April 17: The seventh VISTA semi final in Madrid saw ten teams from UK and Ireland compete in the morning session, followed by ten teams from Russia.
In the UK/Ireland semi final, VISTA veterans the Carrot Crunchers proudly wear team shirts listing their achievements in the competition, including all the semi finals they’ve qualified for: 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 (including world final), 2011 and now 2013.
“We’ve travelled a lot, we’ve been all over the place,” they boast. “The key to our success is that we always work as a team. We separate the task when we first get it, help each other and then put everything together. We confirm our answers with each other.”
Yet for all their experience and success, the Carrot Crunchers gain the same benefits every time. “There is always something new to learn and knowledge to pick up. Like technical information, different places to look through, things on IMPACT – lots of different things.”
For VISTA 2012-2013, UK staff put extra effort in motivating personnel to register, as well as regular support throughout the competition. The result has seen increased registrations and record low dropouts. For Andy Walker, UK VISTA leader with 43 years experience working with Volvo Trucks, this is time well spent. “Each team spends time together for competing,” he explains while in Madrid. “It’s a way to link the parts technicians, with the mechanics and the administration, and the best link will make the best workshop. Doing this, customers get to see the good rapport, progress and better flow. When the three departments work together, the workshops are more efficient, and provide better customer service and cash flow.”
In the afternoon, it’s Russia’s turn. “VISTA is a prestige,” say Aleksandr Simkin and Mikhail Ivanov, two Russian trainers. “It’s good for the dealer’s image and reputation. They are very proud to be here – they’ve trained a lot!”
Each of the ten teams work diligently through the workstations. “Knowledge,” say team Extreme, when asked what they gain from VISTA. “Knowledge of technology, of the special tools, and team building. We learn about other fields that we are not used to working in, and we learn from each other.”
UK/Ireland: MC Hammers, MC Truck and Bus, UK
Russia: 40 Pionerov