In response to the growing influence of start-stop battery technology in the aftermarket, Ecobat previously teamed up with a local motor factor to hold a training event on how to maximise the potential of these batteries.
There are many challenges facing the independent aftermarket as the landscape continues to change in the wake of technical developments such as ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), electric vehicles, and the spectre of VMs locking out everyone but themselves, through the ‘connected’ car.
Many of these challenges can, however, be mitigated when forward-thinking and positive businesses, such as Bedale Motor Factors, apply their experience and desire to succeed and, along with their customers, put themselves in the position to exploit the opportunities that these developments present.
For example, in relation to the start/stop battery technology used in micro-hybrid vehicles, Bedale joined forces with Ecobat Battery Technologies (EBT) to run a training event in aid of raising awareness of this increasingly popular development and the opportunities that it can provide for workshops.
Bedale’s Owner, Ross Jenkins, commented, “As a proactive independent, under the GroupAuto umbrella, we are keen to encourage our customers to keep up to date with the many developing technologies that impact their businesses. By teaming up with EBT, we were able to invite like-minded technicians that wanted to learn more about the challenges and opportunities presented by start/stop equipped vehicles, as they are now becoming commonplace in the workshop.”
“These vehicles, all of which are fitted with either an AGM or EFB battery, are a growing part of the industry,” added John Bentley, EBT’s Technical and Training Manager. “Since 2018, virtually all petrol and diesel engines have a start-stop system as standard. However, there is still a surprisingly large number of workshops that are either oblivious of the fact that these vehicles must use a specific type of battery technology or have – possibly due to fear of the unknown – yet to grasp the issue and are therefore also losing out on the potential it offers.”
To address the problem, EBT has developed One Box, a solution that consolidates all the equipment needed to test and install start-stop batteries into a single package to provide workshops with an easy route to access the profit potential, which would typically be charged at more than £185 per installation.
The One Box bundle includes a battery analyser to accurately assess the condition of the existing battery, a noco charger and OBD lead to support the vehicle’s ECU/data storage during the replacement process, and a battery validation tool to ensure that, where necessary, the new AGM/EFB battery is correctly assimilated into the vehicle’s battery management system.
“With the One Box package and a little training to enable technicians get the very best from the equipment, workshops will find that fitting AGM/EFB batteries correctly is not a complicated process,” John added.
“It also allows them to provide a more professional service, which improves customer satisfaction and reduces the risk of future warranty claims due to the incorrect installation or use of an inappropriate battery.”
On the training event, Ross said, “The evening was a great success, as we had both a social and educational side to the event, which gave us the opportunity to cement relationships and raise awareness of the issues that workshops face from start/stop technology. The icing on the cake was that with the One Box, we could also provide them with an immediate and affordable solution, which was endorsed by the fact that we sold many on the night!
“We have a solid core of loyal customers, who are more like friends, who, like us, eat, sleep and talk the business. It’s independents like these that prove that in spite of the changing face of the aftermarket, they’ll always have a role.
“The businesses that will prosper are the ones that either offer or participate in the kind of training and guidance that EBT has provided. On the night of the event, Paul Dyer and John Bentley stayed until the very end to answer questions and help attendees understand the issues, and the company has also demonstrated a commitment to help on an ongoing basis.
Paul, EBT’s Regional Sales Manager, is planning to visit one of our customers who has purchased several One Box packages, to provide on-site training.
“This type of commitment to both us and our customers means that autonomous workshops can continue to make a difference to motorists. This gives them the confidence to entrust their vehicles to us, and helps guarantee that there is still a bright future for the independent aftermarket.”