Posted to Tool & Equipment Forum on 6/9/2013
I'm still not all that comfortable with blogging; or, with
posting in Forums like these, for that matter.
I know that must sound a little strange for someone who's
been writing multiple columns to both sides of the Industry
for almost thirty years, but it's the truth.
There is a difference between sharing something with a
friend: something important, at least something important to
you; and, prying open the top of your skull and going
'stream of consciousness' on the entire Galaxy and beyond.
The columns I write almost write themselves or at least cry
out to be written. You've got to think about everything else
a little too hard to make it seem worthwhile sometimes.
Well, this isn't going to be one of those times.
This is all about technology and how it can work for you
instead of against you. How it can remove or at least reduce
a portion of the stress that normally accompanies any new
technology, instead of tying knots in your stomach and
trying to see just how high the numbers on the blood
pressure cuff will go!
[Pull Downs 1]
It has to do with something new we've been working with at
our shop: the first new something everyone in the shop is
actually anxious and excited to work with. It's an
Electronic Inspection System that allows our technicians to
communicate whatever it is they've found directly to the
Front Counter and provides you, your Service Advisor and/or
Manager with the tools they need to communicate that
information directly to the consumer.
It allows the technician to take digital images of those
findings: images that can be sent or shared with the
customer simultaneously. And, for problems that require
difficult or complicated explanations, it allows the tech to
digitally record that explanation. You can build more than
one Inspection form or modify an already existing form -- I
just modified our 30-point Courtesy Condition Report to more
closely follow the technician as he or she is engaged in the
Inspection this afternoon.
More than anything else, it's an incredible time saving
productivity tool and I'll tell you why. The form itself can
be modified to require the fewest number of keystrokes
possible. It can be set up with pull-downs or open fields
and no one has to 'copy it over.' No one has to transcribe
anything… No matter how hard it is to read that one
Tech's writing, no matter how many words are misspelled and
with no greasy finger prints anywhere because the form is
both digital and electronic! And, because it's digital and
electronic, communication is instantaneous!
We've figured out that it's saving about ten minutes per
inspection on the shop floor and at least that much in the
office. I don't know what your Car Count is, but if it's
anything like ours that's a lot of time everyone can be
involved in doing something lots more productive than
re-writing something someone else has already written down!
To take this one step further, AutoVitals: the company that
built our EIS, has enhanced the process by adding a number
of short -- Operative Expression: short -- Yet, very high
quality videos designed to educate and explain what are
probably the ten most common if not important services that
require an explanation at the Counter or over the
We've got our first Inspection sheet flowing almost exactly
the way we want it to and just now finished getting the
videos online and available.
I'm sharing this now because I think it's something everyone
should be using. It raises the bar on customer communication
and takes it to the next level. It gives your Service
Advisors the tools they need to compete with the retailers,
chains, franchises and dealerships, and it offers your
customers a level of professionalism they aren't used to or
expecting from our Industry (OK, maybe not your place...).
All in all, it's pretty amazing when Technology is actually
made to work for you instead of against you. And, when that
happens you can honestly say, "Technology Rocks!" and, mean
Schneider's Automotive Repair, Inc.
Simi Valley, California, USA
26 Replies Received
26 Replies Received