provided significant returns to both the employer, in terms of return on investment, but more importantly, to employees for their self-esteem, professional development and long-term career path.”