In late April a few other Babcox editors and I took a trip to Chicago to get a hands-on look at Bosch’s new KTS 340, the latest in the company’s series of scan tools. (See the complete news item click here.)
While the main focus of the event was on the scan tool, the company representatives also stressed the importance of training and how keeping up with technology is the key to success in the near future. As new technologies and vehicle systems continue to be introduced, shops must change to meet the future needs of vehicle servicing, said Jim Frazer, director of marketing for Bosch Diagnostics Business Unit. “New technology requires new testing technology.”
“Independent systems are increasingly becoming interconnected. An error in one system can lead to a malfunction in another system. Tracing the error from the source alone is no longer sufficient,” Frazer continued.
Along those same lines, Shop Efficiency and ROI were focal points of the event. Bob Pattengale, field sales technical trainer, Diagnostics Business Unit, said shops that don’t have an A/C service machine that is J2788 compliant, are losing 30 minutes per job. “What if your shop could save 30 minutes each day in technician productivity? How would that affect your bottom line at the end of each month?”
Shop owner and Bosch Car Service Center member Steve Louden (Louden Motorcar Services in Dallas) commented on how shop owners are always looking for ROI. His advice is “Don’t charge the same amount for all types of diagnostics,” stating that shops should charge more for more complicated systems, such as ABS.
Keeping up to date with technology is incredibly important and the right tools will help you succeed in business. Louden said he and the technicians at his shop used to keep wish lists for tools they’d like to have. Think about what you’d want on your wish list. Have you borrowed a specialty tool from a fellow technician a few times? Maybe that should go on your wish list. The next time the tool truck comes around, ask your distributor if you can borrow a tool for a few days. A few manufacturers and distributors have recently been promoting tool-borrowing programs.
Our Top 5 Tools section is a great place to see what tools other top technicians wouldn’t want to work without. Are those tools in your toolbox? If not, maybe they should be on your wish list. And hopefully you’ll find this month’s TechShop articles and product previews helpful, and find your list keeps getting longer.