Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Last week at the Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Week event in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of dining with Michael Kinney, director of fleet sales for maintenance software provider Noregon Systems. Mike had just written a guest editorial for our December issue in which he talked about the rewards of sponsoring the technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) SuperTech2007 national technician competition, but over dinner he mentioned an odd fact that got me thinking...   As part of their sponsorhip, Noregon gave software packages to the winners of the 12 individual SuperTech skill stations--these were expensive, valuable prize packages, consisting of Noregon's JPRO (R) Datalink Adaptor, JPRO (R) 6- and 9-pin Y-Cables, JPRO (R) Fleet Portal Software, and JPRO (R) Fleet Diagnostic Software. These packages were given out along with Panasonic Toughbook laptops, so those 12 lucky winners went home with a pretty complete diagnostic package that could revolutionize the way they do their jobs.   But here's the odd fact that Mike Kinney mentioned last week: since the prizes were awarded last September, only two of those SuperTech technicians have registered their software packages with Noregon. That means that only two out of 12 are actually using their new diagnostic systems.   Are you surprised? I was.   There could be a lot of reasons why ten of those prizes aren't being used. Maybe the Panasonic/Noregon package is incompatible with a system already in use at the winners' shops. Maybe the winners are using the Toughbooks at home for personal use. Or maybe they just don't know or care how useful this package could be   All we know for sure is that 10 of the best technicians in the business have some very sophisticated diagnostic tools that they're not using. I wonder what their managers think about that? It is a puzzler...

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