So last year our big project (other than making it through a pandemic) was getting our Regina branch in Saskatchewan certified with the Toyota ASEC Program. This is a big deal for us because we are such active supporters of the program and have been ever since 2005 with our first certification in Winnipeg.
Long version short: ASEC (After sales Service Evaluation and Certification) is a look under the hood of a dealer's operations by Toyota and it looks at everything from processes to cleanliness and safety. I kid you not they even look at where pylons are kept in our workshop and do it in a serious way. The goal of all of this is to keep things clear, clean, and dependable; when you know how things are supposed to run, it makes it easy to spot when something isn't right.
Like I said before we spent last year running through this process with our partners at Toyota, tweaking and improving documentation and processes to iron out any quirks our various heads could find along the way. Over the course of ten solid months our team in Regina worked through every point on the board to earn themselves a place that less than half of Toyota forklift dealers can claim. ASEC certification.
Back in 2020 we were proud to let you know that we'd certified here in Winnipeg, and the journey in Regina was quite similar with a few exceptions.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing and travel restrictions wide-spread we couldn't just drive west and give our team in Regina a hand in person. This meant embracing a suite of new collaboration tools and a lot of pictures. No, I mean A LOT of pictures; roughly 7000 of them all told. Everything that would could have been done with an eyeball and a walkthrough had to become a series of pictures and improvements ("kaizens" in Toyota's parlance for ASEC). When it came to the actual certification, it even meant that Toyota couldn't come for a visit and had to depend on us for the supporting images and documentation they would usually collect themselves.
With our Regina branch ASEC Certified our next big project is to get our Saskatoon branch done this year. Not only will this bring us to 100% certification status, but will also mean we're certifying a branch a year. Sustaining the process is even more important than implementing it, and nothing helps keeping on top of something more than doing it all the time.