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What Auto Repair Management Software are you Using?


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I own/manage a 16 bay undercar turn general repair shop. we had old triad dos system. up graded a year and half ago with R. O. writer. pretty pleased, they have had seveal upgrades and a minum of trouble.

 

I can also vouch for R.O.Writer as I used it in a shop that I came from about 3 years ago. R.O.Writer is owned by the Midas group. http://www.rowriter.com/index.aspx

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I am interested in learing more about Mitchell. How do I find their website or more info on their system?

 

Here is their website: http://www.mitchell1.com/

 

They have a forum that has a ton of info and user to user support: http://www.managerforum.net/ I think you need to register to see all of the threads available.

 

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I am in process of evaluating software. I want a system that allows me to important part numbers and labor times into the estimates. I will look at Mitchell and Alldata. What others do you suggest?

 

Are you saying that you want to be able to import part numbers from your old system? Or just the ability to add part numbers..

 

I know Mitchell Manager Plus has inventory control and so does RO Writer. What are you using now and are you planning an import form that? There are some companies that can transfer your database.

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I use Mitchell with the parts/labor guide. It has most of the dealer prices which can be imported onto the invoice. The only problem is that you don't know the cost. If you go off dealer list, you may be hurting your gross profit. Mitchell can also control your in-house inventory and order parts from a parts house like CARQUEST. For in-house inventory and parts supplies, you can set up Mitchell to adjust prices automatically to meet your profit margins.

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  • 2 months later...

autoguy

Anyone using Invomax?

 

We are.... or rather trying. The company has software that crashes with every update and POOR customer service. Nice to think I could have invested $1300 in a company that cares,

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autoguy

 

We are.... or rather trying. The company has software that crashes with every update and POOR customer service. Nice to think I could have invested $1300 in a company that cares,

 

Wow, that's not good if it crashes all the time. with updates, how do you like it overall day to day...features and all?

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Wow, that's not good if it crashes all the time. with updates, how do you like it overall day to day...features and all?

I like the day to day stuff. It could be great software just I feel that they release a bete version and dont care about getting the bugs out.

I just its like seeing an employee not working to their full potential...... exept I cant fire this one :angry:

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  • 5 months later...

Has anyone used or tried the Automotive Expert Management System? The adverisements look like it has a lot of good featuress. I am using Alldata Service Center now. I havent compared yet but it seems that Alldatas labor times are low on a lot of items.

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I use Alldata Manage. I looked into Mitchell Manager but it's too bad the repair information sucks. The first three cars I looked up info for, or rather tried to, Mitchell OnDemand was worthless. The first one had no info, Alldata did albeit limited. The second one I couldn't find the info at all in Mitchell but Alldata had good info. The last one, I gave up after that, was a 1988 Ford Ranger. I was looking for tune-up specs. firing order, #1 cylinder, spark plug gap etc. Even with the pathetic Google search I spent 35 minutes finding the info. AllData was simple, Powertrain Management / Ignitnion System / Firing Order - Spark Plugs / Specifications. All pretty intuitive.

 

As for the shop management software AllData Manage is all I've used. When I opened my shop 5 years ago I knew I wanted my service records on computer and AllData was the way to go according to the feedback on the shop management forum of another industry site. I attended a few management trainign classes and the instructor's shop used Mitchell and that's why I looked into it after seeing all the reports and information you could get out of it that I couldn't get from Manage. I also looked into R.O. Writer, never in a million years. At 15 grand it is way over priced for what I was shown. Sure it can pay for itself with all the little extra charges it heaps on your customers. A nickel here, 94 cents there and pretty soon you're talking big money. Just the way he showed it seemed very unethical to me. Cheating actually. But as for AllData Manage, I think it is a very good program as far as it goes. I would like the ability to import part numbers and prices from my online ordering through NAPA and a local independent jobber. Supposedly that's coming with a future update but right now all you can do is Autozone junk.

 

I looked into GarageOperator and was interested but the disc I got didn't work for some reason, maybe because I installed 6 months later? Reasonably priced. You own it, not subscribe to it like Mitchell and AllData. Maybe I'll contact Chip agian and get a current disc and play with it. Does anyone else use GarageOperator? How does it work for you?

