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Management Software, Web Sites & Internet

Discussions about automotive shop management systems, software, websites, the internet, online purchasing, how-to, etc.

103 topics in this forum

  1. Post your shop's website!

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  2. SMOTGO

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  3. INVOICE SOFTWARE

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  4. Navex Shop POS

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  5. Mitchell CRM?

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  6. Too many choices in SMS..

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  7. Quickbooks

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  8. Quick books and alldata

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  9. Auto Shop Solutions

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  10. RO Writer question.

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    • Could not agree more! In addition, most shops may not know that they are actually personally liable for installing those parts!  There is precedent where the court will rule in favor of the customer and not the shop. The logic of the court is, "You are the professional, you installed it... you take responsibility."  Even if the customer signs away their rights on the invoice... We are strongly considering the Costco model at our shop.  Just trying to figure out the right way to make it work and not upset our already existing base.
    • There is at least one very successful shop I know of who marks up parts minimally and charges for actual labor times taken. I would assume the rate is higher than the traditional model. The problem with allowing customers to bring in their own parts is parts quality period. They dont know what is good and what is not. If it becomes that big a problem offer to supply parts at near cost (obviously you could negotiate a little back end money) and just raise the labor rate to account for it. In the end, same dollars, same level of service just different model.
    • We've had life long customers start to request to buy their own parts online, at an alarming rate. They will come in and get a quote, leave... call back in a month when they want to do the service.  When they call, they indicate that they would like to bring their parts in and only pay for labor.  It puts everyone in a really difficult position. In addition, we are also having fleet accounts price shop online and complain about our prices.  In many instances, we have had to show customers our purchase receipts to assure them, we are not "overcharging". I personally, have been making noise about this for over 5 years and everyone generally brushes me off as an anomaly.  Yet, here we are... all becoming anomalies.  Our vision for parts in this industry is a little scary initially, but overall we think the outcome will just lead to much higher labor rates and parts at a 15% above cost model.  Welcome to the Costco model for Auto Repair.
    • You can add videos to our platform and send them to your customers, right through our app.   Videos and photos are a great selling point and help customers understand what is really going on.
    • I hate the idea. But, if it allows you to work on more profitable work and you have enough of it, I suppose it is ok. But........ Most of the time we cannot figure something out, it is due to a disappearing symptom or lack of information from the vehicle. These are the cars I am getting better at saying this is what we've done and these are the results. At this point I can guess or wait for the symptom to become more apparent but unless you want to spend more money I cannot go further. And then LET THEM make the decision. Most of the time they will come back after they experience it again and they can give us more info. The real reason I hate it is for psychological reasons. You see we work hard to become the answer to anything automotive to our customers. This way they are more apt to spend every automotive dollar they spend with us, we will be far more successful the more we can accomplish this  (known as first position). By sending them away they may find better service (not likely but possible) we've admitted there is someone better than us and we may just create a different position for ourselves. While most aftermarket shops are in second position anyhow it might work, but I also attribute that second position adds to the ebbs and flows of business as we grow. I would try to figure  out how to capture more testing dollars when I can and when necessary let the customer chose to wait or go elsewhere on their own. I am assuming this is unique diagnostic issues and not training issues so if you cant do it they probably cant either.
    • Hi Junior,   We're here.  Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.
    • Wheeling,  We use the doctor explanation as well. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't go over so well. While I agree with this analogy, the customer on the other side of the counter usually sees it a little differently. First, most of the time, the insurance company is paying those bills. So while the customer/patient experiences frustration with all the test coming back normal, the cost for those test are not coming directly out of their pocket.  Not trying to be argumentative on that point, just wanted to expand a little further on it.  The issue I am trying to address is not really selling diagnostic work, it's stopping that gaping profit leak when that diagnostic work leads to a week long project. I know a big part of the issue is that both my lead tech and I love the challenging ones, and all we learn from them. But it causes such a loss of revenue and backs things up in the shop. So I think what I am looking for is a firm line in the sand to keep our love of the challenges from becoming such a huge drain on the shop.  So right now one of my thoughts is that if after an hour, we are not relatively sure that we will be able to resolve the issue within another 2-3 hours, then refer them to the dealer. While I don't like sending customers to the dealer, I don't think it will cause us to lose many customers, and even if we do, it will probably be less of a loss than working on their car for a week.   Scott    
    • Hey Everyone, I'm Ricardo from Complete Auto Reports.  You may have heard about the shop management software that we made at a shop in Linden NJ.  We've been really busy over the last year trying to refine the process at a shop through the software.  We have come up with something we think that people can and will benefit from.  We want to start with smaller auto repair facilities who are looking for something to transition out of paper and pen, as well as word documents and/or excel spreadsheets.   We've taken our software and made a free package that allows the following from any device with a updated and functional browser: Take appointments from your customers Digital Vehicle Inspections - Included in every service request and sent to each customer if performed Workflow - Pending, Under Process, Awaiting Approval, Approval Completed, Work In Progress, Completed Ratings - Customers can communicate ratings directly to you Messages - You can communicate with customers through the platform Customer App - All service history available, can schedule appointments with the app, transfer vehicle records to new owners Sales Reports 100% mobile - Works on everything from your 5inch iPhone to your desktop.  You can presently upload all of your customer information: name, address, phone numbers, email. Paid for versions offer parts ordering through PartsTech.com and Employeement modules that track employee time on jobs. Are there members here who are interested in trying the free platform to see if it's a fit for their business? Anyone interested in the paid for versions, can also get 60 days of free use and discounted rates available from our SEMA promotions.


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