DRIVING FORWARD: WOMEN IN TRANSPORT
In this edition of ‘The Women of Hino’ we chat to Michaela Paras who works in the Parts and Service Department at the brand-new Turnbull Hino dealership, situated in the Gippsland region at Sale.
A firm believer in equal opportunity in the workplace, Michaela talks about life in the Transport Industry, and her experience helping to build a dealership from the ground up.
How long have you been working in the Transport Industry and why did you choose this industry?
I’ve been in the Transport Industry for almost five years, after landing my first automotive job in the ARB Parts Warehouse in 2017. I then spent one year as an Administration Clerk at Turnbull Toyota, before an opportunity arose to move over to the trucking business. I have been with Turnbull Hino since their opening six months ago.
How did you get into your role as Parts and Service Advisor at Turnbull Hino?
I actually applied for a Sales position at Turnbull Hino but was offered the role of Parts and Service Advisor and I thought it was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and move back into a position that I knew and loved.
What are some of your daily duties as a Parts and Service Advisor?
No two days are the same at Turnbull Hino, but my primary focus each day is to ensure that we are looking after our customers in both Parts and Service. Working with both the customer and the workshop when there is an issue that needs resolving.
What is it that you love about the Aftersales side of the business?
I really enjoy the customer service side of both Parts and Service. It’s really rewarding being able to help people resolve their issues. It gives me satisfaction knowing I’ve been part of the process in helping them out, easing their stress, and helping their business succeed. You also get to meet a lot of new people – some just starting their business and some who have been in the industry for years. I’m always learning things from the customers I meet, which makes my job amazing.
Are there any skills or traits you’ve picked up from previous jobs that have helped you?
In my previous job at ARB, I gained warehouse and parts knowledge, which is something that has helped me transition into my role here at Turnbull Hino. I like to consider trucks a bigger version of cars, which I’ve worked with for years, so it was easy for me to pick up the parts aspect of the role, having done it with cars before.
What made you make the jump from cars to trucks, and what is the biggest difference between cars and trucks from an Aftersales perspective?
When I saw the position available, I felt like going from cars to trucks would be a new experience that would challenge me. The biggest difference I find is that the accessories being sold by Hino are for a purpose. In my previous jobs, I found that most car owners purchased accessories for the appearance, whereas truck owners need their vehicles fitted with parts and accessories that are going to help their everyday business needs, so they need to be the best quality.
What have been some of the challenges in the industry? How have you overcome them?
The most challenging thing for me has been learning all the different model codes. Each range of vehicles has a different service kit based on the model code and the kilometres in the service schedule. It’s a lot to learn, but Hino has amazing training resources that are constantly being updated, and their support team is extremely knowledgeable.
Turnbull Hino recently opened its door in Sale, Victoria. What was involved in setting up the Dealership?
Prior to the Turnbull Hino grand opening, there was a lot of background work done to ensure the dealership ran smoothly from the beginning. Everything in the warehouse had to be clearly labelled, new customers and suppliers had to be set up in our internal system and all vehicles, part numbers, and pricing had to be accounted for. It’s been a big job, however, it is rewarding to be given the opportunity to help build the dealership from the ground up.
Why should customers purchase Hino Genuine Parts?
Hino offers a great warranty on genuine products, and you know you’re getting those products fitted by an expert, as well as knowing there is cover if something was ever to go wrong. You can also guarantee that you get what you order. With a lot of aftermarket products, although sometimes cheaper, they end up costing more in the long run. They don’t always come with everything you need, so you will end up spending more money buying individual items to make up a full part that you can get through Hino as a whole.
The government is wanting to attract more women to the transport industry. What would you say to women considering a career in the industry?
I’d encourage any female to consider a career in the Transport Industry. It’s such a unique industry and women have a lot to offer. We bring a fresh and different perspective to our male colleagues, which makes for a great business and workplace. There are also so many opportunities for women within the transport industry, with on-the-job training and apprenticeships being offered.
In your opinion, what separates Hino from other companies in the industry?
The inclusions you receive when you buy a truck are amazing. The Roadside Assist, Capped Priced Servicing, and the Warranty options on parts and vehicles are great. Hino Trucks are also built with the driver in mind, which means we have so many options, so you know we can build a vehicle that meets all your needs.
The gender gap within the Transport Industry is getting smaller as businesses start to recognise the skills and fresh perspectives that women bring to the workforce.
There are many skills that carry over into the Transport Industry, so if you are like Michaela who is ambitious, or are considering a career change, contact Turnbull Hino today.
As for Michaela, we can’t wait to see her future grow alongside Turnbull Hino.