Service techs to benefit from new Wisconsin center
Sturtevant, Wisconsin, has served as a home for BRP’s Evinrude boat engine manufacturing facility for many years, but now it will also host a state-of-the-art powersports training facility as well. The new North American training institute serves as a facility where dealers and their employees can be trained to maintain and repair all vehicles in BRP’s product lineup.
In celebration, BRP hosted a ribbon cutting at its Sturtevant facility in November, with prominent BRP members and employees alike. Alain Villemure, vice president and general manager of BRP’s Marine Propulsion Systems division, and Martin Soucy, vice president of BRP’s global aftersales, described how the facility will benefit BRP and its dealers.
Soucy explained that the proximity of the training facility with BRP’s existing Evinrude manufacturing plant is no coincidence. Previously, training had occurred at BRP’s offices in Wausau, Wisconsin. “The proximity to the engineering and manufacturing site is really key. We are consolidating the various offices where our aftersales people and network support people are working to a location where we have a core business,” said Soucy.
The training facility is specifically geared toward BRP technicians, who will be fully trained and certified on all Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo, Rotax and Can-Am products.
“They are not coming here for basic training; the technicians that are coming here already took the standardized steps,” Soucy said. “But now the company has made it possible for them to be able to understand those complex problems, and that’s what I like
“The level of training that we are going to provide here — with all the stations that we provide — will allow us to really train them on more problem solving, making them better prepared to face the sort of issues they might face in the field,” added Villemure.
The Sturtevant facility has been in the works for a year, gaining support from the local community, and hopes to bring in 500 visitors per year to the area. With an increase in visitors, the village of Sturtevant will see more business from hotels, food and local spending.
“We are grateful to the Village of Sturtevant and the Racine County Economic Development Corporation for their support in the creation of this world-class training institute that has allowed us to create and secure over 20 full-time positions. This new institute will bring around 500 visitors a year to the region,” Villemure said during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “The Evinrude brand has a storied relationship with Southeastern Wisconsin, and BRP is excited to open up this new chapter.”
A typical training session will last three to four days and focus on specific product training. “If there is an update on the new technology, we are going to take advantage of the fact that the technicians are here, but most of the time the sessions are specific to one product at a time,” Villemure said.
While BRP will pay for the technician training courses, those who attend will need to pay for their own transportation and accommodations while in Sturtevant. Villemure explained that it is important for dealers to invest in their training because visiting the center helps to further spread BRP’s standards for cleanliness, organization and emphasis on the customer experience.
“Our dealer network is getting stronger and stronger. They are making great margin with BRP products, so now we see that they are really investing in their business and they understand that the consumer experience is very important to retain and so they are pleased to come now,” Soucy said. “This training brings value to their customers.”
In addition to training technicians with high expectations, Villemure said that the nearby factory allows technicians to have the full BRP experience. “The technicians didn’t get the opportunity to visit the factories, and now things are put together. So it might not be the product that they are working on, but they get to experience it because our factories look very much the same,” he added.
“We continue to implement a series of initiatives that allow BRP to remain a reference in the powersports industry worldwide,” Soucy said. “This training institute, one of five that cover our regions across five continents, is a focused investment to better equip our network to deliver excellent customer service.”