NSM professionalizes service biz

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Friday, September 20, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has added a layer of professionalism to its service business with a new “career path and certification program” for its almost 400 technicians.

The program is NSM’s response to a greater shift toward consumerism in the complex rehab industry, says Bill Mixon, CEO.

“We have two primary channels where we interact on a face-to-face basis with our clients: through our ATPs and through our technicians,” he said. “We need to support and train our technicians, and give them a career path. They need to understand the value they provide to our clients.”

The program comprises four skill levels: associate technician, technician, senior technician and master technician (see below).

A team of representatives from operations, human resources and service at NSM built the program from the ground up, developing a skills assessment rating for each level to determine proficiency and standardize the process.

“Before this program, the only way to advance for a technician was to become an ATP,” said Ryan Zarb, vice president of technical services. “Not to take anything away from that path, because it is a noble path, but there are some people who just like wrenching on chairs and they deserve a way to progress, too.”

Ann Mahaffey, senior vice president of human resources, added: “It’s also more than wrench turning. These are people who are committed to client care and the experience. They’re invested in our industry and our brand.”

The NSM team also developed an onboarding process for new technicians; a technical service leadership team that includes regional supervisors and senior managers; and a technical taskforce comprised of nominated techs.

“We’re evolving the role of our technicians,” Mixon said. “As we work to enhance our go-to-market strategy with a technical services approach, we needed to have the right process in place. We believe it will lead to higher levels of proficiency and better client experiences.”

Associate technician

·      Entry level

·      Eligibility determined based on job description

Technician

·      120 repair hours within six months

·      10 hours of continuing education annually

·      Minimum requirement proficiency score on skills assessment

Senior technician

·      2,000 repair hours within three years

·      10 hours of continuing education annually

·      Minimum requirement proficiency score on skills assessment

Master technician

·      4,000 repair hours within four years

·      15 hours of continuing education annually

·      Minimum requirement proficiency score on skills assessment