ALLDATA Mobile – The Only TRUE Mobile App for OEM Repair Information Interview with Paul Marshall, ALLDATA Mobile Product Developer
By Kathi Kankis
“ALLDATA Mobile is not a tablet enabled website,” commented Paul
Marshall, Mobile Product Developer. “In other words, we’ve
developed a true Mobile App. The only Mobile App for OE Repair
Information in the industry.”
What does this mean to a repair shop? Ultimately, apps
beat mobile sites in terms of speed, data management, advanced
features and functionality. The robust ALLDATA repair information
system immediately delivers feedback to a technician or shop
owner when a vehicle identification number (VIN) is entered. It
provides them with repair information, historical data on the
car, and it allows shops to identify trends with that specific
vehicle or with vehicles of the same make and model. The ALLDATA
Mobile App provides a more engaged experience on any vehicle
Meet Paul Marshall, Mobile Product Developer and 13-year ALLDATA
veteran, as he speaks about this ground-breaking product, how it
was created and what it can do for your shop.
ALLDATA: How did you get involved with the development of
the ALLDATA Mobile App?
Marshall: As the Program Manager for ALLDATA DIY
(Do it Yourself), I was charged with creating a mobile app to
complement the DIY product. That prompted an initiative to
develop a mobile application for the professional product.
ALLDATA: How long did the ALLDATA Mobile App development
Marshall: I started working on the iPad app in
2011 and it really accelerated in the last year.
ALLDATA: Were there stumbling blocks along the
Marshall: We had never developed an app before.
There was a steep learning curve, especially in determining how
to display the repair data within the app. An extensive amount of
time was dedicated to creating the most useful product possible,
regarding vehicle connectivity and diagnostics.
ALLDATA: During the development phase, did you beta test
ALLDATA Mobile with potential customers?
Marshall: Yes, potential customers were
consulted every step of the way. Initially, we conducted a user
testing /focus group at the 2012 AAPEX Conference where 68 shop
managers and technicians were interested enough to voluntarily
provide us with verbal and written feedback. Since then, we
conducted an external beta test with 25 participants in the
Spring of 2013. We are confident that the app functionality is
precisely how the vehicle repair experts want it to perform.
ALLDATA: What problems will the Mobile app help potential
Marshall: Shops can now leverage the low cost
and convenience of today’s tablets over traditional PCs and
laptops. The ALLDATA Mobile app basically takes the repair
information where it’s needed most, in the repair bay.
ALLDATA: How does it compare to the desktop version?
(i.e. functionality, additional features)
Marshall: The core repair information is the
same as our ALLDATA Repair product. The major differences are
navigation, portability and in linking the repair information to
ALLDATA: What do you feel are the most useful features of
Marshall: Mobility and ease of use are very
important features. The ability to connect to the car, read and
translate VINs and serve up the specific repair information for
that VIN is powerful. It removes all guesswork.
ALLDATA: Are there additional features we will be adding
to the product in the future?
Marshall: The Android version was just launched.
Right now we offer basic diagnostics. The next release will have
expanded diagnostic capabilities and ‘knowledge capture’
integration. This is our initial step in connecting OE repair
information to data coming from the car. The future of ALLDATA
Mobile? It’s truly in the imaginations of our customers.