Look Inside BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY
Michael Risich, founder and CEO of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY, shares more about the company’s mission, the effects of the pandemic, and how technology continues to move shops towards success.
How would you describe BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY?
BOLT ON grew up in the workflow automation world. One of my first jobs was working for a barcode scanning company. We would have to manually enter in SKU numbers at the cash register, and just being off by one digit changed all the inventory reports. So early on, I realized that technology creates a wave of imbalance to the transaction; if technology allows you to automate the process, then it can really facilitate best practices through that automation.
BOLT ON implements best practices through software automation. An easy example of that is the automatic appointment creation when a customer comes in for an oil change—we automatically set it up like a doctor’s office.
Most people know two things about their automobiles: The key goes in the front and the fuel goes in the back. Normally, a transaction between shop and customer is extremely uncomfortable for the average person because of their lack of intimate knowledge on mechanical systems. So we focus on vehicle owner experience and how we can create technology that can make that experience better.
How has COVID-19 impacted how repair shops do business?
We’ve been telling shops for a long time that they have to have better communication skills. We were one of the first pioneers to do text communication. There was a misnomer back in the mid- to late- 2000s that all text communication was done by teenage girls. Well, it wasn’t true then, and it’s definitely not true now.
It’s even more relevant now during the COVID era. As people want to be in a more contactless situation, it really does present the situation where they have to amplify their communication—and it has to be crystal clear. You can’t take a customer by the hand and take them out to the shop floor to show them something anymore, but that can be done with our digital inspection platform.
How can shop owners utilize technology to overcome those challenges?
During the initial wave of the virus, we saw the number of photos being taken through our platform cut in half (because the number of cars coming in was cut in half). We started talking to owners and explained to them that during this typical time, spring into summer, they would be so busy that they would relax their standards for good communication. So we encouraged them to go through more of our training to improve their communication. We then started to see a record number of images coming in, even though the volume of vehicles drastically had reduced.
Many shop owners are highly concerned about their car count, and they should be—it’s a critical KPI. But I want to encourage owners to shift their thinking from “car count” to “making every car count.” If they do that, they will begin to have a much stronger relationship with those vehicle owners.
The No. 1 thing shop owners want to see is safe vehicles in their community, and that’s what our technology truly helps them provide.
Where can readers go to access further education, as well as information on BOLT ON products?
They can go to our website, boltontechnology.com, or our social media accounts. Our marketing team puts together a weekly Facebook Live event, where owners can learn more and interact with us. Also, on our YouTube channel, you can find hundreds of videos from 3 to 90 minutes long focused on specific features and topics.
We are always available and love to talk to shop owners about what challenges they are facing and how we can help.
To learn more, check out boltontechnology.com or call 610.400.1019
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