We all have that ever-so-valuable and powerful mini-computer in our pockets. Our cell phones may cause headaches, sure, but they certainly shorten tedious processes and make communication a lot easier. One company that’s using mobile devices to shorten the tire inspection process is Anyline, a mobile scanning solutions company that has partnered with the likes of Discount Tire to make shop processes quicker and easier.
“The first thing [technicians] do when a customer drives in [the bay] is check who the [customer] is and walk around the vehicle to scan and collect data,” said Christian Plaichner, chief product officer at Anyline. “Someone has to record this data somehow; before they either wrote it down or they had to type it in [to their software]. The logic is, when using our software, you only have one step.”
Coming off the debut of its mobile inspection software app at the 2021 SEMA Show, Anyline made its presence known at this year’s show by adding a tread depth scanning option to its mobile scanning app.
How does it work, you ask? Technicians use the mobile tire tread depth scanner by pointing a mobile device’s camera at the tire tread to measure it and quickly create a 3D model. The data is then sent to the shop’s management software, ready to print out and show to customers quickly, or right from the device.
Plaichner said the company introduced swift scanning options in response to the growing need for integrated workflows between shop tools and management software. Following the initial release of Anyline’s mobile scanning software in 2021, Discount Tire deployed the mobile solution across its nearly 1,100 stores nationwide. It’s been successful so far, confirmed Plaichner.
He said there are three areas Anyline wants to consolidate to make the inspection process quicker.
“Number one, the technician who does the scanning wants an immediate result,” he explained. “We also want to also make sure that our customers have all the details behind the scan. Not just to check if something is on recall or immediately needs fixing, but also for historical information on the vehicle. Last but not least, most of our stuff is mobile, so it has to be self-explanatory and it, of course, must work.”
Plaichner credited Anyline’s partnership with Discount Tires as significant in deciding on new technology to add to this software.
“We [are getting] unbelievable feedback,” he said. “You hear a lot of, ‘Wow, this is a game changer, how is this possible?’ And if you think about it or the industry today, the measurement tools are super hard to use. If you have three people trying to measure something, you get 15 different results.”
He said he could see the tread depth scanner becoming huge in the commercial and e-commerce space.
“If you are a big [commercial tire dealer] and you have to service, let’s say, 30 million cars a year, efficiency is critical,” Plaichner said. “These capabilities can also be integrated into e-commerce shops. It really helps if you can just go from the webshop with your phone to the tire, take a picture, get the results, and identify the right recommendation and what the customer is looking for.”
According to Plaichner, the tread depth scanning tool will be available in Q1 2023. Anyline said the pricing for integration into shop management platforms is flexible and scalable and a discount could be offered if shops are willing to publicize the partnership.