Meet the Mitchell 1 Team: Rob Eller
At Mitchell 1, we like to take the time to recognize our team. We have many auto repair experts here who have at one point or another been on the front lines of the automotive repair industry and know the ins and outs of the product itself. These professionals are not only passionate about the automotive industry but are also excited to share small nuggets of wisdom about automotive repair and the insider scoop on ProDemand, hopefully making life in the shop a bit easier.
This week we met up with Rob Eller, a senior coordinating editor who is celebrating his 25th anniversary with Mitchell 1 this February. Rob is in charge of overseeing the senior editors as well as managing content for Acura, Honda, Lexus, Toyota, Mazda and Subaru. He got his start in the automotive industry after graduating from college with a degree in industrial art with an automotive emphasis. Wanting to be an auto shop teacher but faced with a widespread closure of automotive education programs, Rob became a tech, turning wrenches for 13 years before heading to Mitchell.
Take a look at this question and answer interview to learn about:
- How our editorial department is structured
- Challenges with repair information
- What NEW ProDemand features are wowing customers
A Little Q&A
1.) How is the Mitchell 1 editorial department structured?
The automotive editorial department is broken up by manufacturers, with each senior editor being assigned specific manufacturers. Those senior editors then break up and delegate to their team’s individual editors. Our department’s main concern is to make sure we are always on top of the latest repair information for each make and model. Because we cover a wide spectrum of vehicles, from Acura to Volvo, this can be challenging. To battle this, we cycle through segments of manufacturers which helps us to be more thorough and update our content faster.
2.) With all of the editing you and your team have to do for each make and model, and with the shift to electric cars and other new technologies, are you seeing any big shifts in information?
Yes! The biggest change is the QUANTITY of information. As cars become more complex, so does the information. I think the struggle for us and manufacturers are the collision mitigation and avoidance systems. The way they are presented is confusing to many in the industry right now. They have to be inter-related, but unfortunately, in regards to repair and diagnostic information, many manufacturers are not treating the systems the same and are presenting them differently. This change in cars has been especially quick since 2016, and I think everyone is still trying to catch up and decide how they are going to deal with it.
3.) What challenges do you and your group face and how do you manage them?
We get a lot of information sent directly from manufacturers electronically, and as we talked about, this information is growing. We are trying to figure out how to rapidly take in all of this data we are receiving, get it through the process and put it into the final product. Because the information is growing, our technology and tools we use to publish the content need to grow with it.
To remedy this technological challenge, we invested in a new content management system. This new system comes with a lot of enhancements that will allow us to not only work more efficiently but also update content even more quickly than our competitors.
4.) What features of ProDemand do you think the users should be most excited about?
Searchability: Mitchell 1’s main focus for ProDemand has always been to make it easier and quicker for the technician to find the auto repair information they are looking for, and it shows. The searchability of our repair information has aggressively improved to meet the demands of our users. From an editorial standpoint, our focus has changed and become even more intense than it was 12 months ago.
For example, I will personally go in and look for a piece of information. I’d type something knowing it was pretty vague, but I had a general idea of what I thought I wanted. Low and behold, the solution was there! It narrowed down my search results from something completely imprecise to only a few results that predicted exactly what I needed. I am blown away every time! Searchability has improved even more with the new ProDemand 1Search Plus, which has a new intuitive graphical interface and an even more improved filtering system.
Media: I think users will also be excited about the media they will be able to find in ProDemand. One thing that has changed in the past few weeks is that we now have the ability to readily display videos created by the OEMs. We have been able to add some of these technical videos and tips and tricks to ProDemand without the user having to link out of the product. What is even more exciting is that these videos are rapidly growing and include other types of media, like animations and sound clips, in addition to usual step-by-step repair videos.