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Dealing With Change

New report suggests the rapid pace of changing technology has put automotive technicians in a time crunch.

Les Dobos Auto Repair NE CalgaryJohn Waraniak pulls no punches when he talks about the impact of advanced automotive technology on the automotive aftermarket.

Armed with dozens of arresting slides in his presentation deck, the vice president of vehicle technology for the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association, says auto repair professionals are in for a wild ride in the years to come, as engineers roll out mind-blowing products.

“The autonomous vehicle is the biggest disruptor of our lifetime,” he told delegates at a recent Equipment and Tool Institute conference. “Make no mistake about it. We are in a period of massive change in this industry.”

It’s a message that is being told every time shop owners and technicians get together. Great transformational change is rewriting the rules of the aftermarket.

Hardly an industry event goes by anymore where the subject of advanced vehicle technology isn’t front and centre, with a special emphasis on how shops need to evolve in coming years just to keep up.

Shop owners and technicians alike have already had to start adapting to fundamental changes at almost every level of the business – from how the vehicle works, to how it is diagnosed, what tools are needed, how service information is accessed, and where to find the best training.

On top of all that, demographics and social media are radically altering how consumers  nd service providers and how they expect to be treated. All of these changes are well monitored by industry associations. But what is less o en discussed is how this ongoing evolution is a ecting stress levels within the shop right now.

A recent study by IMR Inc., an automotive research  rm based in Naperville, Ill., has found that shop owners and technicians identify new technology issues as being their biggest hurdle to overcome.

By Allan Janssen