WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Yet another Internet-based company is set to launch a venture to make automotive repair easier.
After months of research and development, AutoPartner.com will hit cyberspace Aug. 1 to provide, via the World Wide Web, applications and value-added services to automotive repair shops. The West Palm Beach company was founded by Jeff Lichterman, a former owner-operator of a large chain of automotive repair facilities.
Mr. Lichterman, CEO of AutoPartner Inc., said the services the Web site plans to offer will "allow automotive repair shop owners and managers the opportunity to go back to fixing cars and taking great care of their customers, as opposed to spending time administering their business."
Under the AutoPartner.com umbrella are four key components that are designed to assist in the efficiency of the automotive repair center:
Customer relationship management, retention and acquisition;
Inventory management and electronic procurement;
Technical data and training;
Business administration, compliance and office functions.
Coinciding with the launch of the Web site is the consumer-oriented MyMechanic.com site. It allows consumers and automotive repair facilities to communicate critical information, such as appointment scheduling, estimate approval and work-in-progress status—all through the Internet.
The MyMechanic.com site also enables repair shops to send their customers maintenance reminders, coupons and other correspondence.
Several prominent individuals who have been involved in the automotive aftermarket sit on the company's board, including:
Jim Wright, former president and CEO of Florida-based Tire Kingdom Inc., which recently was acquired by TBC Corp. He also is a former board chairman of the Automotive Parts & Accessories Association; and
Gordon A. Ulsh, former president and chief operating officer of Federal Mogul Corp. who has been a director of the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association since 1994.