Delivering Service Information to the Aftermarket

New service promises to help automakers comply with pending federal regulations

El Segundo, CA  June 6, 2002  Syncata, a business consulting and systems integration firm, unveiled today a new service offering to help automakers use information technology systems to more cost-effectively deliver service manuals, electrical manuals, owner manuals, technical bulletins and training materials for all their models and makes to the automotive aftermarket services industry.

Syncata's new offering, dubbed SPEED (Service Publication Engine for Electronic Delivery), comes at a time when federal regulators are considering imposing new rules requiring automobile manufacturers to make available all emission-related information about their various makes and models, including service manuals, technical service bulletins, on-board diagnostics descriptions and other diagnostic tools. The majority of this information must also be made available on the Internet.

Governor Gray Davis signed a bill with similar requirements into law in California law on September 30, 2000. The California Air Resources Board's (CARB) recent approval of new laws (SB 1146), adopted first by the California state legislature in 2001, mandates that all vehicle manufacturers must share emissions-related service information about their vehicles.

Syncata, which counts a number of automotive manufacturers as clients, said SPEED will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to integrate the delivery of their service information; index information such as vehicle, components and information types; handle multiple information formats such as PDF, XML and SGML; and support multiple languages. Benefits of the new system, according to the provider, include reducing "look-up time" by technicians and greater dealer compliance.

"SPEED gives car makers a practical way to comply with federal regulators by streamlining their service publication process," said Gaurav Sharma, a Syncata engagement manager with more than six years experience implementing Web-based content management solutions for leading automotive OEMs. "The reduction of publication costs and potential revenue from information sales mean that SPEED delivers a quick return on investment."

As a result of the pending rules and regulations, car makers could soon be required by law to share with the independent auto service aftermarket a voluminous amount of technical diagrams and other information they record, archive and make available to their dealers to repair their vehicles and comply with emissions standards.

With a potential January 1, 2003, compliance date looming and only four out of 26 vehicle manufacturers currently providing non-emission service information on the Internet, according to a recent survey published by the National Automotive Service Task Force, Syncata expects SPEED to play an important role in helping automakers fulfill these imminent, stringent reporting requirements.