Meet the Mitchell 1 Team: Tom Southward

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 hopefully making life in the shop a bit easier.

This week we met up with Tom Southward, a senior

My History

Fixing cars has always been a part of my life. I remember growing up and helping my father rebuild my first motor at 10 years old. After graduating high school I went to work in machine shops, spending 5 years rebuilding engines. I then attended technical college while working and received my first ASE certification and California Smog license. I then transitioned to being a flat rate technician. As a technician, I worked in a late model speed shop modifying smog legal performance cars. Then, as my family grew I changed paths and became a dealership technician. For 12 years I worked at several dealerships including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Volkswagen and Audi. After deciding a career change was needed, I went back to college. During my second college stint I continued to work as an independent mechanical inspector and consulting diagnostician for repair and collision shops. During this time I was sought out by Mitchell1 and invited to come work as a technical editor.

Once at Mitchell1 I was able to apply my problem solving skills and desire for continued knowledge to develop new talents. I grew in the company from being a technical editor to taxonomy, ontology and other data development work.

Certifications: ASE/AIAA World Class Technician, ASE Master Automobile Technician, ASE Master Medium/Heavy Truck Technician, ASE Master Truck Equipment Technician, ASE Master Machinist, ASE Master Collision Technician, ASE Advanced Level L1 and L2, ASE Alternative Fuels, California Smog Technician, Chrysler certified Technician, Volkswagen/Audi Certified Technician.


How is Mitchell 1’s Data Development Department structured?

We have multiple streams of data flowing into Mitchell1. This can be broken into 3 broad categories; Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM); Expert Based (from the field) and Insights mined from actual repairs. The sheer volume of data now available to fix a single car would be overwhelming if we were still printing books! The Data Development team aggregates this incoming data, indexes it, then creates outgoing streams of information to feed our applications such as ProDemand, Manager SE and Intelligent Diagnostics on Snap-on scan tools.  This “intelligence” makes it possible to see all of this repair information in one single place allowing shop owners to repair the cars in their bays faster.


What have been some of the major changes implemented in the past few years?

With the release of 1Search Plus we have been able to seamlessly integrate repair information from OEM sources, expert Information from the field and insights gained from data mining of real world repairs.


What features of ProDemand do you think users should be most excited about?

The newly released wiring diagram features make the experience much more seamless!  Personally as a diagnostic tech I would often start at the wiring diagram before I dived right into testing. The intelligence and features our teams have added to our diagrams have really set us apart from other resources in the market.

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