Tuesday, 28 July 2015 06:24

ALLDATA President Discusses OE Repair Info with Associations and Insurance Carriers at NACE Expo

Written by Victoria Antonelli

Over the past eight years, ALLDATA, a provider of OEM service and repair information since 1986, has expanded its predominantly mechanical focus to the collision repair sector with the addition of ALLDATA Collision.


Mitchell Major, ALLDATA President


This new and improved program allows users to access a single source of up-to-date OE-direct repair information. The company's database is available online and features information on more than 33,000 engine-specific vehicles from year 2000 to present. Featured OE procedures include sectioning and structural repairs, handling of new materials and panel removal and replacement.

In March 2015, Mitchell Major became president of ALLDATA after holding various positions at ALLDATA's parent company, AUTOZONE, for 10 years. Autobody News spoke with Major while he attended NACE CARS 2015 in Detroit, MI.

“NACE has been a great opportunity to talk to people on the user side of the equation, such as associations and insurance carriers, and understand their thoughts about OEM information,” said Major. “My perspective is that I can't imagine a world in which you would not want to be using OEM data repair information on the collision repair side, particularly if you walk the collision floor and see the complexity of the structure of vehicles.”

Major said he began his career at AUTOZONE on the inventory supply chain side, where he ran replenishment for several years. He then moved over to the operation store side before taking over the role of vice president of stores. While serving as VP, Major was responsible for 900 stores across the country, and because of that, he said he spent a lot of time out in the field talking to both DIY and commercial B2B customers.

“This position gave me a deep familiarity with the concerns and opportunities on the shop side of the business,” said Major. “When I started at ALLDATA, I began filling in the blanks on the software end."

Major said that since a lot of collision shops are still not using OEM information, the liability for shop owners continues to increase.

“Many collision shops are small independents without the resources of national chains and aftermarket information fills that need,” he said. “OEs are certainly changing and adapting to the market place, including customers of ours, when it comes to pricing. It's an 'adapt or die' universe we live in, when it comes to the economy, and everyone is going to have to change and roll with the punches.”

In order to prevent incorrect repairs, which could lead to consumer injuries or even death, Major said he and the rest of the product team make a point to speak with industry members to find new ways to make OEM data that much more compelling.


Tanushree Sircar, ALLDATA Marketing Manager


“Typically if you go to a shop and say, 'My check engine light is on and I need to understand what's going on here,' they'll go out and write it down on a paper pad, then they'll go in and key it into the computer, and it takes a lot of time,” said Major. “This creates a huge opportunity to streamline that whole process. Whether you're mechanical or collision, you want to turn the bays; you want to get the cars in and out.

“Most shops have two or three bays, which gives you limited physical space and limited technicians. ALLDATA Collision is available online, on either desktop computers or mobile devices, so it can be checked nearly anywhere in the shop. [Simplifying those steps] increases cycle time and productivity, which in turn increases profit.”

Tanushree Sircar, marketing manager at ALLDATA, explained that their customers span a wide range of backgrounds and age groups. While the younger generations adapt to new technologies faster and prefer using mobile devices, some technicians are more comfortable with older technologies.

“The convenience of accessing this information is what's interesting to everybody,” said Sircar. “The ability to access quality OEM information through their desktop or Android or iOS device, making the repair process much easier and faster, is what makes our customers willing to change and adapt to the new technology.”

Instead of paying for classroom time to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest vehicle trends and models, “you can just turn on ALLDATA Collision, and the system will lead you through the process so you don't make an incorrect repair. Our product roadmap is all about a training-free solution. It's as easy as making a purchase from eBay or Amazon,” added Major.

Another tool ALLDATA has implemented to help make life easier for technicians is the online database Community. According to Sircar, Community allows technicians to log on and ask other technicians detailed questions about the OE repair process and specific issues. She added that the database has recently reached 70,000 users in just two years.

ALLDATA is based in Elk Grove, CA.

For more information on ALLDATA Collision, visit their website at http://www.alldata.com/collision or contact the company's marketing manager, Tanushree Sircar, at tanushree.sircar@alldata.com / 800-829-8727.

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