The Automotive Journal (AJ) recently interviewed Bernie Elder, Anita Ziemba, & John Hayes of CompuSpections to discuss the future of Pennsylvania State Inspection Software.
CompuSpection state inspection software is accepted by PennDOT and is the industry leader in safety inspection documentation what do you feel was the most important element in the development of the software.
That's easy; when scanning was added to our software. Scanning not only reduced the time required to complete the MV-431, but also assisted in making sure every inspection item required was filled in (nothing left out) and was correct. Another important aspect in our development was input from our users and other experts in the Safety inspection field.
CompuSpections recorded many firsts in our program development including the first safety inspection company to accurately transmit safety inspection data to the Verizon e-SAFETY pilot program. Other firsts include:
You mentioned data, why is data important?
The genesis of managing, quantifying and measuring progress begins with accurate and pertinent recorded data. Management reporting, which is now available, allows the station manager to forecast inspection peaks and valleys, review failure / replacement rates of components, etc by reviewing data collected during a safety inspection.
Future development of data statistics (failure rates), revenue generation reporting, audit triggers and anomalies will be available at the station and / or state reporting level.
Data reports (15 currently available and more to come) allows the Station Manager, using the CompuSpections system, to compile sales tax reports, prepare for a safety inspection audit (including Anti-Tampering count), sticker management, just to name a few.
Many of our readers feel it is important to merge the safety data with shop management systems what are your thoughts?
We couldn't agree more. As a matter of fact. we are currently accepting orders for the interface to the Mitchell1 / Snap-on shop management systems. The scanning technology developed for the CompuSpections safety software will be used to merge customer and safety data into the Mitchell1 / Snap-on Shop management systems.
Mitchell1 recognized the importance of the safety interface for their customers. The completed Mitchell1 / Snap-on interface will be the first safety interface by a leading shop management software supplier. The ability to scan the registration card into the Mitchell1 system and not have to re-enter the data into the safety inspection program will be big plus (accurate data and productivity enhancement) for station owners and technicians.
The merging of the safety data and the customer information will ensure that stations using the interface software are in compliance with PennDOT safety bulletin B-103-2.
Where do you see the safety documentation industry in the next two years?
The Compuspections development list for the Pennsylvania system includes over 30 projects. Included are projects such as "Titleing-insurance-safety-emissions-mechanic verification" through PennDOT, an "enhanced mechanic file" which will provide reminders for renewal, an "auditor button", which will provide tracking of all received safety stickers, I/M sticker management system, technician management reporting, station failure rates, station revenue generation reports, state failure rates, embedded specifications, etc.
Currently inspection technicians consume valuable time referring to books, charts or on-line databases to determine minimum specifications for brake, drum, rotor, etc.,. Through use of relational data bases specifications by make/ model / year will be available in the next generation of CompuSpections software. This inspection station productivity enhancement will continue to make CompuSpections the market leader in safety inspection documentation
Failure rates why are they important at the station level?
CompuSpections, with the development of station failure rate reporting, allows the station manager to begin the management of the inspection process as well as consistent and accurate reporting of safety inspections. The inconsistencies of the paper-based system are removed.
Component failure rates by year / make / model will be compiled and used by the station manager to alert customers of a potential safety item failure.
The customer or inspection station claiming component (s) unavailability must obtain two (2) documents to prove that the component(s) are unavailable for the vehicle to pass inspection. The documentation may be from a dealership, parts store, or salvage yards. The inspection station contacts the QAO with the information of the unavailable components for approving the inspection. The vehicle owner should keep the original copies of these documents for future inspections and the inspection station should make copies for their records.
The QAO’s will authorize the use of these documents so that the vehicle can be inspected and will keep a record of all relevant data for all approved vehicles. This data will include the vehicle make model year engine size and the components(s) that are not available.
The QAO’s will e-mail this information to their supervisors weekly and the supervisor will data enter all the information into the database.
NOTE: The QAO’s will not be required to call the Vehicle Inspection Division for authorization to approve documentation for unavailable emissions components unless there is a question regarding whether or not authorization should be provided to the vehicle owner/inspection station
Electronic MV-431’s Increase Accuracy PennDOT is now accepting computerized MV-431 forms, allowing dealers to increase the accuracy of the form and avoid many of the ﬁnes and suspensions from the MV-431 mistakes listed above. This new electronic form will also help new car dealers and independant repair facilities save time and money, as well as allow them to retain and locate these forms easily.
1. Recording incorrect insurance dates on Form MV-431: Make sure the proper insurance expiration date is recorded on Form MV-431.
2. Illegible recording in the MV-431 log book: All inspection information listed on the MV-431 must be recorded. It is a violation to write illegibly or to leave any column blank.
3. Not recording in the log book what was repaired, adjusted, or new when the price listed is more than the typical inspection price: A technician is required to ﬁll in all of the “repaired” boxes in the right column of Form MV-431.
