Digital solutions, IT, Connectivity, and Mobility

The digital garage: a reality today

Digitalisation, meaning the digitisation of technical maintenance data, administrative data, workshop management activities and customer relations, is part of everyday workshop life in 2023.

All tools and equipment now have a connected version, which can be used to retrieve vehicle data and technical data relating to the action to be carried out (e.g., connected torque spanner with torque settings). Connectivity also means constantly updating technical information databases, which are now present on the vast majority of workshop equipment (geometry, tyre machines, air conditioning systems, ADAS calibration, etc.). Connectivity is a key asset for multi-make repairers, who have to cope with a constantly changing vehicle fleet and the arrival of new electrified technologies.

Digital garages are those equipped in 2023 with a Wi-Fi connection to several workstations in the workshop. The connection will enable modern diagnostics, i.e., remote diagnostics: downloading ECU updates, remote coding firmware to pair a replaced component with a new car. Diagnostics in 2023 will also make it possible, via this connectivity, to carry out remote maintenance: when the repairer is stuck on an electronic maintenance case, he can connect to a remote maintenance assistance platform (e.g., Ima Technologies, Autodistribution, Daf Conseil) which takes control of the repair and carries out the electronic maintenance.

In the future, the digital garage will enable so-called 'over the air' maintenance: customers will be informed remotely of available updates on vehicles already in the workshop and in the customer database. This 'over the air' maintenance, i.e., without a visit to the workshop, will not be exclusive to manufacturers, but will also be possible for the independent sector.

The digitalisation of the customer relationship

Digitalisation also means that customer relations are becoming much more professional. It starts with the exchange of information between the garage and its clients using a digital client file. It continues with the online publication of the workshop's contact details and services, via websites specialising in professional listings (such as Allo Garage, ID Garages, Vroomly, etc.), which offer online quotations. 
Making appointments online (via a shared workshop schedule) is a further step, offered by brands such as Garage AD Expert. 
Gathering verified customer opinions and sending and receiving satisfaction questionnaires are now an integral part of customer relations. Companies with expertise in digitalisation also offer search engine optimisation services for garages' internet listings.
Workshop software publishers now all offer digital gateways between customer files and digital business players. 
All these digital players are present at EQUIP AUTO, which has a dedicated sector for all specialist service providers.

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