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Picture this: An auto repair shop experiences a rush of customers who bring in all makes and models of cars. As a technician begins to work on the vehicle, he or she has to take a break and look for help because the model is different than what he or she is used to working on. Not only does researching take up a majority of the technician’s time, but it elongates the customer’s repair time, as well.

For some shops, searching through different websites may provide some feedback, but without the ability to use a direct source, the time spent searching through links is enough to lengthen the repair process entirely.

    Identifix, a Solera company, knows how important time is in a repair shop, and when it comes to finding a source, Identifix’ Direct-Hit has the ability to answer all questions.

    With the help of Identifix’ Direct-Hit,  auto repair shops have been able get back on track and find answers to their concerns more quickly.

 

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The Shop

“[In] our industry—like any other industry—time is important,” says 4th Street Auto Repair Inc. owner Gary Lofald.

    Lofald’s 3,700-square-foot shop located in Duluth, Minn., is home to five bays and currently staffs a total of six employees. Lofald works on the shop floor and notices first hand the differences in vehicles that come into the shop for a repair.

“A shop like us, we just don’t see that repetition on some vehicles that you would on a dealership level,” Lofald says. “We might not have ever worked on [a specific vehicle] before, but nowadays, there’s so many specific strategies and specific tools that are needed.”

Lofald was looking for a way to cut back on technician’s research time regarding questions about a customer’s vehicle.

When seeking a fix to the issue, Lofald looked back on a trusty resource that the shop had developed a partnership with—Identifix.

 

The Product

In 2016, the shop began to use Identifix product Direct-Hit, a web-based software that delivers all data, tools, and information necessary to help automotive repair professionals in the industry. In addition to Direct-Hit, Identifix offers several more programs that directly benefit its users and shops: Direct-Shop, Virtual Technician, Direct Market, and their newest program, Direct-Hit Collision.

Using Direct-Hit has cut back on time spent researching at the shop, Lofald says.

“It narrows things down so much,” Lofald says. “Productivity has gone up with tremendously.”

Direct-Hit offers more than 2 million confirmed fixes and 1 million hotline archives gathered from real-world technicians, as well as the genuine OEM service and repair information, and unedited factory data technicians count on to do their jobs.

Inside the program, users can find the answers to many of their questions, including remove/replace procedures, component locations, colored wiring diagrams, diagnostic trouble codes, technical service bulletins, specs and capacities, estimating tools, and labor guides.

According to Identifix, Direct-Hit correctly diagnoses the vehicle issue 100 percent of the time. Compare this to competitors’ success rates: Mitchell at 91 percent, Google at 75 percent and ALLDATA at 60 percent, based on research from independent repair shops and technicians.

 

The Results

4th Street Auto Repair Inc. uses the program any time a question arises regarding a customer’s vehicle, Lofald says.

“[Direct-Hit] has a lot of good information that will help you with your diagnosis and your theory,” Lofald says. “[It] narrows down your test procedures to make sure you’re more efficient with the diagnosis.”

In fact, Lofald says there has been a time saving of roughly 25 percent since using Direct-Hit at the shop. Lofald says the program is utilized every day at the shop.

“[Direct-Hit] is just a wealth of knowledge,” Lofald says. “It’s well worth the money.”

 

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