Steve Handschuh on MEMA's 110th anniversary

Steve Handschuh, president and CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), discusses the 110th anniversary of the organization as well as challenges and opportunities that the organization and its members face today. He discusses technology, global markets and what MEMA is doing on the international scene.

Auto Shop Management Software Increases Accuracy

How many times have shop owners wrinkled their brows after being handed a hard-to-read inspection report detailing recommended work?   Chicken scratch and oil smudges make repair orders and estimates unreadable more often than some might like to recall. Instead of wasting time having a tech try to decipher what was written, shop advisers are overwhelmingly seeking other options. The answer for a growing number of the nation’s 275,000 independent auto repair shops is wireless vehicle maintenance software. The automotive software solution, an ever-evolving technology used by thousands of auto repair shops, increases accuracy and eliminates the need for handwritten reports. Digitized versions powered on tablet and mobile devices make it possible for techs to carry out digital multi-point inspections with a few taps and clicks, instead of hurriedly writing out inspections and recommendations while other customers wait. Unlike traditional customer interactions at the counter of an auto repair shop, techs empowered with mobile technology are able to begin work orders at the customer’s vehicle, which helps to save time in addition to increasing efficiency and ensuring more accurate information collection. The ease of performing inspections, estimates and repair orders efficiently and accurately is important now more than ever. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 204 million registered vehicles in 2000. A decade later, that number climbed to nearly 250 million and continues to grow. A higher number of cars on the road means more vehicles moving in and out of service bays, further warranting the need for quick, yet accurate repairs.  Automotive software solutions deliver that. With the press of a few buttons, techs can suggest which repairs should be carried out now, or in the near future. The technology alerts returning customers to pending work from a previous appointment and serves as a reminder, particularly for those who frequently miss necessary service recommendations. Unlike the traditional handwritten approach to vehicle inspections, techs can now provide a digital estimate and/or a multi-point inspection that can be texted or emailed to customers. Wireless shop management software enables vehicle identification number (VIN) scanning, which ensures that techs will not copy down an incorrect number. It also enables license decoding to research a vehicle’s history – right from their fingertips.   Perhaps most beneficial of all is the mobile technology’s integration with shop management software, which eliminates the need for double entries. The reports and repair orders that techs generate on their tablets or mobile devices automatically sync with automotive software and are entered into the system.

Automotive Software Solutions Drive Greater Productivity

Overwhelmingly, auto repair shops are removing the guesswork from handwritten vehicle inspections, repair orders and service recommendations through the use of automotive software designed to simplify processes, save time and boost productivity.   Below are seven fool-proof tips for using vehicle maintenance software to improve overall shop operations. 1.       Scan VINs Jotting down a vehicle identification number (VIN) is easy, right? Sure. Getting each and every letter and number correct­ – and making sure it’s readable – is something entirely different. Scanning a VIN eliminates the need to decipher messy handwriting, lessens the likelihood of mistakes and saves precious time. 2.       Quickly review pending service recommendations Our research has shown that nearly 75 percent of vehicles being serviced are having an oil change performed. More than likely, additional services or regular maintenance is also needed. Shop management software alerts service advisers and techs to all pending services when a customer arrives. This technology maintains a vehicle service history and offers suggestions that are either pending since a past appointment or are due for regular maintenance. 3.       Start repair orders and estimates on a tablet or mobile device With wireless automotive software solutions, techs can meet customers at their vehicle and begin the digital inspection, repair order, or estimate process using a handheld device. Best of all, the process can conclude the same way it began – with a tablet or mobile device. 4.       Build orders, create digital multi-point inspections with press of a button Wireless software technology eliminates hard-to-read handwriting and speeds up the multi-point inspection and repair order process, allowing for more time to service additional vehicles. Without hiring more staff or adjusting work schedules, productivity, and, in turn profits, can be increased simply by incorporating innovative automotive software solutions. 5.       Add photographs to each vehicle service recommendation What better way to prove that a customer needs new brakes then to show it? Techs do this every day by taking multiple photos of vehicle conditions, underlining the need for recommended services. Without the benefit of pictures, customers all too often believe that shops exaggerate the severity of service suggestions strictly to make more money. Showing a customer pictures can increase repair order revenue from 15 percent to 90 percent on average. It’s much harder to refuse brake work after seeing the extent of the issue. 6.       Text or email customers a vehicle diagnosis with images Wireless automotive software with built-in text and email functionality enables techs to seamlessly send estimates, multi-point inspections, photos and more directly to customers. This speeds up customer approval times from the national average of one hour and 17 minutes to 37 minutes. 7.       Use mobile technology that’s fully integrated with your shop management system Boosting productivity is possible simply by using wireless automotive software that automatically syncs data compiled from a handheld device into the shop management system effortlessly. This eliminates the need for double entries as is commonly the case with paper repair orders and handwritten inspection reports.    

