According to the Automotive Service Association’s latest "How’s Your Business?" survey, 99 percent of ASA collision repair facilities and 91 percent of ASA mechanical shops access the Internet to communicate and retrieve business-related material. High-speed Internet connections are predominantly being used in the shop, with only eight percent of mechanical shops and eight percent of collision shops using a dial-up connection.
The same survey shows 92 percent of mechanical members access service repair information via the Internet. Other primary uses of the Internet include ordering and tracking parts online (76 percent), purchasing tools and equipment (67 percent) and product research (55 percent). In addition, 80 percent of respondents use the Internet to communicate through e-mail transmissions.
For collision repair facilities, 94 percent of respondents use the Internet to correspond through e-mail. Accessing service repair information (71 percent), purchasing tools and equipment (59 percent) and the electronic transfer of funds (58 percents) are other uses for shop Internet access.
Respondents are also turning more and more to web-based training. For mechanical shops, 34 percent elect to take web-based technical training and 22 percent use the Internet for online management training. The numbers are slightly higher for collision shops, with 35 percent taking web-based technical training and 23 percent opting for online management training.
The survey also reports 64 percent of collision shops and 61 percent of mechanical shops operate a website.
"The advancements in Internet technology can truly benefit a shop’s daily operations. According to our survey results, ASA members are readily adopting the Internet and its capabilities into their repair facilities," said Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive. "The Internet is changing the way vehicle problems are diagnosed and repaired. ASA members understand the importance of adopting this change into their business practices."