The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has delayed implementing an online database designed to put technical information on competitive products directly into the hands of RV service techs because not enough RV manufacturers and suppliers have agreed to participate.
“We have 15 companies that have posted information, which isn’t anywhere near what we are hoping for,” said Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education.
Hopkins wanted to launch the password-protected database that would be available only to certified and master-certified technicians during RVIA Committee Week June 8-11 in Washington, D.C. But the launch of the searchable database has been postponed.
“The whole point is to make it easy for technicians to get valid information in a timely manner,” Hopkins said. “We don’t want to put together something that only partially fills the need.”
Hopkins said the goal is to have 100 companies participate.
When the database is launched, manufacturers and suppliers will be able to provide links to their own websites or they can add technical info directly to the database.
“If they want to send us a technical manual, we can scan it and put it into the database,” Hopkins said. “`One of the problems is that when we send out information to companies about doing this, it sometimes doesn’t filter down to the technical people.”
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is creating a comprehensive database that will serve as a one-stop repository of RV service information, offering service technicians a single online resource for troubleshooting, repair documents and service questions for all RV products currently being manufactured.
In order to be useful to service technicians and gain traction as the go-to reference for RV industry service information, the database must have a “critical mass” of information, according to an RVIA release. Currently 12 manufacturers/suppliers have posted 113 documents in the database. RVIA is asking members to add their information to make the resource even more effective.
Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education, said, “The database will benefit manufacturers and suppliers by helping certified service technicians quickly locate service information, thereby reducing the number of calls that must be handled by customer service personnel. It will help reduce the amount of phone time spent acquiring the correct service information.”
Hopkins emphasized that RVIA needs member help to populate the database. “For the service to be useful, the database must make a significant number of documents available to the technician. We are looking for a document population to number in the thousands. It is RVIA’s goal to capture all current RV service documents, however, once we have sufficient participation, we will open the database to the technicians while the industry completes the task of cataloging all service documents that are available,” he said.
A launch date has not yet been announced, but RVIA is setting Summer 2009 as a goal. Initially the database will be available to all Certified Service Technicians who work for RVIA member companies. RVIA is working with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) to make the database available to all registered certified service technicians.
Information on how to add documents to the database, as well as more details about the program, can be found at www.rvst.org/database.html. For more information, contact RVIA’s Education Department at (703) 620-6003 ext. 355.