[AUSAPPS14]

Bendix Brake Pad Identifier [DRAFT]



 
Photo Credit : FMP Group (Australia) Pty Ltd

 

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Project Overview

Photograph and identify any brake pad with your mobile phone! Developed for mechanics, brake fitters and DIY car enthusiasts, the Bendix Brake Pad Identifier app accurately identifies any brake pad within seconds.

If you spend too much time searching through catalogues to identify brake pads only to have the wrong parts delivered, this app is the only solution for you. Simply take a photo of a brake pad and the image recognition software will instantly find part numbers that best match your photograph. Quick and easy to use, this app will save you time in your busy workshop.

Nomination Commissioner

Bendix

Nomination Creator

RU Advertising

Team

Emily French - Project Manager, Designer
Stuart Sullivan - Lead Designer
Stephanie Sharp - iOS Developer
Houman Kargaran - Android Developer

RU Advertising is a leading regional advertising and marketing agency in Ballarat specialising in design, online, development and media. The Bendix Brake Pad Identifier core team consists of four people (a project manager, designer and two developers).

Project Brief

The Bendix Brake Pad Identifier app can easily and accurately identify brake pads in a workshop, allowing mechanics to focus on providing their customers with a fast and reliable service. Ideal for mechanics, brake pad fitters and even DIY car enthusiasts, the app uses image recognition software to identify brake pads from the Asia Pacific region accurately and within seconds.

Mechanics no longer have to search through brake pad catalogues to find the part number they are looking for. With this app they can quickly identify unknown brake pads, minimising downtime and making their workshop more efficient. The part database is updated regularly with new car models and parts so mechanics get the right information every time, no more time wasted searching through out-of-date hard copy catalogues or waiting for the latest edition to arrive.

With thousands of photos being taken each month, and steady month-to-month growth, this app is changing the way mechanics identify brake pads in Australia.

Project Need

The Bendix Brake Pad Identifier app provides mechanics and fitters with increased accuracy when identifying brake pads, saving them time and improving efficiency. Often mechanics waste time searching through brake pad catalogues that quickly become out of date as new parts become available. The app is constantly being updated with new car models and part numbers, and will always contain information on the latest parts.

The app also decreases the chance that mechanics select the wrong brake pad when a vehicle is on the hoist. It identifies unknown part numbers to give mechanics piece of mind when ordering parts, and reduces the risk that an incorrect part is ordered. By saving time and money, the Bendix Brake Pad Identifier app can help mechanics improve customer service in their workshop.

Image recognition software is used to analyse the mechanic’s photograph of a brake pad and recommend the best matches from the Bendix database. Detailed information is provided for each matching part number to allow mechanics to confidently identify their part and place an order.

User feedback received so far has indicated that mechanics believe the app is a unique and useful idea, and is something they need in their workshops.

User Experience

It is important for this app to be quick and easy to use for users of all technical abilities. The process of taking a photo of a brake pad and finding a part number must be more efficient than the looking up a brake pad catalogue, simplifying a time consuming task.

First, the user places a new or used brake pad onto a clean white surface (a piece of A4 paper is suggested). They then select either the manufacturer or model of the car (if known) or enter the length of the brake pad. The more information the user can provide, the more accurate the results, but only one of these three fields is required. Next, they hold the phone above the brake pad so it is aligned in the viewing area and take a photo. The app calculates the most likely part numbers for the photographed brake pad, and filters the results using any additional input provided by the user, providing the user with a list of results. Detailed specifications are available for each part number, including the car manufacturer(s) and models the part suits.

Feedback and testing revealed users required extra help to take a good quality photo, which is important for the image recognition software to return accurate results. Additional help screens were added to the app to resolve this issue, and photo quality has improved. Refinements to usability and accuracy continue to be made based on user feedback, field research and analytics data.

Project Marketing

A consistent marketing effort across a range of media channels was implemented to promote the app to the target audience of mechanics and fitters. Currently the focus is primarily on Australian and the Asia Pacific region, with plans to expand the database of parts for other regions in the future.

Online marketing has been very successful, including promotion on the Bendix website, email marketing and social media. Email marketing strategies have included a competition encouraging new users to engage with the app, helpful tips and videos.

Other marketing has included direct mail and printed collateral with QR download codes. The sales team directly interacts with fitters and mechanics, attend trade shows and conduct training nights with the target market. Word of mouth is also important, and the potential for increasing productivity and reducing errors in ordering the wrong parts makes it attractive for users to try the app and share it with others in their workplace.

The marketing strategies work together to reach the widest possible audience, however direct email marketing has been particularly successful. Email campaigns helped the Bendix Brake Pad Identifier iOS app climb as high as 10th in Productivity in the Australian App Store, only 2 months after the initial launch. While this app is still very much in its infancy, the outcomes of the marketing strategies used so far have been very positive.

Project Privacy

Users are required to accept the Terms & Conditions when they launch the app for the first time, however the app does not collect any personal information about users. Images of brake pads taken by users are stored on a secure server and are used by Bendix for research purposes, to discover potential problems with the process, and provide data for further improvements to the app.




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