Technology is king

Oct. 11, 2023
Utilizing digital inspection tools offers shops many benefits over more traditional methods.

It’s no surprise that in a magazine titled Professional Tool & Equipment News, we talk A LOT about tools and equipment for automotive technicians. However, in this month’s Tool Briefing article, Ross Colket looks at a different type of tool — digital inspection tools.

Many shops have embraced going digital in order to better serve their customers, improve shop efficiency, and create a more streamlined work environment.

“By using a digital inspection system, you can communicate with [customers] very quickly and also illustrate to them the reasons for the needed repairs to their vehicle,” Colket says. “You can fully explain and document the reasons why they need to repair their vehicle with complete transparency.”

These tools offer technicians the capability to perform a digital vehicle inspection (DVI), meaning that instead of writing everything out with pen and paper, technicians can take photos or videos and add comments to explain what those graphics mean. This way the customer sees everything the technician sees.

As many of you might agree technicians are not always portrayed in the best light. This bad reputation comes in part from poor past experiences where customer service was less than spectacular, but mainly, I believe, from a lack of understanding. Working as a technician makes you the car expert. You are who your customers turn to when their vehicles start making a funny noise or the gear shift begins to stick. Think of it this way — if a person brings their child to a doctor, they expect that the doctor can tell them what’s wrong with their child and how the doctor intends to make them better. If the doctor fails to do this, a lack of trust is formed.

By utilizing a digital inspection tool, you can bridge the potential gap of mistrust between you and your customers by communicating to them exactly what is wrong with their vehicle and how you’ll fix it.

Other benefits of utilizing this tool include:

  • A more professional-looking check-out — there will be no difficulties reading someone’s chicken scratch handwriting.
  • A more uniform inspection process — each technician will be following the same step-by-step process.
  • A readily available service history of each vehicle providing all the background information necessary to make a fully informed diagnosis.

If you’re looking to learn about other exciting tools, our October issue also features our ninth annual People’s Choice Award winners. This is a fun off-shoot of our Innovation Awards where you — our valued reader — choose the new tools you think will have the greatest impact in improving productivity in your shop.

Visit, to see the top 26 products per product category that were picked as your favorites. Which tool would you want to add to your collection? Send me an email at [email protected] and let me know!

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