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The 2016 ATMC Show: Teaching the Automotive Techs

Posted by: Erik Bjornstad

Who trains the professionals that make sure the nation’s cars and trucks stay on the road? The Automotive Training Managers Council (ATMC) is the nationwide industry group dedicated to the advancement of training and development within the automotive service industry. They were founded in 1984 and function as a de-facto think-tank, bringing together members from a diverse colaition of  OEMs (original equipment companies like Ford or Chrysler), Aftermarket Suppliers (parts and accessory manufacturers like Edelbrock) and other entities that support the general transportation industry (software companies, publishers, retail groups).  Together, the ATMC membership are an essential force in improving the quality and development in the transportation industries.

atmc.pngThe ATMC also serves the essential function of providing Continuing Education training for the ASE – the Automotive Service Excellence group that certifies all of the repair and service professionals in the automotive industry.  If your car or truck breaks down, you want to take it to an ASE-certified mechanic.  The ATMC is the group that provides the ongoing training that your mechanic uses to make sure he or she is completely up to date in their training and knowledge.

If you’re going to the ATMC show, or know someone who is, then these are not .  

Technology Is Our Friend

Some recent focuses of ATMC, and a thread that surely will be running through the 2016 ATMC show (April 5-7 in Atlanta) are how to measure the effectiveness of training and how to use technology for maximum effect.

The technology question is very interesting for the automotive industry. It is also imperative for the industry to stay on top of.  Automotive engineers know that consumers, whether families or fleet managers, expect their cars and trucks to take advantage of the latest technological advances that make their lives easier in areas not behind the wheel. Simple internet connectivity in your vehicle is so 2015. Now consumers are expecting bigger and better things i.e. self-driving features like automatic parallel parking and autonomous crash avoidance. Within the next ten years, self-driving cars will be common enough that they won’t raise too many eyebrows.

These technological breakthroughs are wonderful things. But someone has to fix them. Today’s repair professionals have to have the equivalent of advanced college degrees if they’re going to stay ahead of what they need to know to keep these advanced vehicles running. And so the importance of the ATMC becomes clear.   

From the perspective of the auto repair shop looking out toward the consumer, there’s a tremendous opportunity for the repair experts to use technology in a more positive way.  A 2014 survey by National Underwriter Property & Casualty found that almost half (48%) of consumers believed that auto repair businesses only sometimes, if not rarely or even not at all, provide great customer service. Couple this with the survey showing that about 75% of these consumers simply want to understand better what’s being done to their car. They want to be better informed and have more information. More than 60% of them said simple things using text, social media and email to keep them informed would go a long way to making a hugely positive impression for them.

This presents both a glaring need and a wonderful opportunity for the automotive service industry.  But they need to be ahead of the curve on integrating the use of technology into the repair process. And the ATMC is the group that’s going to show them best how to do that.

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This post was published on March 22, 2016 and was updated on March 22, 2016.

Topics: Cars and Light Trucks