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I use Alldata Manage. I looked into Mitchell Manager but it's too bad the repair information sucks. The first three cars I looked up info for, or rather tried to, Mitchell OnDemand was worthless. The first one had no info, Alldata did albeit limited. The second one I couldn't find the info at all in Mitchell but Alldata had good info. The last one, I gave up after that, was a 1988 Ford Ranger. I was looking for tune-up specs. firing order, #1 cylinder, spark plug gap etc. Even with the pathetic Google search I spent 35 minutes finding the info. AllData was simple, Powertrain Management / Ignitnion System / Firing Order - Spark Plugs / Specifications. All pretty intuitive.

 

As for the shop management software AllData Manage is all I've used. When I opened my shop 5 years ago I knew I wanted my service records on computer and AllData was the way to go according to the feedback on the shop management forum of another industry site. I attended a few management trainign classes and the instructor's shop used Mitchell and that's why I looked into it after seeing all the reports and information you could get out of it that I couldn't get from Manage. I also looked into R.O. Writer, never in a million years. At 15 grand it is way over priced for what I was shown. Sure it can pay for itself with all the little extra charges it heaps on your customers. A nickel here, 94 cents there and pretty soon you're talking big money. Just the way he showed it seemed very unethical to me. Cheating actually. But as for AllData Manage, I think it is a very good program as far as it goes. I would like the ability to import part numbers and prices from my online ordering through NAPA and a local independent jobber. Supposedly that's coming with a future update but right now all you can do is Autozone junk.

 

I looked into GarageOperator and was interested but the disc I got didn't work for some reason, maybe because I installed 6 months later? Reasonably priced. You own it, not subscribe to it like Mitchell and AllData. Maybe I'll contact Chip agian and get a current disc and play with it. Does anyone else use GarageOperator? How does it work for you?

 

Choosing a management and repair system can be frustrating, and it must meet your needs. I have both Mittchell and Alldata. We also use Indentifx and IATN. Sometimes we access the OE sites if we need additional information. When I started in the mid 70's, all you needed was the old Motor Manual and you hand wrote all your invoices. Those days are long gone.

 

I have not seen GarageOperator, sorry. Good luck on your quest...it's not easy these days.

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  • 3 months later...

We just opened a new shop. We are using Mitchell Manager. We got it up and running pretty fast. I'm trying figure out how to enter listed labor times into my estimates ?

 

I have been using Mitchell for nearly 8 years. Do you have Manager Plus?

 

If you use the Part/Labor guide the labor time is transferred over to the estimate. You can also build "can jobs" for those jobs used on a daily basis. For example, Tire Rotation, Wheel Alignment, LOF, etc. For those jobs you can set up a generic labor time. You can also create vehicle specific can jobs. For example, if you do a lot of work on Honda Vehicles, you can set up a Honda Rear diff service can job, with the parts and labor already set. This is where the program is powerful because it lets you tailor the program to your needs.

 

You can also add the labor times as you need if the job you are doing is unique. For example; removing a hitch for a customer. This job is not found in the Parts/Labor guide and something you would not make a can job for. For this, you simple hit the labor tab and add the labor time as needed.

 

The Mitchell system has a lot of help screens and video, I recommend going thru them. Also, ask your rep for help.

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I signed up with TABS auto Biz one year ago this month. We have owned this business for 15 years and have been "rock & chisel" all along. I think I learned about TABS from someone on this sight and I couldn't live without it. I call the TABS office anytime I have a question and/or suggestion, which can be weekly, they are awesome. Very helpful and can log in on my computer to look at what I am having trouble with or trying to create. For a start up fee, and $70.85 a month, it has made me a lot of money. You will not regret connecting with them. If you do, mention our name.

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We are in the process of evaluating shop management software right now. We currently have a product called Motorware. It has served us relatively well for nearly the last 10 years but has not kept up with our needs.

