Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) held its Isuzu Service Skills Olympics (ISSO) last June 1 at IPC Plant at the Laguna Technopark in Binan, Laguna. On its 14th year, ISSO has been competitive and was definitely a fierce one as each participant evidently did not hold back in showcasing their skills and knowledge in service.
The day's proceedings started early morning with the assembly and parade of the 75 participants from 25 Isuzu dealers. Each participating dealer is equivalent to one team which is composed of three "Olympians"—a service technician, a service advisor, and a parts staff.
IPC President Hajime Koso congratulated the participants for being the chosen representatives of their respective Isuzu dealers. In his welcome remarks, he said, "Today, you are also called 'Olympians', because you represent the best of our dealership networks, and I predict that you will exceed your own expectations. After this local staging, the world is waiting," Koso said, referring to Isuzu World Technical Competitions where IPC's Team Pilipinas, comprised of the winners of the ISSO, has performed consistently and exceptionally well since 2006.
Koso also thanked Isuzu Heart and Smile Project (IHSP) for the invaluable contribution to the development of the IPC Aftersales program through the automotive servicing vocational course program that Mr. Ida started in 2008 in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and World Vision Philippines—an international Christian, humanitarian, advocacy organization.
"Through this groundbreaking vocational course, IPC and its partners have been able to give once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our young, less-privileged but hardworking Filipinos to be part of the Isuzu family. IHSP has been instrumental in improving not only the quality of our aftersales service to our loyal customers, but more importantly, the lives of many poor Filipinos," Koso added.
In his message, Mr. Ida thanked IPC for giving him the opportunity to have an impact on the lives of the Filipino people. "I have always believed that the best asset of any company is its people. And when you bring out the best from your people, the company is able to perform at its best. The Isuzu-Tesda Auto Mechanic training course program is solid proof that Filipinos, when given the opportunity, can rise to world-class levels. I am very thankful that our students and graduates chose to stay with us to share their talents and time. I leave you now feeling truly confident that what we have started will continue in good hands for years to come."
The ISSO competition followed soon after, with the service technicians, service advisors, and parts staff subjected to written and practical exams testing their knowledge and skills. The competition, which lasted for five grueling, suspenseful hours, highlighted the importance of the service technicians' and advisors' roles in providing quality service and customer satisfaction, and the parts staff's efficiency in parts analysis in service operations.
It was nearly sundown when the winners were finally announced. For this year's edition of the ISSO, the Champion for Service Technician Category were Mark Anthony Arroyo (TESDA Tacloban Alumni) and Jan Michael Manzon, representative of Isuzu Cavite; Arjhay Pulvera (TESDA Tacloban Alumni) and Reynaldo Gepulle as first runner up from Isuzu Alabang; and Harvay Jay T. Ragrag (TESDA Tacloban Alumni) and Gilbert Regis (TESDA Tacloban Alumni) won as 2nd runner up, representatives of Isuzu Isabela.
For the Service Advisor Category, the champion was Kevin O. Oliva (Isuzu Alabang); 1st Runner up was Joseph Clarito (Isuzu Cavite); and 2nd Runner Up was Josie James Marilla (Isuzu Cagayan de Oro).
ISSO also had a Parts Staff Category and the champion for this category was Mark Anthony Rañola (Isuzu Commonwealth); 1st runner up was Cristy Plazuela (Isuzu Iloilo); and 2nd runner up was Christopher Garcia (Isuzu Cabanatuan).
The dealer overall champion was Isuzu Alabang.
The annual ISSO serves as the main platform where IPC will develop two teams to represent the Philippines in the annual Isuzu World Technical Competition for CV Division in Japan and the biennial Isuzu World Technical Competition for LCV Category in Thailand. These international competitions are participated in by at least 31 countries.
Since joining in 2006, IPC teams have performed well in these competitions. A large part of their success has been attributed to the high level of competition at the ISSO, apart from the professional dedication and discipline the IPC dealers' Parts and Service personnel pour into their daily work.
IPC teams landed no lower than 5th place: 3rd place in Category B (2013); 2nd in Category B (2014); Champion, CV Division in Category B and 2nd in the LCV Division (2015); 2nd in the LCV Division and 3rd in the CV Division (2016); 5th in the CV Division in 2017; 4th in the LCV Division, and champion in the CV Division Category B (2018).