Quantcast
Jump to content









IATN and Identifix hurt Diagnostic skills?


Recommended Posts

Im a newbie so I started after the revolution of the industry. I will say there extremely valuable information available on forums and services such as these. Many times its not just whats wrong it includes information to prevent reoccurrence or discussions that open the door for manufacturer dialog and solutions. These are conversations that would have gone unheard 10-15 years ago. I also see that it can be a tremendous problem if not handled by shop managment. Iatn somewhat governs itself a bit, I feel that post with inadequate test results or the "tell me what it is, I'm to lazy to look " dialog gets less response and a poor score. If the tech cant troubleshoot he or she will provide less than satisfactory results when it comes to fixing it right the first time. A company that would produce independently written troubleshooting charts in checklist form (available from sources like alldata) would give managment some form of verification. If the sheet isn't completed with specs retreived from the diagnosis, the supervisor can look into it. I think if we're going to continue to moving towards information services like this there must be some accountability on the techs part.

After saying all that, services like this will eventually be required. With all the new models and new technology and lower book hours, technician abilities will soon be maxed out Imo.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got rid of my IATN and went only with Identifix. The best month I spend every month. There is no way to keep up on all the changes and if you have any questions someone a lot of times has already solved the problem. Example, had a GM car with the pass side seat air bag code. A bunch of responses said to check the plug under the seat for something specific. Solved problem. Would have taken me hours to figure that one out. Identifix is one of the first steps in our diagnostic tree and to have access to the actual factory wiring diagrams and factory manuals is worth every penny.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It should be noted that Identifix started decades ago as a dial-in number on a charge-per-call basis. Then, they slowly moved over to the online arena, using their years of compiled phone call database as a launchpad. They still offer the phone service; I have never used it.

 

Techs have always needed more than what's in their own personal brains. Even the best, most highly capable techs will still be caught saying, "Hold on, let me call my buddy ... he works at the VW dealership" or "Let's call my friend that runs that tranny shop down the road." Those phone calls are an informal version of what Identifix has made a business doing.

 

Does this dumb down the techs? Maybe. However, I would much rather my tech be "dumb" and get a weird wire short solved in ten minutes over an "intelligent" tech that spent four hours chasing wiring diagrams and relays. When your tech is able to do both, you have an all star.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We currently are signed up for IATN but not Identifix. How different is Identifix compared to IATN?

 

Here is a summary of both:

 

IATN: Great for posting a question and getting quick answers. Not so great for searching for problems that have been solved already.

 

Identifix: Great for searching for already solved issues, with a probability number next to each possible solution. Not so great at looking up a very specific problem that nobody has encountered before. Although, they do offer a help line for this ... I think it's $25 a call.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to disagree with you Wes. I don't think IATN nor Identifix "dumbs" down our techs. In the independent market, techs are expected to understand the systems of multiple cars and mutiple car lines. We have to be the master of everything. I think IATN and Identifix are a wonderful ADDITION, to our already wonderful knowledge and expertise. Where a technician falls short, he has a resource on hand to use for additional diagnostic tree steps. I do feel if you don't know where to even begin with a code, there is an experience/training issue. You should atleast be able to check the basics before checking your resources. Anyone ever had a tech come back after hours and say he found the problem? A blown fuse.........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to disagree with you Wes. I don't think IATN nor Identifix "dumbs" down our techs.

 

Sorry, I did not explain this very well. A sharp tech will make GREAT use out of IATN / Identifix and use it to expand on his/her skills and knowledge. A lazier tech will simply use these systems as a crutch and never really critically think through the issue. Did IATN / Identifix make the lazy? No, it is simply a tool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Sorry, I did not explain this very well. A sharp tech will make GREAT use out of IATN / Identifix and use it to expand on his/her skills and knowledge. A lazier tech will simply use these systems as a crutch and never really critically think through the issue. Did IATN / Identifix make the lazy? No, it is simply a tool.

 

I can agree to that and it's already difficult enough to find expert technicians.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

