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AutoPoint Blog

Ready for a better inspection system?

Posted by Hilary Biggart Thursday, June 02, 2016

It wasn’t so long ago that every service department used clipboards and sheets of paper to perform multipoint inspections. The electronic inspection system that replaced the inefficient paper process made some important changes in the way you execute service operations—but it’s still the biggest innovation out there as far as inspections are concerned.

The auto industry isn’t known for early adoption of new technology. But when it comes to the inspection system, it’s time to branch out beyond electronic. As well as it works, the electronic system is still just for inspections. It’s about time we expect more from our inspection technology.

We have to look outside our own industry.

So everyone has an electronic system and we want new innovations. Where do we look? Well, consider what Apple did when they were designing the first Apple stores. They didn’t look at how other computer stores did it—they drew inspiration from other industries. In this case, the Genius Bar at your Apple store was inspired by concierges in hotels. Now, Apple has the most profitable retail operations in the world.

Apple borrowed from hotels. We in the auto industry are borrowing from the skies. Consider an air traffic control center. Controllers handle multiple variables, track different planes on different paths, and direct vast operations from a single control center. That’s the concept we need in our inspection systems: a single, comprehensive, control center-style operation that brings all the pieces of your service operations together.

Bring it all together on one screen.

One of the most common complaints we hear from techs and service advisors is that they have too many screens to deal with every day. Tech tools are nice until you have 10 different systems you use for single tasks.

Innovative new inspection systems will bring all those systems together into one place. For example, service pricing guides. Why are you paying a monthly subscription for a totally separate product? Why are you spending hours putting in your distinct pricing preferences? New inspection systems will come with service pricing guides included—and they’ll be smart. No more entering tedious details; the system will learn your preferences as you go and remember them for next time.

Integrate with other equipment.

Tires are one of the most profitable routine maintenance items for dealerships, which is why so many dealerships use specific equipment just for tire inspections and adjustments. But that equipment often runs on its own system.

We need to put all the information you gather during the inspection, whether it’s the walk-around inspection on the service drive or the tire inspection in the service lane, and put it all into the same central control system. A system that also syncs with the tech tools you use to deliver inspection results. Do you use a customer-facing app? All inspection results must go directly there.

The time is now.

We have the technology to implement an entirely new kind of inspection system—one that goes way beyond the bay. Electronic was only the beginning. Soon, these control center-style systems will become the new standard. And when they do, just remember—the early adopter wins the game.

Implement this technology early and you gain valuable differentiation from the competition. Groom your customers to expect the kind of seamless, effortless customer experience these tech tools enable, and you’ll keep them coming back for years to come. 

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