MARCH 1, 2001
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Brea, CA — The realities of today's automotive service industry pose a unique set of challenges to those who earn their living as automotive technicians. They all want to improve their industry's image, provide the very best customer service, seek out the best technical information and provide the most competent repair service. Membership with the Internet-based International Automotive Technicians Network (iATN) provides solutions to these challenges through a unique set of benefits found nowhere else in the automotive repair industry.
"The Internet really provides the best forum to address all these needs within the automotive repair community," said iATN Founder Brent Black. "Even though iATN members are from all over the world and have unique backgrounds, they all work in the same field, so they all face the same challenges. iATN feeds every technician and shop owner's need for real-world information about their industry."
The No. 1 informational need among technicians involves technical and repair information, which is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Despite the technical challenges repair professionals face, the industry still lacks real-world sources of repair information. iATN fills that need by offering members a way to share their vast automotive service experience. In fact, as of March 1, 2001, iATN's 33,000 active members collectively share more than 609,000 years of professional experience.
As Black points out, the greatest benefit the Internet provides is the ability to communicate and iATN is the perfect forum through which automotive technicians can electronically share their technical expertise on-line. This technical data is then saved as part of the on-line iATN Knowledge Base. iATN sponsoring members can access and search this Knowledge Base by vehicle year, make, model or keywords.
"The network provides a way to share all this knowledge," said Black. "It's one of the most valuable tools that members cite as a reason for membership."
"iATN and its searchable Knowledge Base are among the greatest tools a technician can have," said a sponsoring member from Ohio. "iATN sponsorship has enabled me to become a more proficient and productive technician by allowing me to share professional information with thousands of other professional technicians across the industry. This benefits my customers, too, since my accuracy rate on first-time diagnosis is way up."
Additionally, iATN boasts approximately 20 different bulletin-board style discussion forums. Within these popular forums, iATN members discuss nearly every facet of the automotive service industry. Members may post questions and answers on any number of service topics, from repair techniques and common service problems to very in-depth hi-tech repair situations.
These forums are divided into different technical sections, including air conditioning, heavy duty/fleet, technical theory, technical tips, transmissions, and tools and equipment. There are also non-technical forums that cover a range of subjects, such as shop management, emissions, industry issues and motorsports. Each discussion forum is archived and becomes part of the overall iATN Knowledge Base.
The iATN web forums and searchable technical data are invaluable, but the heart of the network is the technical email help system (TechMail) and the FIX Database."If a member has a problem with a specific vehicle," explains Black, "he can post an email message that will be sent to all the iATN members who have signed up for that email service. Invariably, some iATN member out there has probably experienced that same problem in the past."
Emails with specific technical questions can be sent to the thousands of members on the network. TechMail is broken up into several topics (such as Asian, Ford, GM, etc.) and sub-topics (such as driveability, powertrain, brakes, a/c, etc.). These archived emails become part of the FIX Database and sponsoring members can search though these email messages to assist with their own diagnostic and technical information needs.
iATN also offers benefits such as live conferencing and chat rooms in which members can discuss any topic related to the repair industry. iATN frequently hosts special on-line live conferencing sessions called "TechNight," in which members discuss specific topics with other technicians, vehicle manufacturer representatives, government agency officials and other automotive industry decision-makers.
For additional information about iATN, including the latest membership statistics, visit iATN at www.iatn.net.
iATN is supported by the automotive industry's top manufacturers, information providers, associations, suppliers and publications. These industry leaders, along with sponsoring shop and technician members, make the iATN possible.
The iATN Mission of Excellence: To promote the continued growth, success and image of the professional technician by providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and the promotion of education, professionalism and integrity.