Wireless computers are helping service technicians work more efficiently -- and profitably.
Technicians can connect wireless PCs to vehicles to download data from manufacturers and diagnose problems. They can watch automaker-produced repair videos on their computers while they work. And they can give customers more information about service procedures.
The technology makes service departments more productive, dealers say. It also helps persuade customers of the need for repairs, they add.
"There's an ability to capture additional customer pay sales by using the system," says Chaz Stevens, service director of Brent Brown Chevrolet-Buick in Provo, Utah.
The dealership bought a mobile PC system called Advanced Repair Guidance Information System, or ARGIS, for its service department in late 2004. Within four months, Stevens says, the shop's sales from repairs rose substantially. He would not offer precise figures.
The ARGIS system is sold by Mobile Productivity Inc., of Las Vegas. Company CEO Les Silver says the use of mobile PCs benefits auto dealerships and customers.