30 October 2019
By Paul Muers
The rapid pace of development in digital technology is having a dramatic impact in multiple industries – and automotive servicing is no exception.
First, an increasing number of tools and sensors are available that can test a vehicle’s condition and performance in highly sensitive and sophisticated ways. With levels of accuracy far beyond those achievable manually or with traditional tools, these new technologies enable service providers to dramatically enhance their offering.
Second, vehicles are becoming ‘smart’with onboard connected sensors which collect data on a car’s performance while it is being driven and analyse this in real-time in order to generate predictive analytics and proactive alerts.
Such intelligent, self-monitoring vehicles may be less likely to require routine inspection, especially as we move into the electric vehicle era, which can appear to be leaving dealerships with less potential work. However, dealerships can use technology to sell more work.
Innovations and advances: digital technology in the service process
What kinds of technologies are we talking about? Here are a few ideas:
- 3D tyre tread depth readers. Drive-over and hand-held tread depth readers can accurately measure thousands of data points from each type, providing a highly detailed reading of wear and tear across the tyre, enabling dealerships to report with confidence whether or not a tyre needs replacing. Savvy dealerships use the system on every workshop visit to make sure all opportunities are captured.
- Wheel alignment checking equipment. The latest equipment makes it quick and easy to check vehicles and sell more corrective work.
- Wireless digital pressure and temperature testers use Bluetooth technology and an app to deliver air conditioning checks in a couple of minutes, helping dealerships simplify and speed up tests and sell more.
A unified approach to automotive data
All of these technologies – and there are many more examples – can enable dealerships to access more intelligent information when they carry out vehicle health checks and servicing appointments. In turn, this can help them to offer more precise services, and to act as an intelligent link for drivers between raw data that they may not be able to interpret, and the actions their vehicle requires. As such, these new sensors and smart technologies are good for drivers, vehicles, and good for dealerships, granting them more opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell services.
However, to make the most of these opportunities, dealerships need to be able to access data from those different sensors and devices in one place. The key information needs to be automatically imported into a single analytics platform and dashboard, providing a single view for the dealership and a reliable data source for all future appointments.
In short, dealerships need to take an integrated approach to the opportunites new technology presents.