Sep 07 2017

Customer Service Indifference

‘Perceived’ indifference is the number 1 reason your customers leave

Thanks to everyone attending the AASDN Customer Service Excellence Training Sessions in Sydney and Perth over the last couple of weeks. Up-skilling in customer service is a real investment into your business! One of the most commented topics of the session was ‘Perceived Indifference’.



Studies have shown that 68% of customers leave a business relationship because of a perceived attitude of indifference on the part of the company.  Perception is everything. Perhaps employees aren’t actually indifferent—it’s perceived that they don’t care. Lack of warmth in business could be killing your bottom line.

So what is indifference and what can you do about it?

Indifference is the opposite of responsiveness, the opposite of pro-activity, the opposite of engaging, the opposite of clearly showing that you care and also the opposite of following through. So customers perceive your business not to care and take their business elsewhere.

Here are the top tips on what you can do to show that you value them!

  • Reply promptly to messages
  • Take action on issues
  • Manage customer expectations with empathy and provide explanations
  • Be proactive – it could be informing them that their vehicle is finished even before time or send them a sms update.
  • When talking to your customers, make sure you make eye contact, be aware of your body language, gestures and tone, which all conveys interest in the customers person and their situation or problem.
  • Show that you care about their issues, needs and feelings. It can be just through a simple acknowledgement.
  • Use technology to your advantage: use automated email reminders, birthday emails, sms confirmations including a ‘Thank you for using our business. Wishing you safe travels!’ sms. There are many ways technology can support making a customer feel cared about.
  • Don’t assume! Why not ask your customers directly for suggestions on how your service could improve. You might be surprised by what they tell you.
  • There is always room for improvement! Always find constant little things to improve in your process  or the way you treat customers. It will make a big difference in the long run.


Put the customer first – cShow responsiveness, be proactive, engagement, caring, and follow-through.



Aug 30 2017

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet

Just because we all love to look at an awesome car – what a stunner!

… and because it is always good to look at Mercedes as an true innovator of technology and design. They launched the airbag, Piezo Injection, ESP, the first to deploy a lithium iron battery, and the first fatigue recognition system. Whatever Mercedes does, it will eventually trickle down to mainstream vehicles like Toyotas and the others.

“The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet takes modern luxury into the realms of the ultimate in luxury and is the perfect embodiment of our design strategy. Breathtaking proportions combined with a luxurious “haute couture” interior help to create the ultimate experience,” Gorden Wagener, Daimler AG chief design officer, said in a statement.

This electric car reminds of the luxury cabriolets of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Maybach pursues a 0-100 time of less than four seconds and an electronically governed top speed of 250km/h. The Vision has a maximum range of 320km on a single charge. And underneath that long hood is no the engine, but custom luggage for that ultimate luxury trip. Start saving!



Aug 30 2017

Castrol Tech Talk

Our partners Castrol have kindly provided us with these great information sheets on Automatic transmission fluids, additives, fuel efficient engine oils and brake fluids.

Check it out, download it, print it and share it with your technicians and mechanics!


Step-type automatic transmissions are one of the most complicated components in your car and the automatic transmission fluids (atfs) used in these components have to be designed to work with the variations of materials and processes that make these work. These fluids transmit power, lubricate
and protect moving parts, dissipate heat, resist oxidation and foaming, and protect seals. Their most important function, however, is to provide and maintain the correct amount of friction. For this reason there are many types of fluids required.



Lubricants have come a long way since the days of using whale oil. We now use increasingly high performance base oils to achieve the end goals of maintaining equipment durability, service life and fuel efficiency. Even with these very clever and high performance base oils we still require additives to provide functions such as wear protection (antiwear), dispersancy and corrosion resistance.



Brake fluid is critical to safety and possibly the most important fluid in your car, but its maintenance can be overlooked.

Ensuring the product is stored correctly, is in good condition and is within recommended use by dates is vital. While in theory Dot 3, dot 4 and super dot 4 brake fluids are miscible, Castrol recommends it’s safer to drain and refill than to mix.



We all remember the day s when it was possible to use “one engine oil” across most vehicles with confidence. The hardware changes to reduce greenhouse gas emission however, have let to increasingly complex lubricant requirements. The “one oil suits all’ approach has become just a fond memory.


May 28 2017

Truck of the future

Australia relies heavily on road transport due to population density and it forms an essential element of the Australian economy.

There are 599,990 trucks registered in Australia. The average age of Australian trucks is 13.92 years, which is by far older than other comparable developed nations.

Nevertheless connected vehicle and autonomous / driver-less vehicle technologies will change the face of road transport for passengers and freight irreversibly over the next two decades.*

Volvo already uses completely ‘autonomous driving trucks’ in the Kristineberg Mine as a research project. The truck will cover a distance of 7 kilometres, reaching 1,320 metres underground in the narrow mine tunnels.

Mercedes is testing this self-driving truck – amazing to watch:


And this design student has dreamt up his vision of what trucks might look like in the future. Truly fascinating!



















May 26 2017

Volvo will stop with Diesel

Volvo is the first manufacturer who just announced it will permanently stop developing Diesel engines.