 

We need a much more robust schedule as we book work out over a week, sometimes two now. We also are looking at new ways to manage and sell regular maintenance based on manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules. Other needs include better ways to contact and connect with our customers. Email and SMS messaging are some of the tools we are looking to add. We'd really like to add some customer self service tools also but it seems no one in the Automotive management software sector is operating on this level yet.

 

I came here a year ago after working in Technology management for 10 years so I's still a little surprised how archaic most software I've seen is compared to where technology is in other business sectors.

 

We have reviewed a few different packages and right now see only two that might meet our needs.

 

R.O. Writer, the most expensive of what we've looked at is very well put together and the people I've spoken with there are both well versed in automotive shop management as well as what software can do and should do in a business operation. This software lacks a little in a few spots, mostly the schedule. There are not as many ways to manage the work flow and it loads into the shop. No way to manage parts on order for jobs due in the future. Total visibility to the workload on the shop is limited. It does support custom report writing through crystal reports, so I can fix most of this, but for a software that's both expensive (compared to others in the sector) and advanced in many other respects I find this a significant short sight.

 

Pace software's Yes is the other that may fit our needs. The schedule in this software is the best I've seen to date. It is very robust as far as managing total work as its loaded into the shop. You can easily sort through jobs in natural states as you would see them in your shop environment (waiting for parts, needs diagnostics, waiting on customer approval, ect) The visual layout and interface could be improved but is very functional. I have been having some trouble through their demo with integration through activant. It does not seem to be very well implemented. My sales rep thinks something is wrong with their demo install and is working on fixing it now. This has left me a little weary about the stability of the software.

 

Both packages offer pretty intelligent kitting, integration with online ordering systems like wrenchhead, carquest, worldpac. They both integrate with Alldata, which we use.

 

Packages that we eliminated from possible candidates.

Gem Car

Invomax

Scott software Maxtraxx

Winworks

TABS

 

 

We use Alldata and I have heard that the Mitchell program does not integrate with Alldata. If this is not true if someone could chime in.

 

Are there other packages people are using that I should look at?

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We are in the process of evaluating shop management software right now. We currently have a product called Motorware. It has served us relatively well for nearly the last 10 years but has not kept up with our needs.

 

We need a much more robust schedule as we book work out over a week, sometimes two now. We also are looking at new ways to manage and sell regular maintenance based on manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules. Other needs include better ways to contact and connect with our customers. Email and SMS messaging are some of the tools we are looking to add. We'd really like to add some customer self service tools also but it seems no one in the Automotive management software sector is operating on this level yet.

 

I came here a year ago after working in Technology management for 10 years so I's still a little surprised how archaic most software I've seen is compared to where technology is in other business sectors.

 

We have reviewed a few different packages and right now see only two that might meet our needs.

 

R.O. Writer, the most expensive of what we've looked at is very well put together and the people I've spoken with there are both well versed in automotive shop management as well as what software can do and should do in a business operation. This software lacks a little in a few spots, mostly the schedule. There are not as many ways to manage the work flow and it loads into the shop. No way to manage parts on order for jobs due in the future. Total visibility to the workload on the shop is limited. It does support custom report writing through crystal reports, so I can fix most of this, but for a software that's both expensive (compared to others in the sector) and advanced in many other respects I find this a significant short sight.

 

Pace software's Yes is the other that may fit our needs. The schedule in this software is the best I've seen to date. It is very robust as far as managing total work as its loaded into the shop. You can easily sort through jobs in natural states as you would see them in your shop environment (waiting for parts, needs diagnostics, waiting on customer approval, ect) The visual layout and interface could be improved but is very functional. I have been having some trouble through their demo with integration through activant. It does not seem to be very well implemented. My sales rep thinks something is wrong with their demo install and is working on fixing it now. This has left me a little weary about the stability of the software.

 

Both packages offer pretty intelligent kitting, integration with online ordering systems like wrenchhead, carquest, worldpac. They both integrate with Alldata, which we use.

 

Packages that we eliminated from possible candidates.