when scanner stops working-How To do

When using an scanner, first it works properly, but after a while it does not response, what's more, you can not disable this scanning application in the normal way. How to do it?To fix "scanner not working suddenly", first of all you must find the possible factors that may cause this malfunction. Generally there are three reasons that would generate the trouble that scanner stops working suddenly: one, the memory resources in your computer are insufficient so as that the system is unable to offer enough memory for your scanner to ensure its normal working; two, the physical connection between your scanner and your PC is loose; three, the sensors in your scanner do not cooperate with each other regularly.According to the causes I mentioned above, now you can further analyze the problem that scanner stops working suddenly:First, you should check whether your computer is running other large applications while you are using the scanner, if so, the system's limited memory resources are prone to be taken up by these applications so your scanner might be incapable of working regularly without enough memory. Therefore, you'd better shut down all the other processes. Of course, to ensure your scanner to work stably, it's best to install it to a computer with a higher configuration rather than an older computer with quite a few memory resources.Second, if your scanner still has no response when you have released all the memory resources in your computer, well then you need to check whether the connection between the scanner and the computer is secure or not. Most scanners link USB ports to the computer and the frequent pull and plug of these ports easily make them loose or damaged leading to your scanner freezing up suddenly. When you find your scanner not working, you must try to reconnect the cable and your USB port. If the problem continues on, swap another port and test.Finally, check the two sensors in your scanner and see whether they can work properly, if not, take it to the repair shop. Hope that my tips can help you fix your problem "scanner stops working suddenly" successfully.

It Came From Middle Earth

[image]By Brandon Storrs The Production Department at AutoNetTV is known by the rest of our company as “Middle Earth”.  We shy away from sunlight and like the room dimly lit.  At least that’s what other’s think.  We are actually normal people who live normal lives.  Well, for the most part.  We like to think of ourselves as the glue that holds this company together. We take pride in what we do and are always pushing ourselves to create better and more inspiring content that will educate the motorist on how to better care of their vehicle.  We are always looking for new tools to make us more efficient and productive.  The strange thing that happens though is that when we find a tool that does this, we often just raise our standard of quality.  For example, a new piece of 3D rendering equipment allows us to do better looking content in the same amount of time, so what happens is the production-quality bar gets raised but we don’t necessarily get more efficient from a time-savings standpoint. Our motto is “continuous improvement in the art of creating”.  If that improvement is better looking content, then maybe we’re achieving our goal. Shop owners are similarly, always trying to improve their processes and technician training to achieve a better overall shop performance.  At the end of the day, you can buy all the fancy equipment that is out there - but the thing that is going to have the most meaningful effect on the customer is the personal touch that you add to the customer’s experience. We hope that our efforts at educating motorists will help you build a better experience with your customer. Brandon Storrs is Vice President of Production and Creative Direction, AutoNetTV Media, Inc.

Shop Owner Makes $20K More in Profits - See How

Mychael Althouse had a record-breaking month of sales at his auto repair shop, United Tire & Service in Feasterville, Pa., in April 2014. [See the video here] The Philadelphia suburban eight-bay shop serviced 12 to 15 cars per day as it has since Althouse took over the 30-year business three years ago. “We gained probably about $20,000 in total sales that month,” Althouse said.  “That month was the best month in my company’s history of owning the shop.” Not coincidentally, April was the first full month the repair shop had put in place BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY’s wireless automotive software solution aimed at increasing shop efficiency and boosting profits. Before his shop began using mobile technology, Althouse, as part of the vehicle check-in process, said he spent about five minutes or more per customer going outside of the shop to jot down the customer’s VIN, license plate number and mileage. Then, he’d come back inside and re-enter the information, hoping he didn’t write the wrong numbers. “Nine out of 10 customers don’t know what year the vehicle is,” he said. “Nobody knows their 16-digit VIN.” With mobile technology, it’s not necessary to know either of those things. With a seconds-long scan of a car’s VIN, the wireless device populates form fields for make, model, year and more, opening the door for technicians to begin the repair order or digital multi-point inspection process as they greet the customer at their vehicle. The data automatically syncs with repair shop management systems, meaning service advisors, owners and technicians no longer have to enter information twice. Learn the tips that helped Althouse make more profits by joining our free webinar on July 18 from 1-2 p.m. EST. “It saves time at the front desk,” added Althouse. Beyond its ability to quickly and effortlessly scan and decode VINs and conduct digital multi-point inspections either from a mobile device or a tablet, Althouse said the biggest benefit involves photo-taking and texting functionality for easily sharing vehicle conditions with customers. Photographs that illustrate technicians’ recommended service makes the upsell process easier, even at times when customers can’t physically come to the shop and review pending services, according to Althouse. “People are able to see their vehicles while they’re at work,” he said. “It helps people make judgments easier.” In addition, being able to text or email repair orders, along with accompanying photos speeds up the customer approval process, which, in turn, boosts productivity and overall shop efficiency, he said. Mobile technology, which comes equipped with customizable digital multi-point inspection forms, has helped to keep Althouse’s techs “on point as far as looking the vehicle over a little more,” he said. “It’s a good tool for your tech to follow so they can get the proper inspection out,” Althouse said of the line-by-line checkout sheets his shop uses. Learn the tips that have helped shop owners make more profits by joining our free webinar on July 18 from 1-2 p.m. EST. To learn more visit BoltOnTechnology.com or call 610-400-1019. 