“From today’s perspective, we will not develop any more new generation diesel engines,” Volvo CEO Samuelsson stated in a German newspaper interview.

What a big announcement by the Swedish manufacturer to stop further development in diesel engines technology.

While Volvo further states that: “.. he believed diesel would still play a crucial role in the next few years in helping the company meet targets to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, being more fuel-efficient than petrol engines. We have just launched a brand new generation of petrol and diesel engines, highlighting our commitment to this technology. As a result, a decision on the development of a new generation of diesel engines is not required,”

The Volvo CEO sees two stages of the future of the motor engine:

2020 – achieving the 95 grams of carbon dioxide per km as agreed with the EU. And the 95 gram limit could not be reached without diesel, Samuelsson reiterates.

However with ever so lowering numbers, achieving more controlled nitrogen oxide emissions is becoming prohibitively expensive that is not longer viable, even for larger and more expensive vehicles. Volvo has not determined a time frame about how long the existing engine generation will remain stay in the program but it can be expected until about 2023.

Volvo will rely instead on the electrification of the entire model range. They call this the ‘gentle electrical support of the gasoline engine via a 48-volt electrical system, plug-in rechargeable hybrids and fully electric vehicles at the socket. Volvo plans to launch a first purely electric car in 2019. The Swedes have a top-class product in mind.

Samuelsson also mentions Tesla “It must be acknowledged that Tesla has managed to offer such a car for which the people are queuing. In the area, we should also have space, with high quality and attractive design.”

Volvo has so far no response for the transport market, where the diesel is hard to beat at this stage. Each petrol engine consumes approximately 20 percent more fuel and emits therefor more carbon dioxide than a comparable diesel engine. If there is towing involved on long-haul routes, the output and emissions are even higher.

So the future surely is electrical and the big car manufacturers will follow suit .

Source: Audi
May 02 2017

The future of car parts

The connected, self-driving, electric car has been certainly all the taking point.

Today let’s look a the future of spare parts.

Imagine a world of instant spare car parts availability?  No more shipping vehicle parts across the globe from Europe. Car manufacturers will be able to send a digital blueprint of a car component to a specialised 3D printer, who will print it on speciality materials.

Jay Leno has been doing it for years! Audi is also already doing it! And so is Daimler! They are testing and soon launching it from parts including clamps, mountings, control elements, air and cable ducts and spring caps.

Ford is also testing this technology. Peugeot and Citroen have formed partnerships with Divergent 3D and engineering firm Altran. Vader Systems has developed a metal printing system and other companies using 3D printing technology for custom tooling are venturing into custom automotive parts.

Yes, 3D car components printing will be a thing! It will be a huge disruptor to the automotive spare parts market and supply chain in the future!

Automotive components have been made in pretty much the same way for a long time, by stamping out metal parts by huge presses, which require a huge investment. This makes changes to those machines hugely expensive.

At the moment making small quantities of automotive components is very expensive and not very efficient. New 3D printing technology currently allows manufacturers to test out new designs. It also caters for automotive enthusiasts it customised and personalised parts.

Spare parts account for the bulk of profits of OEMs’ services business. However in the not too distant future businesses may be able to print and fabricate most of the parts with a speciality 3D printer nearby. How this will change the OEM’s business models to sustain those revenues and profitability remains to be seen.

Divergent 3D CEO explains, that their “3D technology uses direct-metal laser sintering. Layers of aluminum alloy powder are built up to create the necessary parts or to build molds for non-metallic components. And because complex shapes can be created easily, parts that until now have been made of several pieces that have to be welded together can be created as single pieces.

Right now, Divergent 3D and its partners are working on structural parts and suspension components, but over time “large complex structures like cylinder heads and engine blocks will be 3D printed,” Czinger told us. The goal is to cut the number of parts per vehicle by three-quarters and to reduce the weight of a vehicle’s “body-in-white” by half. And as we all know, the lighter your vehicle, the more fuel efficient it is. According to Czinger, his parts are 10-15 percent lighter than T6 aluminum, but with the same stiffness.”*

Rob Vatter, CEO of Altran North America a R&D company in that space, said the following: “The dramatic transformation the auto industry is facing must take into consideration not only how to leverage disruptive innovation, but also how to reduce the capital required to bring connected and intelligent vehicles to market.”

Reuters also writes that “Without having to manufacture tools for each part, the 3D printing process can secure supply even for model series which are no longer produced, or for parts which are produced only in very low quantities every year.”

At this stage they are testing and developing but most these companies are expecting to supply the commercial automotive industry within 3-4 years.

What an interesting development! What do you think?



A 3D printed metal structural node.













Apr 19 2017

Carmagaddon – Presentation

Here is an interesting video with Dr Brett Dale and The Hon. Leeanne Enoch about the future of our industry.

This presentation talks about how ‘Codies will be the new tradies’ and it should inspire business to be sustainable in the future.

Definitely worth watching!



Apr 05 2017

Secrets of small business success

Find out what separates successful small businesses from ones that aren’t.

Reaching out to a business mentor you trust and having a solid financial adviser can make a tremendous difference in growing your business.

You can read the whole article here!

Thank to the author Cathryn Gros and for this great article!