An affiliate of the Society of Automotive Engineers
(SAE) International, STS was thought up several years ago when
SAE adopted a new emphasis on the "Total Life Cycle"
of the vehicle, from its construction to maintenance to disposal
and recycling. The maintenance committees within SAE realized
they needed to work closer with service technicians to accomplish
their objectives, but SAE had very few technicians as members
– most were design engineers. So, the SAE Board of Governors decided
to launch an affiliate organization for technicians.
The purpose of STS is to "forge a link between the technicians
who maintain vehicles and the engineers who design and build them."
Its mission statement is:
- to advance the skills and education of service technicians,
- to encourage high ethics and performance,
- to inspire professionalism and excellence in service,
- to disseminate technical-service information,
- to foster communication and cooperation among service technicians
and other professionals (engineers) worldwide,
- and to serve the public need for environmentally responsible,
safe and efficient mobility systems.
Almost every technician wants access to factory service information
and advanced training in troubleshooting, diagnostics and electronics;
discounts on training seminars and publications; access to on-line
technical data bases; and group insurance and health-care benefits.
STS will address all of these issues. It’s currently developing
a web site on the Internet and bulletin-board service (BBS) that
will give technicians access to vehicle-manufacturer technical
service bulletins (TSBs), training materials and other service
Other benefits of membership include group health, life and disability
insurance, health care, car rental, hotel, travel, office service
and product discounts. Additional benefits and services will be
The most important benefit of STS is that it has the potential
to make a real difference in our industry. We can’t do anything
about the vehicles already on the road, but we can certainly tell
the engineers what we think will make future vehicles easier to
maintain and fix.
STS isn’t the first such organization to be launched for technicians,
but it is the first with a direct tie-in to the vehicle manufacturers
As of the end of June, more than 600 people had already joined
STS, and the organization hopes to have 3,000 members by 1997
– with 10,000 members within the next few years.
STS can play a major role in addressing many of the issues and
concerns that those of us in the service sector think are important.
If you’d like more information on becoming a member of STS, call
Larry Carley is a contributing editor to BodyShop Business.