Taking Advantage of TSBs and Multimedia in Your Auto Repair Information
One of our biggest assets at Mitchell 1 is our knowledgeable staff, many of whom have worked in the automotive industry for years before coming to Mitchell. So, from time to time, we like to pick their brain to find out what information they think would be the most valuable to you when using your auto repair information.
Of course, we know that you use your repair information software all the time. By now you may know it like the back of your hand. However, all of us can use a reminder about forgotten features now and again. Also, we are always improving our software, so chances are good that there may be something new in your repair information that can help you find that fix faster.
Recently, we caught up with Mike Moffett, a Technical Editor at Mitchell 1 (a.k.a. the man who puts all that juicy repair information gold into the software). For more information on how Mike came to Mitchell 1, see his story below. When asked the question, “In your opinion, what is your favorite feature in ProDemand and what feature do you think is underutilized that customers could benefit from more?” Without hesitation, he answered, “Those are the best questions you could have asked me!” He followed it up by saying,
“When I was working in the field, one of the most valuable commodities that I had in the garage was the communications from the manufacturers in the form of TSBs. As a service advisor or manager, I found that having access to this information saved so much time on a day-to-day basis, and I instantly became aware of the value of that information.
I also noticed that the dealerships weren’t archiving or making a library of this information for the techs, so we made it a point to do so. Fast forward to today, and I know that independent shops are not utilizing the TSB information as deeply and effectively as they could be.”
Mike also mentioned that one of the unique features in ProDemand that customers, like you, should take advantage of is within the TSB information. Years and years ago, he and other editors noticed that manufacturers were putting multimedia content not only into their repair information products but also in their TSBs. This content contains:
- Audio Files – These could be used in cases such as when service advisors want to identify and confirm a sound with a customer before the vehicle goes back to the shop floor and the mechanic has to waste time looking for the sound.
- Video Files – These offer information about how to manipulate tools and the products or parts that were being worked on, so repairs are done correctly and efficiently. Not only that, but they also make videos for universally-applied repairs that reoccur throughout their procedures. This allows them to make one video versus having to make multiple textual references over and over again.
The team has recognized the influx of this multimedia information years ago and has been archiving, collecting and publishing this content in different formats. This year is actually the first year they’ve created a click through application, and ProDemand is one of the only ones providing access to this right now! This is great news for ProDemand users because often that information is not available in the repair manuals, but it can be critical in many situations. Mike expresses that, “The team has been working like crazy the last couple years to get all of this multimedia content up to date and published, create safe links to it and store archival formats for it. We are light years ahead of our competition!”
A technical service bulletin is repair information that is not published in their original manuals; rather, OEMs are publishing separate documents outside the original repair manuals. This information is not published in the original manuals for various reasons. For example, the information could have been realized and published after the original repair manual was released. Another instance would be when the OEMs notice a pattern of failures that they want everyone to know about, so they can implement the repairs or make sure information is in line with the safety or emissions standards for the vehicle. Essentially, this means that TSB information is unique. It can’t be found in the original OEM manuals; instead, a technician would have to have credentials for the OEM site or have access to repair information like ProDemand.
A Little More About Mike & Mitchell 1
Mike is a Technical Editor who works solely on Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs). Unlike his other content editor counterparts, who hunt through information out of the repair manuals and Mitchell-ize it into your ProDemand software, he goes into each manufacturer’s website to personally catch all of the TSBs, technical tips and all other relevant info that hasn’t been published in the manuals.
So how did he end up at Mitchell 1?
With Mike’s great sense of humor, he responded, “I was lucky enough to get a job here 20 years ago because I bribed the people that worked here so hard that they actually had to let me come to work here.” Although he never truly bribed anyone, he did join the team two decades ago because he had years of experience in the shop as well as an impressive passion for the automobile industry. Mike recalled that as much as he loves cars he hit a point where he “just couldn’t sustain the extreme amount of effort that was required to keep going on the driveway.” He admitted that it can wreak havoc on your body and mind, but “he didn’t want to stop being in the automobile world, so he came to work for Mitchell.”
What’s his favorite thing about the job (other than still being in the auto industry)?
I really like working here, and it comes down to the people I work with and the four competitive products we have out there.” Although the team as a whole is great to work with, Mike divulges that the people within his department, the editorial group, are his “people.” He enjoys being around people he has so much in common with on a daily basis. Not only that, but he likes that co-workers are not competing against each other, as can be the experience in the field, but, rather, there is a sense of support and comraderie.
The people are one of his fave things about M1, but the products are another. Mike mentioned that the passion comes from his additional task of keeping a pulse on the industry. He is constantly helping to keep an eye on the industry to understand trends. Most of all, he “gets tremendous gratification in knowing that the Mitchell 1 products are much more comprehensive and superior” than any other products on the market.