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Levelling the Playing Field for Canadian ASPs

Donny Seyfer, NASTF Executive Officer. Photo: NASTF

The AIA Canada and NASTF (National Automotive Service Task Force) webinar was held on Wednesday, August 19th and was very well attended.

Entitled ‘Leveling the Playing Field for Canadian ASPs’, the webinar focused on securing better access to OE Repair information. And who better to lead the charge than Donny Seyfer, NASTF Executive Officer and JF Champagne, AIA President.

JF led off the webinar, giving all a bit of history and insight as to what was to be discussed and then turned it over to Donny to talk about the challenges facing the aftermarket today in the way of accessing repair information. When the ASP program was launched by AIA Canada, they were told by the technicians that ‘We need the support of AIA. We need the support of NASTF to help us fix cars’. And so AIA Canada partnered with NASTF to help.

Seyfer showed what the role of NASTF was for the industry: to identify and resolve gaps in service information, tooling and education. These often overlap heavily and sometimes involve some sort of information technology as well. “We work with the automakers closely, the independent aftermarket closely and in many cases, work with the dealers as well. We have several components you can use, and usually what you’ll find available will more than cover your needs. But once in a while, you do need something else!”

SIRs

Donny focused on a main effort—SIRs-Service Information Request—what NASTF was founded to do! He also mentioned they did not receive a great many SIRS from Canada saying you’re missing the opportunity to talk to automakers directly—the people NASTF directly interfaces with! These are the people you really want to talk to. And once the SIRs have been answered, NASTF makes up a report and sends it back to their teams, getting them up to speed. Then you’ll see information pieces come out from NASTF.

He said that the SIRs ‘button’ on the website was outdated and broken, but about to get revved up, but it is still functional. It does get all the info you provide to NASTF… so they can deal with your request. With those requests, NASTF needs COMPLETE information… not just what is unrepairable… what did you try to do to repair, it, what about this part, what about that? They need ALL the info because they’re going to engineers about your problem and engineers need to have all the information in order to get all the correct info for you. So when you’re filling out the forms, be sure to include everything!

The SIR is also an opportunity for the automaker to respond and solve a problem. If that automaker chooses not to respond, there are other methods and ways that repairer can resolve that. Most of these issues are solved very quickly by automakers—they usually respond directly to the repairer.

The automaker

JF interceded as this point to ask, “What does the automaker gain from getting the calls you have?

Seyfer replied that automakers get the opportunity to hear the things from their customers that aftermarket repairers need from them. ‘Most automakers want to know if everything works i.e.does our scan tool work in that environment? Is there a problem out there that I can be involved in… overall they want to hear what the aftermarket is doing to prepare repairers. Hopefully they can use the info they get back and put it into their systems going forward. In fact, we like to promote the automakers that are really shining in these circumstances and feed that to the others who are not doing as good a job,” he stated.

“Most automakers are present in NASTF… although some are not available in Canada… even though NASTF is available to Canadians as well as Americans. And because we serve both, we can go to the automakers and tell them what they are not doing with the information… get it resolved. Of course, that automaker then makes their own decision.

“With the new update, we have real case studies for all the issues we are bringing up so we have a reference, but there are sometimes other issues out there that are compliances with laws.”

Filing a SIR

Donny states that he hopes that what you are getting from this is that if you don’t file a SIR, it likely won’t solve the problem on the car you’re working on today, but what you’re hoping for is if the technician has a problem they will find the part and that will solve your problem later on. “So by combining our information and experience, we can make everyone’s world better!!” He also went on to say that they did not have every automaker in the SDRMs program in Canada because of some issues which they are trying to get resolved, but they do have them in the U.S. And there are significantly different approaches from one brand to another from one side of the border to the other i.e.Mercedes. There are resolutions in these instances that must be resolved because it’s not uncommon for a U.S. Mercedes to find a home in Canada. So you need that information available. These are just some examples but undoubtedly there are more.

“NASTF has direct relationships throughout the industry and people who will assist us if we have information issues that’s outside of my experience and so I can reach out to friends who can do that. These people often will call that Canadian repairer directly to help him with the issue… they want to help the industry. These experts provide their knowledge to help.

“We’re focused on solving issues that will work for everyone without being a competitive advantage for one group over another. And we appreciate all the help we get from companies and individuals.”

New NASTF tools

“New tools are coming from NASTF… the interface you have as a NASTF member allows you to customise it. We used our SDRM (Secure Data Release Model) so that effectively the ASP will not have to register, you’ll just be ‘live’. You can choose or ‘unchoose’ brands; if you want information from one of our teams and you want to participate in it, check the box and you’ll get all the info from it. This is a volunteer thing and we take all volunteers. New technology is coming into the pages with all the latest information. We can take feeds from just about any platform and pump into an automakers feed.

For instance, GM has some really cool stuff out there that no one ever sees, now we can pump that into the system… Hyundai sends all kinds of notices and tech service bulletins that people need to see, and we can provide those. Now all this data will stay on the website, not go into the archives. Everyone is included in our platform, the ASP, the automaker, the tool and equipment people, anyone who has the needed knowledge and information to help… a positive environment for solving issues!”

Everyone can see the SIR… and NASTF can post that SIR for everyone to view and push it back into the automaker brand.

NASTF also has a whole new communication engine in which you can choose the method of contact. Choose what you want sent to you and then that information will come looking for you! NASTF has much to provide for the auto service technician.Take a look by clicking here.

And remember, more calls from Canadian ASPS are needed!

Categories : Editorial, Mechanical
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