Shop of Tomorrow highlights technology needed today

Jan. 1, 2020
With the connectivity of today's vehicles changing nearly every day, repair shops must make sure they are ready to handle this new technology. All of this is on display at the Shop of Tomorrow at AAPEX.

“It only took 100 days from concept to reality,” says Scott Luckett, AAIA Vice President of Technology Standards and Solutions as he led his AAPEX audience through a practical demonstration of the “Shop of Tomorrow.” Let me share that experience with you.

Your technician is about to perform an alignment on a customer’s car. But rather than entering the vehicle information into the Hunter alignment console, he instead asks the console to check to see what cars that day are waiting for repair. The console is integrated into the shop’s computer system, including the shop management software, and automatically polls a list of all the cars waiting for an alignment.

The technician simply chooses the correct car from the list, and all the vehicle specific information is automatically downloaded. Measurements of the before and after adjustment are automatically stored in the management software, providing the shop with a permanent record of the repair.

While that technician is completing the alignment, another technician is alerted that a customer’s car has reported a problem to the shop. That’s right, the car reported the problem…using a telematic device that plugs into the customer’s Data Link Connector, or DLC. The technician accesses his Alldata diagnostic software and connects to the car remotely via the same device. He know has full access to all 10 Global OBDII modes and can pull codes, access freeze frame and live data no matter where the car is located.

This information is shared by the Alldata software, which provides code descriptions, enabling conditions, and likely causes by percent of probability. In addition, the device can farm information for the shop to use for recommending needed maintenance.

The Shop of Tomorrow concept offers a more personal approach in caring for your customers. It increases efficiency by eliminating duplication of effort. It reduces waste by eliminating the paper trail. The standards are in place, and all you need to know is if the hardware and/or software you are investing in is i-Shop compliant. I-Shop is an open collection of Web services that makers of shop equipment and systems build into their software applications. It allows information about the customer, the vehicle, and the service work performed to be shared between the front desk and the techs in the shop.

And you can find out what is by logging on to www.aftermarket.org/tomorrow. If you’re attending AAPEX, be sure to stop by the Shop of Tomorrow exhibit, booth No. 2866.