FIXED OPS ARTICLERise of the Smartphone in the Bay
Article in FIXED OPS Magazine
FIXED OPS ARTICLE
Rise of the Smartphone in the Bay
For the past 30 years Technicians have almost exclusively used desktop computers to access repair information to service vehicles – why?
- Is it the difficulty of accessing Wiring Diagrams, TSBs and other rich content on a smartphone versus a desktop computer?
- Is it because there has been a bit of a void of mobile software innovation for repair Technicians as a whole?
- In many cases, desktop computers have been the only available technology for Technicians in Shops but that is now changing…
Desktop Computers have been the main source for service repair information, such as parts and services content, in the Automotive Bay.
The digital and physical challenges that computer workstations present to contemporary Technicians are significant, and current research indicates that the modern Technician is using his or her smartphone a lot to get work done.
Here are challenges all Techs must overcome, not only day to day but sometimes hourly:
- Technicians have to navigate through multiple software systems.
- Technicians may have anywhere between 4 to 6 software programs open at one time to identify (personal ID), research (search), test (Pinpoint Test), record (today typing in their notes into a DMS), fix (tools in hand) and transact (order a part).
- Some software systems present multiple, redundant steps for not only searching for but also entering data.
- There are not a lot of high quality automotive repair applications in the mobile app stores.
- Many software applications are not accessible where the Technician does their work.
- Technicians are required to navigate vehicle information, vehicle history, repair procedures, test equipment, conduct electrical tests, inspections, order parts, record comments – most of the time these diverse data sets reside on multiple software applications and hardware devices at different physical locations throughout the shop.
All of these factors lead to greater amounts of time spent looking up repair information and ultimately lead to greater challenges for the Techs themselves – this costs everyone money!
What’s the Solution?
We all now use our smartphones every day and this trend is happening in every Bay. Technicians are accessing repair content through their smartphones at staggering rates and instead of setting down their tools, walking away from the vehicle and logging on to a desktop computer, they are conducting a mobile search in the repair bay.
The statistics below, from IMR Inc., highlight this behavioral shift to smartphones:
- 99.6% of Auto Technicians own a mobile phone
- 87.4% use mobile phones for work in their bays
- 79.2% use mobile phones to access technical information
There is immense pressure on every dealership and independent repair facility to improve operations and simplify how information is accessed and digested by Technicians. Not only for experienced Technicians, but also for new Technicians that may or may not have graduated from a Trade School or received an ASE certification.
Mobile accessibility is critical to the improvement of the repair process as we strive to meet the demands of the Technician, during this migration from computer workstations to smartphones.
It’s time for more innovation in our App stores and our Industry as a whole. Technicians need to have a greater quantity and higher quality choice of mobile applications designed for their day to day workflow and demand for quick, quality content.
We need to make the Technician’s day to day experience frictionless and empower the Technician through mobile software, not desktop software.
At CYTK, we are answering the demand for mobile, AI-powered mobile applications.
CYTK provides mobile access to repair information, helping Technicians work faster, with greater accuracy and with improved human capability. By providing a reliable and comprehensive mobile search app that is updated with OEM information, including (procedures, parts figures and numbers, labor times, wiring diagrams, TSBs and even YouTube videos), CYTK reduces service time, costs, and physical movement by leveraging the smartphone and enabling Techs to access repair information frictionlessly.