26 December, 2019
“Innovations in the automotive industry have gradually transformed what it means to be an auto repair worker. As the cars on our streets have become more computerized, so, too, has the job of maintaining and fixing these vehicles; a trade that was once largely mechanical is today primarily technical.”
Our previous shop-focused blog focused on how traditional service centers are leveraging new technology, arguing that fears related to the increased prevalence of technologically-based vehicles making it more difficult for brick and mortar stores to keep up are unfounded, and instead represent new opportunity for business growth. Continuing the theme, once a repair shop is armed with mobile-enabled smart shop solutions, how do they make the most out of them?
When discussing connected shop solutions, most jump directly to customer vehicle connectivity. “Computers on vehicles are controlling everything: Braking, engine management, fuel consumption, heated seats…Technicians have to be very skilled at tracing those problems to their source,” says Trish Serratore, president of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. Yes, remote vehicle monitoring and diagnostics are hallmarks of the technology, but these advanced tools can also help owners and frost desk personnel innovate shop operations by delivering superior visibility into performance metrics.
Intelligent Data is more than just a buzzword; incorporating connected point-of-sale solutions able to interact directly with modern vehicles into a shop’s workflow can turn fledgling repair centers into well-oiled businesses. From service times to margins and individual employee productivity, understanding the importance of these KPIs can help shops optimize operations down to a T. Case in point: while a store’s employee clock informs when technicians and advisors are in the shop, it relates nothing about their efficiency or performance while there – solutions with baked-in shop analytics can, and much more.
The ability to instantly view business health reports through real-time analytics, deploy automated appointment chat bots to keep service bays full, and offer consumer-friendly digital rewards, enables smart shops to make informed business decisions and channel resources towards profitable activities. Knowing a customer’s service history, past recommendations, and preferences before they walk in the door makes selling services not only easier, but also delivers the personalized experiences necessary to foster a loyal customer base.
Another more tangible benefit is reduced cost. Cloud-based software subscription models have evolved the shop device of choice from bulky desktop computers to agile tablets and smartphones, reducing both hardware and software spend simultaneously while delivering the freedom of movement necessary to accelerate repairs and optimize bay time. As consumer mobility patterns change and vehicles become increasingly complicated, isn’t it past time that automotive service centers adopt smart solutions able to address both? Visit our blog to learn how.