I use both, identifix is used on every diagnostic job we do. It fills us in on the whole picture and points us in the right direction. It's worth the money. Iatn is the backup plan, not a very good one. If I ever get stuck and post on there I get responses like "do a voltage drop test" or "use a factory part only", and some criticism, but no real useful info. Identifix can lend itself to ignoring the service manual which is a lazy bad habit that can lead to empty wallet syndrome. Reason being if 200 people had the same problem and fixed it the same way it makes sense in a time restricted environment to try that before going through all the tests. Works until it doesn't. We don't charge for wrong guesses so I pay the price for the OOPS moments. Mostly I use my brain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS and AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching A deep dive into the SWOT analysis of our industry with a panel of shop owners.  As we navigate the evolving automotive landscape, it's crucial to turn threats into opportunities, revving up for success. Andy Fiffick, CEO Rad Air, 10-locations, franchise. Listen to Andy’s other episodes HERE Greg Bunch, Aspen Auto Clinic, Transformers Institute. Listen to Greg’s previous episodes HERE. Brian Sump, Avalon Motor Sports, and Urban Auto Care, CO. Brian’s previous episodes HERE
      Watch Full Video Episode The Concept of Mastermind (00:01:58) Discussion on the concept of mastermind, its origins, and its application in the automotive industry. The Role of Independent Repair Shops (00:02:47) The nimbleness and expertise of independent repair shops compared to dealership networks, and the need for better public perception. Challenges of Independent Repair Shops (00:04:49) The weaknesses and challenges faced by independent repair shops, including the lack of unified marketing efforts and lobbying. Perception and Marketing of the Industry (00:09:16) The need for greater respect and recognition for the automotive aftermarket industry, and the importance of effective marketing strategies. Courage and Self-Respect (00:12:36) The courage and self-respect required to succeed in the automotive industry, along with the need for transformation in mindset. Advancements in the Industry (00:14:35) The industry's progress and advancements, challenges faced by smaller independent shops, and the industry's value and fragmentation. Image and Perception of Independent Shops (00:16:25) The importance of image, modernization, and professionalism in independent repair shops to build trust and attract customers. Training Engagement (00:17:15) Discussion on the importance of owners engaging in training with employees and setting an example. Shop Management System (00:17:49) Importance of a shop management system for profitability and efficiency, and the support and training offered by NAPA TRACS. Auto Shop Coaching (00:18:00) The benefits of Auto Shop Coaching in redefining success and efficiency within a shop, and the importance of accountability. Owners' Involvement in Training (00:21:03) The importance of owners attending training classes and being involved in the learning process to understand and support their employees. Challenges in Attracting Talent (00:23:36) Discussion on the challenges of attracting and retaining young talent in the automotive industry. Opportunities in Change (00:28:07) The positive aspects of change, embracing new technology, and being first to market with innovative equipment. Industry Opportunities (00:29:58) Discussion on the opportunities for growth and impact in the automotive industry, despite challenges and competition. Rising to the Opportunity (00:30:47) Embracing the opportunity to make a significant impact in the industry through creativity, thought, and effort. Car Count and Economy (00:33:37) Discussion on the impact of car count and the economy on the automotive industry. Challenges with Car Maintenance (00:34:16) Issues with consumer awareness of car maintenance, including oil changes and service intervals. Barrier to Entry (00:35:29) The increasing barrier to entry for new shop owners due to technological advancements and specialized skills required. Consolidation and Opportunities (00:38:26) Opportunities for family-owned and independent operations amidst market consolidation and private equity involvement. Threats and Strategic Thinking (00:43:22) Discussion on threats such as constant change, aging technicians, and government involvement, and the need for strategic thinking. Future of the Automotive Industry (00:46:52) Optimistic outlook on the future of the industry, including the potential for strong independent shop operators to thrive. Mental Resilience and Rising Costs (00:48:31) The importance of mental resilience and adapting to rising costs as a key factor in the industry's success.
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Thanks to our Partner, Auto-Fix Auto Shop Coaching Proven Auto Shop Coaching with Results. Over 61 Million in ROI with an Average ROI of 9x. Find Coach Chris Cotton at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching on the Web at https://autoshopcoaching.com/ Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections        
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      Bonus Episode - Frank Scandura on AutoTechIQ And Enhancing Shop Dynamics
    • By carmcapriotto
      Not shownotes.
      How To Get In Touch
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Get the Book - shopmarketingpros.com/book
      Instagram - @shopmarketingpros 
      Questions/Ideas - [email protected]
      Lagniappe (Books, Links, Other Podcasts, etc)
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Brad Updegraff's transition from a general service technician to a visionary business owner of 6 NAPA Gold Certified locations is a story of dedication and strategic planning. Discover the milestones and the speed bumps he encountered along the way. Brad Updegraff, Dave's Ultimate Automotive, 6 locations, Austin, TX. Show Notes
      Learn more about NAPA Auto Care Gold Certified and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care Transition to the automotive field (00:01:55) Brad's transition from managing a pizza delivery company to becoming a general service technician in a small gas station repair shop. Seizing the opportunity (00:05:06) The unexpected opportunity that led Brad to become a partner in 2012 and the risks and steps involved in his journey. Building a successful partnership (00:06:15) The partnership with a former homebuilding executive and the successful merging of their expertise for store growth and development. Learning the business side (00:07:25) Brad's learning curve in understanding the business side, seeking help, and investing in personal and business development. Challenges in growth and expansion (00:10:52) The challenges in advertising, customer base, and geographical analysis that impacted the decision to halt further expansion. Recruitment and training strategies (00:12:29) Brad's recruitment strategies, including internal referrals and partnerships with local vocational schools for technician training. Promoting the industry to youth (00:14:32) The need for industry professionals to promote the technical nature of the automotive industry to young people and engage with vocational schools. Advisory Board Representation (00:17:10) Importance of representation on advisory boards for independent dealers and community colleges. Community Involvement and Giving Back (00:18:13) Support for charitable foundations, including Make-A-Wish and suicide prevention organizations. NAPA Gold Certification (00:21:28) Benefits and significance of achieving NAPA Gold certification for automotive businesses. Engagement in Training (00:23:18) Strategies for encouraging staff to participate in training and the value of owner involvement. Perpetual Learning and Magic Makers (00:27:16) The importance of perpetual learning, the concept of "magic makers," and the impact on the organization. Employee Retention and Team Building (00:29:55) Strategies for retaining employees, team building, and celebrating milestones within the organization. Work-Life Balance and Store Visits (00:32:02) Balancing work and personal life, commitment to family, and the importance of store visits for management. Intuition and Common Sense (00:33:14) The importance of intuition and common sense in business decisions and management. Succession Planning (00:34:12) Discussing internal succession planning and opportunities for employees to grow within the company. Industry Challenges and Opportunities (00:34:53) Cyclical nature of the industry, market correction, and fighting for market share. Market Trends and Customer Conversion (00:36:12) Impact of market trends, potential for customer conversion, and the impact of economic factors. Financing Repair (00:38:00) The increasing use of financing options for vehicle repairs and its impact on the industry. Work-Life Balance and Reflection (00:38:54) The importance of work-life balance and reflecting on career choices and experiences. Overcoming Struggles and Mistakes (00:40:49) The journey to success, overcoming struggles, and learning from mistakes.
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Learn more about NAPA Auto Care and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections    
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      Shop Marketing Pros Live at L&N Auto


  • Our Sponsors










×
×
  • Create New...