4. Not keeping track of voided inspection stickers: All voided stickers must be retained and kept in a secure location.
5. Not documenting customer authorization on repair orders: Under the Attorney General’s Automotive Trade Regulations, no repairs may be performed until the customer is notiﬁed of the exact nature of the repairs and the total price to be charged, including parts and labor, and the customer’s oral or written authorization to perform such repairs is obtained and documented. The total price must include any reasonable fees for items. If repairs exceed a price agreed to in advance by the customer, oral or written customer authorization must be obtained.
6. Charging the full price for an inspection when only replacing stickers: The cost for replacing a sticker is $4.24: $2.00 for the inspection sticker, $2.00 charged by the dealership, plus tax. If the sticker is being replaced but an inspection is not being performed, the law does not permit charging the customer the full price of an inspection. Make sure to record the replaced sticker number.
7. Recording stickers out of order: Inspection sticker numbers must be listed in numeric order.
8. Not having a sign itemizing the cost for inspections and the cost of the sticker: A sign separately stating fees for inspection and an inspection sticker fee must be posted.
9. Not having the proper tools: A Quality Assurance Ofﬁcer will verify whether the dealership has the necessary tools for safety inspections, and can ask inspectors to demonstrate the use of the tools. Required tools are listed under Section 175.26 of the safety inspection manual.
10. Performing improper emissions test on vehicles: Technicians performing emissions tests on vehicles must verify where a vehicle is registered before performing a test. For example, if a person lives in Schuylkill County but goes to a station in the neighboring Lehigh County to be tested, a 1996 vehicle must get the 42-county visual test required in Schuylkill County, not the on-board diagnostics test that is required in Lehigh County.
If a vehicle from outside the ﬁve-county Philadelphia area is emissions inspected in one of those counties, a dynometer test is not required, as the dyno test is only required for vehicles registered in one of the ﬁve counties. The same is true for vehicles being inspected in Pittsburgh; if the vehicle is not from the four-county Pittsburgh area, a tailpipe test is not required, as it is for vehicles from the Pittsburgh area.
Q1. I find that I can’t make out the odometer reading on the old sticker, what should I put on the MV-431/MV-480?
ATTENTION: ALL OFFICIAL INSPECTION STATIONS
QUALITY ASSURANCE OFFICERS AND
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE
BI05-4 SAFETY INSPECTION BULLETIN AUGUST 2005
INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN TRAILERS:
The following article is published with the approval of Mr. Mark Jewett of PAA.
By Mark Jewett, Sales Director - PAA Dealer Purchasing Service
State Inspection Record Keeping Software by Compuspections, LLC.
Of all the products, programs, and service offerings that come to our attention each year, most are innovative, some are well supported, but few really have as great an impact on the industry as Compuspections’ SIRPA (State Inspection Records PA). Started by a small independent shop owner who was fed up with trying to keep his MV-431 complete, legible, and accurate, Bernie Elder began creating a simple software application that any shop owner could easily use and afford. The "electronic MV-431" became a reality.
By utilizing a hand held bar-code scanner to read PA’s registration cards, VIN and owner information are transferred to the electronic MV-431, MV-431 Semi-Annual, and the MV-480 with perfection. As a Safety Inspection Technician performs the inspection, all required fields are checked for compliance with appropriate regulations, error (and warning) messages are displayed, and the system will not allow a sticker to be assigned until all errors have been corrected. Inspection stickers are issued and tracked when a vehicle has passed inspection. A work order stores all information entered, and a "Failed Book" is maintained. Quick and easy lookup of any inspection record (or work order) by a number of search options is offered - VIN, license plate, customer name, used work order number, sticker number, emission sticker number, inspection number, and fleet number. VIN decoding is standard, and emission stickers issued are also recorded. The software is very easy to use with many drop-down windows to select dates, insurance companies, and measurements to streamline data entry. A report program provides assistance to Quality Assurance Officers during an audit. Customer feedback reports Compuspections as extremely responsive to technical support issues, and consistently goes above and beyond expectations when addressing user’s needs.
Recent additions to their product line include "Compuspections Gold". An enhanced version that provides revenue generating, and shop management reports based on captured vehicle and customer data. This new version allows you to mine data to generate lost service revenues, as well as analyze technician performance during the safety inspection procedure. Revenue generating reports show customers who need an inspection, tires, brakes, oil change or rotation. Demographic reports show where customers are coming from, what type of vehicle they own, how much revenue comes from them, and what future sales could be. Shop management reports detail what technicians are inspecting, what they are repairing, and who’s making the most money during the Safety Inspection process.
With new vehicles lasting longer and longer, and some traditional service revenues disappearing, this product truly allows us to identify and focus on the service products we may have missed in the past. Congratulations to Compuspections on a brilliant product that provides compliance, time savings and new revenues to the Service Department. For additional information, email me at email@example.com, or visit www.compuspections.com.