Every great team is nothing but the sum of individual players. Likewise, every great machine is nothing but the sum of individual, well-made parts. The trucks that barrel down our highways bringing us our goods are meticulously built and maintained. Similarly, the entire trucking and transportation industry also requires meticulous maintenance, making sure the relationships between manufacturers, clients and transportation specialists all work together as smoothly as possible. So who is responsible for being the gel holding all these parts together? The Automotive Service And Parts Advisor.
An automotive service advisor is like a combination of a auto-parts consultant and customer relations specialist, two relatively different areas of expertise. This person must know how to deal with mechanics and truckers on one hand regarding technical and operational issues, as well as individual customers and clients on the other hand regarding their personalized needs and any problems they may have. In other words, one must be a people-person, and be comfortable communicating in the secret language of machines.
If you are interested in a career in the transportation industry but don't think you are cut out for a life on the road, or under the hood of a truck, then consider if these tasks sound right for you: scheduling and time-management, automotive parts and systems coordination, conflict resolution and communication, invoicing, inventory control, and warranties, customer service and client care, and dealer operations. This may sound like a job for more than one person, but this only proves how diverse this kind of career can be.
The transportation industry often works closely with many leading automotive schools to help train and recruit the top students for career automotive specialists. Learning the "nuts and bolts" of the industry starts in a great program that mimics the actual day-to-day experience of the career. An automotive service advisor needs to spend as much time behind the computers as in front of the clients during this training period. Experience is learned while practicing with realistic and simulated training programs, for example: parts pricing and cataloging software, labor estimation tools, and international parts locator systems like the widely used IPC system.
The best training courses, however, won't limit the student to sitting at computers learning software, but will have active role playing activities. Don't be surprised if your school has an actual parts-and-service counter just like the real world, where typical workplace customer service situations are acted out. Because of the practical nature of this education, students do while they learn, and learn while they do. This is the advantage to a diploma with auto training schools.
If you're interested in the transportation industry but can't decide between specializing in hands-on technical duties or working with people, than an automotive service and parts advisor is the perfect position to shift your career into high gear.