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Anyone using Activant Smart eCat?


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Is anyone using Smart eCat with R.O.Writer? I was looking for some feedback on this system. Below is the description off of their website:

 

Progressive Automotive Systems, Inc. Introduces the latest Shop Management System Innovation: Smart eCat

 

Let me ask you three important questions…

 

Are you taking advantage of the power of the Activant Catalog Today?

Yes you say, excellent…

Are you utilizing electronic parts ordering from inside of R.O. Writer?

Yes again, wonderful…

Do you have more than one parts supplier?

Yes, of course you do…

 

If you answered yes to all three of the above questions, then you already know how great the Activant catalog is! Six years ago, Progressive Automotive Systems integrated this awesome technology into the R.O. Writer Shop Management System. You also know that the Activant catalog has information on over 4.5 million parts, labor time information, factory scheduled maintenance, tire information, VIN decoding, cover to cover part pictures and much more. Who doesn’t need access to all that information?

 

Of course R.O. Writer didn’t stop there! Four years ago, we built new functionality on top of the Activant catalog and brought you R.O. Writer’s SmartJob functionality. These are predefined canned jobs of parts, labor times, shop supplies, and vehicle specifications. They are setup for package or flat rate pricing, presenting information specific to the vehicle that you are working on in an easy to use step by step methodology.

 

And you already know that eOrder within R.O. Writer is a wonderful and powerful innovation that we launched three years ago. With electronic connectivity to all the major parts suppliers including NAPA, CARQUEST, O’Reilly, CSK, and 1,000’s of independent parts suppliers, R.O. Writer’s eOrder functionality easily connects you electronically to the parts suppliers in your area.

 

Ok, so you knew all that – then what’s this new Smart eCat feature? Well, Smart eCat combines the data from Activant with the connectivity of eOrder, presenting the information to you the way you want to see it, in the way that you conduct business. You can now lookup a Water Pump for a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier and see all the parts that fit that application from all of your part suppliers including pricing and availability in real time on one screen. No more jumping from the Activant catalog to the eOrder module to check part stock and determine profit margin. R.O. Writer Smart eCat gives you all that functionality in one easy to use, simple interface.

 

But wait, we didn’t stop there… We built on top of Smart eCat brand new Smart eJob functionality that takes all the best features of R.O. Writer’s SmartJobs and combines them with the real time lookup capabilities of R.O. Writer’s new Smart eCat. Yep, you read that right! Real time pricing and availability displayed from multiple suppliers within a SmartJob that is fully integrated into R.O. Writer’s workflow and application functionality. (I know, whoa!) You must see how this seamless, beautiful integration really addresses the needs of the service writer.

 

So don’t waste your time with Web Based Catalogs or buttons to other third party modules that force you to learn new navigation techniques. Use the power of R.O. Writer and Smart eCat functionality to reduce your estimating time; you don’t have to jump between Activant and eOrder to check parts suppliers pricing and availability. Improve your shop profitability by knowing the actual cost of the parts before you present the estimate to the customer and finally (oh finally) be able to protect your profit margins. Live up to the promises you make to your customers by ensuring that parts are available before you tell them that their car will be ready by 5:00pm today.

 

Smart eCat does not emulate the way you conducted business yesterday. Smart eCat does not let you continue to make the same uninformed decisions today. Smart eCat is the way that business will be transacted in the future. Smart eCat and Smart eJobs are both available now in the v1.20 release of the R.O. Writer Shop Management Suite.

 

Are you ready for the future?

 

Here's the link: http://www.rowriter.com/SMARTeCAT/tabid/57/Default.aspx

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here at Midas in Towson, MD we use Activant with R.O.Writer on a daily basis. It (Activant) does integrate rather seamlessly with R.O.Writer. Overall, it is a pretty good cataloguing system, as long as you keep your updates current. We are sent a DVD at the beginning of each month that must be installed on all terminals within the system. This is crucial!

 

The only downside to it is the lack of computerized engine parts included. For example, it's almost impossible to give prices on any sensors, solenoids, etc without calling the individual vendors on these jobs.

 

Other than that, I have no real qualms, and would recommend the system.

 

Hope that helps...

 

-=Mike=-

Mgr. - Towson Midas

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To all those who don't know it, Midas is the parent company of R.O. writer so I don't think Midas has a choice on what management software they use .

 

That being said, Scott Systems MaxxTraxx Pro software integrates with Alldata, Mitchell, Wrenchead e-commerce (which covers IMC Worldpac and many more), Wrenched, Nexcat and many others directly and doesn't cost anything to buy and the monthly fee is around $90-100 dollars for everything. It's integration is seamless and works way better in my opinion than R.O. writer and there tech support is the best I've ever had. (P.S. I bought R.O. writer so i know what I'm talking about and switched back to Maxx Traxx Pro, it works and is much more intuitive to use than R.O. writer). It also has CC processing right through the program so you don't need any CC machines any more and also has full accounting software.

 

If your in the market for a great easy to use fast shop management system, contact them @ www.scottsystems.com or 800-996-6777 contact Mark

Edited by Orbea
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To all those who don't know it, Midas is the parent company of R.O. writer so I don't think Midas has a choice on what management software they use .

 

Actually....I do have a choice...(chuckle) :P

 

That being said, Scott Systems MaxxTraxx Pro software integrates with Alldata, Mitchell, Wrenchead e-commerce (which covers IMC Worldpac and many more), Wrenched, Nexcat and many others directly and doesn't cost anything to buy and the monthly fee is around $90-100 dollars for everything. It's integration is seamless and works way better in my opinion than R.O. writer and there tech support is the best I've ever had. (P.S. I bought R.O. writer so i know what I'm talking about and switched back to Maxx Traxx Pro, it works and is much more intuitive to use than R.O. writer). It also has CC processing right through the program so you don't need any CC machines any more and also has full accounting software.

 

Dunno about MaxxTraxx, but then again, I wasn't trying to sell anything. (grin) I was just responding to a post. ;)

 

If your in the market for a great easy to use fast shop management system, contact them @ www.scottsystems.com or 800-996-6777 contact Mark

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  • 1 year later...

I evaluated MaxxTraxx, I found it lacking in many categories and simply not refined enough to run an even moderately busy shop. Work management and work flow is poorly designed and almost every feature I asked about was "in development" R.O. Writer seems like a very capable program. It is significantly more expensive than most everything else available. It also has some shortfalls specifically in the schedule, though it is very usable it has some basic design flaws that are surprising based on how well refined the rest of the software is. R.O. Writer's integration with Activant is flawless and by far the best out of any we've evaluated to date.

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
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