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ADAPT Summit Day 2: Speakers Address Tech Education, Shop Solutions

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Sept. 29, 2022—The second day of the ADAPT: Automotive Technology Summit on Sept. 25 provided a full day of learning from one another about a vast range of emerging technologies and shop strategies in today's industry. 

Tech Education

The day began with a panel/question and answer session on the topic of technician education. The panel was moderated by Dirk Fuchs of I-CAR. Panel members included Chris Chesney of Repairify, Trish Serratore of ASE and Scott Kochetta of NAPA Autotech. 

Panelists acknowledged the ups and downs of navigating training and educational opportunities in an industry that is dealing with near constant change. Fuchs mentioned in-person opportunities such as the ones offered at I-CAR's new facility in the Chicago area.

The panel discussed taking advantage of assessments and online options as well, mostly fueled by the landscape of the pandemic. But the panel also relayed the importance of in-person training and mentorship for developing technicians. 

Serratore brought up valuable data from an ASE benchmark survey that showcased the crucial need for recruiting and maintaining valuable technicians. 

"42% of students coming out of a vocational school leave the industry after two years," Serratore shared with the audience. 

The panelists agreed upon the importance of maintaining quality training opportunities and investing in technicians, because in turn they will inevitably invest in the shop owners. 

"It's incumbent on us to make sure that our instructor base is a step ahead," Kochetta said.

Shop Solutions

During the Shop Solutions session, several presenters tackled problem and solution scenarios. The presenters included Chris Cloutier of Golden Rule Auto Care, Mike Mertes of I-CAR and Darrell Amberson and Jason Zeise of LaMettry's. 

Chris Cloutier showcased baywatcher.io, which is new software that he developed to track cars in service bays in real time. The program utilizes cameras to recognizes what happens in the bay. Baywatcher.io can help improve shop efficiencies by seeing how long these vehicles are spending in the bays. This can help shops ensure that they are meeting goals and offering consistency in their service. 

Mike Mertes implemented augmented reality into his presentation to demonstrate technology that I-CAR has been working with. This AR can be used for service technicians, as they can pull up service information in real time. This can cut down on the time spent stepping away from the repair job to research service information or take off PPE and have to put it back on. 

"This is stuff that is available now, and it is just the tip of the iceberg," Mertes explained. 

Darrell Amberson and Jason Zeise of LaMettry's spoke broadly about the challenges that have navigating with the shop's ADAS calibration facility. LaMettry's has done extensive work with ADAS-related repairs. Figuring out the best way to tackle some of these calibrations was described by the duo as a bit of a "wild west." They highlighted scheduling and documentation as crucial components of their approach. 

"It's all new, but it's a lot of fun," Amberson said of tackling these new technologies.

The day concluded with a closing keynote address from Aaron Stokes of Shop Fix Academy. An overview of the information he presented can be found here. 

The ADAPT: Automotive Technology Summit took place Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. 

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