Elite EXTRA President to be a Featured Speaker at the 17th Digital Dealer Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Elite EXTRA President to be a Featured Speaker at the 17th Digital Dealer Conference June 30, 2014 Eau Claire, WI – Dealer Communications is putting on their 17th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition this fall, September 23-25, in Las Vegas. While the EXTRA team will be exhibiting, President Jim Ward will be a featured speaker. His talk, “Leveraging Technology Trends in Parts Distribution”, will address the rapidly changing technology climate, how to navigate it, where those trends will go, and most importantly, how dealers can exploit them to increase efficiency and drive ROI. The talk will be Tuesday the 23rd at 10AM. “We're excited to not just exhibit, but participate as a speaker at the Digital Dealer show. As a GIS programmer by trade, I started this company really to do cool things with technology and software. To be able to just talk about that, and how it relates to our industry, it's pretty rewarding”, commented Ward. In addition to Ward, also exhibiting at the show will be Ross Kleiner and Andy Tyriver, both in Business Development with EXTRA. The team will be showcasing EXTRA at booth 708, with demos to prospective clients, and sharing updates and usage tips to current users. “With the Digital Dealer Conference having been on our radar for years, we're excited to finally exhibit. The fall is usually very busy in terms of shows, so it's great to be able to get a couple guys out to Las Vegas for this one”, explained Susan Marcott, CEO of Applied Data Consultants, parent company of Elite EXTRA. Recently, EXTRA has expanded into Mexico, having added bilingual sales and support in the last year. As far as product updates and announcements, look for EXTRA to premier the beta version of its EXTRA CRM for parts distributors in the coming months. Up next for the EXTRA team in 2014: Pronto in San Francisco, our annual MOPAR weekend, AWDA and AAPEX in Las Vegas. Elite EXTRA is a web-based dispatch management, routing, and real-time GPS tracking tool built for the auto parts distribution industry. Contact Andy Tyriver, Business Development Manager Applied Data Consultants / Elite EXTRA 2985 58th St, Eau Claire, WI 54703 P: 715.874.2985

Small Shop Issues

By Gary McCoy, Fairway Communications Mike Bailey is the owner of Car Doctor, an automotive repair shop in downtown Oklahoma City. He has been the NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year for 14 of the past 15 years. Bailey has been involved on the national level as a member of the leadership committee of the Car Care Professionals Network at the Auto Care Association, and regionally as the Oklahoma state chairman of the Austin, Texas-based Automotive Parts & Services Association. When I recently interviewed Bailey at his shop in Oklahoma City he talked about three issues that are having an impact on smaller shops: workman’s comp, general liability insurance and credit card fees.  

Educating your staff on selling service

Selling maintenance can be a fickle sell. Brian Canning, a Motor Age contributor, discusses tips today's service advisors and service writers can use to educate their customers about buying service. He also talks about training in selling service, planning ahead and other resources you can use to educate your staff. 

Sense the OBD2 codes of your vehicles without the use of a code reader / scanner

I know the sound and feel of my auto genuinely nicely, and it sounded and felt fine. Considering the fact that a dealer would want $75 just to tell me what's wrong, I figured it was time to invest in an Car Diagnostic Tools . This device plugs into the OBD II port that just about every post-1996 car or truck has, and provides you a code to inform you what is incorrect (along with a lot of other information). I was a bit hesitant to get this reader mainly because on-line evaluations gave the reader itself praise, but gave failing remarks to the instructions and the software program. Thanks for reading this write-up in advance. Never neglect to bookmark this web site to check future updates. We hope you appreciate this most effective obd2 scanner post. This is my new ELM327 clone bluetooth dongle and I show how it performs with an Android phone. " Drivers Door ModuleYou cannot sense the OBD2 codes of your vehicles without the use of a code reader / scanner. An OBD2 scanner is excellent code reader equipment, which can be used in all vehicles which meet the OBD2 standards. Vehicles that had hit the road after 1996 are supposed to meet the OBD2 specification as it has become mandatory universally. OBD2 scanner is the most simple and effective way to carry out diagnostic tests of your vehicle as it can offer expert assistance just like a technician who assists in identifying your car's problems.The spending budget that you have will enable you make a decision what to purchase. The fundamentals of reading and troubleshooting error codes is given with all readers. What you will have to decide is how a lot information and facts you will need to define an automobile difficulty. With connections over USB, Bluetooth and common 16-pin OBD2 TOOL Blog technologies you can analyze your information. Diagnosing your engine problem is vital for a prompt repair. You can do it your self applying consumer grade or business normal tools. We can sell you an engine right here if you're unable to repair yours appropriately.
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