Our very own Phil Cole is back from the illustrious Best of Belron 2022 event – and he couldn’t be any more thrilled to share his experience with us. So, as promised, we’re back with all the exciting details direct from Phil about his trip to Barcelona to compete for Australia against the best of Belron® automotive technicians from across the world.
The right road to Barcelona
In the week leading up to the competition, Phil headed first to Belgium to practise working on left-hand drive European spec vehicles – as that would be what he would be working on in Barcelona.
“It was different to what I’m used to working on, but it was great to have time to practice as I know it would help save time when I worked on vehicles like this during the competition,” Phil shares.
So, with over two months of dedicated training, Phil finally flew to Barcelona for the event he had waited for years to be involved in.
Getting to know the world
To start the event off right, the Best of Belron team organised activities so the delegates could get to know each other before competing.
“It was a great way to loosen up before the competition,” Phil says, “I met people from 27 other countries and had lunch with the judges before heading to the competition arena.”
Gary Lubner, Belron® CEO, also took to the stage to talk to the delegates prior to the competition. “His speech was really moving. He recognised that each of us there were already champions – because we were all here as the best from our countries,” Phil adds, “that was a great reminder and a humbling one too.”
Competing with the best of the best
The first event of the competition was a written test to check the delegates’ understanding of all the tools and the processes they had to deal with and use.
“I took my time with it,” Phil tells us, “and by the end, I was confident with 95% of my answers – so I was off to a great start.”
Then, for the main competition, the 28 delegates were given different auto-glazing scenarios – repairing and replacing a windscreen, door glass, remove and replace rear glass, and recalibrating windscreen cameras. Each competitor was assigned to two judges who monitored their performance throughout the competition.
“The competition was replicating what mobile technicians do in a normal workday,” Phil shares. “We checked and gathered our tools, worked on the schedule and monitored our work. It was quite practical, too. The jobs that typically earned the most revenue also earned higher percentages in the scoring system.”
Of the two judges, one acted like a customer while the other handled the score sheet and monitored the process.
“The scoring was comprehensive – it wasn’t just about ticking all the boxes. We had to interact with the customer, too. So, we were scored based on efficiency, quality of the job, observance of safety protocols and customer service,” Phil recalls.
When asked how he felt during the competition, Phil told us that he was surprisingly calm while working, “I did everything as I would on a regular job, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the experience.”
Finally, the moment everyone’s waiting for
“They announced some of the special awards for each event,” Phil shares, “then I was called as a runner-up – I placed equal 4th out of 28 in the world! I was pretty stoked.”
Phil finished in equal fourth place, coming after the US who claimed first, Portugal in second place and Turkey, third. Our New Zealand colleague also placed equal fourth with Phil.
“It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was an honour and a privilege to have represented the Australian O’Brien® team at such a huge event,” Phil says.
A great experience with an even greater team
When asked what the most memorable part of the experience was, Phil told us that it was still about working as part of a tight-knit team.
“I remember standing up on stage, waving the Australian flag, and thinking that I couldn’t have done this without my dedicated team and network back home. Sure, I was there as a representative alone – but what went into me was years of training and support from the whole O’Brien® team.”
“It was such a wonderful experience and a great honour to have been the driver of this journey for O’Brien® – on behalf of everyone back in Australia.”
And with that, we have come to a satisfying end to this series.
O’Brien® congratulates and thanks Phil Cole for representing the team in Barcelona and for embodying our DNA – the whole O’Brien® team is proud of you!
Next time you need to get your windscreen repaired or replaced, think of the team at O’Brien®. We’re your trained experts in all things windscreen glass – book online or call 1800 719 737.
At O’Brien®, we’re proud to have so many outstanding Vehicle Glass Technicians working for our company right across Australia. If you would like to be part of our technical expertise and service excellence culture at O’Brien®. visit obriencareers.com.au for more information today.