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Thought about a staff swap?

staff swap
Staff swaps give both you and your staff opportunities you can't get at home.
Working hard, day in, day out makes if very easy to lose sight of the big picture. There is a whole world out there and that includes car breakers, and what goes on in other countries can often be imported and make a big difference to our own operations.

Plenty of UK vehicle dismantlers make regular trips around the world to conferences and shows to find out what’s going on. Many will be heading off to ARA’s show and conference in the States this Autumn with the main aim of finding new ways to increase the efficiency and profit of their own operations back home. They also make good contacts and meet up with friends from previous visits. We also have Europe on our doorstep. Through The MVDA's membership of the European trade body EGARA, members also have links to many European Vehcilce dismantling trade bodies. The possibilities are endless.

One way to extend this learning process is to consider swapping staff. This could be a son or daughter, or perhaps a valued member of your team who would like to take some time out abroad. The idea behind a staff swap is that they get a job and accommodation whilst they are there. They not only get the invaluable experience of living and working in another culture, but also find out how dismantling works and operates in that country. Don’t kid yourself you know it all. They will return bursting with new ways and ideas, some of which will make a difference to your bottom line!

The big plus here is that it works both ways. In return, the vacant job in your yard is being filled by someone equally keen from the exchange country who will be getting the same benefits here that your staff member will be getting over there. You will also be gaining from the ideas that person brings with them. Expanding our knowledge and understanding can only be a good thing.

I have spoken to dismantlers in the UK who have arranged staff swaps on an individual basis. You know the sort of thing, a breaker goes over to the States, makes friends with a family of American breakers and the two sons decide to swap places for a few months. They have accommodation, transport and a pay cheque. All who have tried it tell me that the idea works well.

A year or so back, an Australian dismantler, Ross Nicastri of Frank’s Auto Parts in New South Wales had a keen young employee, Logan Green who he believed had good long-term potential for his company. Ross felt that experience in a different country would broaden his perspective of the industry. The key was finding the right yard to swap with, so he put the word out to ARA members in the States of his plan to arrange a swap. After a six-month search he found Sandy Blalock of New Mexico based, Capo’s Truck & Auto. They discussed the idea with her son, and Robert exchanged jobs with Logan for three months. All Ross’s expectations for the trade were met, and he would do it again. Apart from the potential benefit to our businesses, the opportunity for those going on the swaps is invaluable.

This idea shouldn’t stop at the English speaking world. There are vehicle dismantling organisations in most countries, and the opportunities are out there. Hopefully next year, the UK will host the International Round Table on Auto Recycling 2012. This would be a great opportunity to meet up with dismantlers from all over the world. The event takes place every two years with the most recent events being in Canada, Japan and the USA.

Here at ATF Professional we plan to set up an area on the website where interested car breakers can link together and hopefully develop staff swaps into an accepted part of our industry. We believe the benefits to both the businesses and the individuals are immense and this should be encouraged. In the meantime, anyone with views or previous experience, or likes the idea of getting involved with a staff swap, please let us know.

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