Gem Car

Invomax

Scott software Maxtraxx

Winworks

TABS

 

 

We use Alldata and I have heard that the Mitchell program does not integrate with Alldata. If this is not true if someone could chime in.

 

Are there other packages people are using that I should look at?

 

I understand your concerns, but most auto repair systems are built to fit the average repair shop owner. Many shop owners do not utilize the full extent of their systems, so to have more bells and whistles would be wasteful and too costly for most shops.

 

Mitchell and Alldata are 2 different companies and systems and do not integrate with each other. We use Mitchell Manager Plus with repair; we also have Alldata for information. It's not an easy answer when looking for a management system. With Mitchell you can have multiple vendors set up thru online ordering, inventory, customer history, marketing programs and lot more. It's worth checking out.

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Mitchel demo is on the way so we'll be looking at that soon.

 

Does anyone else here run the Pace Software Yes package? It seems very capable and I really like the workflow but the demo just seems to always be broken. I really need to know if this is just a problem with their demo setup or is this is systemic in their reliability. If the software would work as designed it would be the best fit that I've seen so far, unfortunately it simply doesn't work as we've seen it.

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Mitchel demo is on the way so we'll be looking at that soon.

 

Does anyone else here run the Pace Software Yes package? It seems very capable and I really like the workflow but the demo just seems to always be broken. I really need to know if this is just a problem with their demo setup or is this is systemic in their reliability. If the software would work as designed it would be the best fit that I've seen so far, unfortunately it simply doesn't work as we've seen it.

 

 

We use Pace Software Yes Management. Too much to go into here, would be glad to talk to you on the phone if you want. We have 12 retail locations and like most things about it. I have a bit of programming background and have been in the Automotive business for over 20 years, and have dealt with the implementation side of shop management software all of that time as well as handled the accounting and IT for 2 different multi store operations. There are some things I would sure do differently, but all in all it is a pretty good solution with a lot of bells and whistles to fit many different ways of doing things. Give me a call and I can go into the details if you like.

 

Jeff Graser

CFO

BRAKEmax Car Care Centers

520-229-9380 x 308

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We are just getting back into looking at software after a brief hiatus. I took a look at Mitchell and found it useless. The biggest problem was the schedule. Its simply a list of text lines at times. You can't assign jobs or time blocks, techs or bays. This is one of the things I need and I don't see how a busy shop can do without. Use of maintenance information from Mitchell was terrible. The software lacked most of the factory maintenance items and had incorrect maintenance intervals on a handful of cars I looked up. That information came with Mitchell repair. If you don't have the full repair information system you still get the parts and labor guide and maintenance guide with Mitchell manager. The software does not allow you to enter maintenance intervals per vehicle so if you';re trying to use CRM tools to drum up maintenance business its useless. It also can not manage estimates. Estimates created appear in your current WIP, so if you do an estimate, and the customer doesn't do the job, you have to delete that estimate and loose a record or ever quoting it. The alternative is keep it and need to see that estimate within all your current open work. This would easily be hundreds of open estimates and simply not manageable. The workflow of the software was relatively poor also. I does not follow the natural progression of work through the shop and is not customizable in any way. I saw no added benefit to Mitchell than I already see with my current management program MotorWare, which is already bought and paid for and outdated.

 

 

On another note, we are taking a second look at R.O. writer next week with an in house demo. I am still trying to be optimistic about Pace's Yes management, but they can not get their online demo to work properly and in the last week I have started to receive poor correspondence from my salesperson (read none). We'll see how that goes.

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We are just getting back into looking at software after a brief hiatus. I took a look at Mitchell and found it useless. The biggest problem was the schedule. Its simply a list of text lines at times. You can't assign jobs or time blocks, techs or bays. This is one of the things I need and I don't see how a busy shop can do without. Use of maintenance information from Mitchell was terrible. The software lacked most of the factory maintenance items and had incorrect maintenance intervals on a handful of cars I looked up. That information came with Mitchell repair. If you don't have the full repair information system you still get the parts and labor guide and maintenance guide with Mitchell manager. The software does not allow you to enter maintenance intervals per vehicle so if you';re trying to use CRM tools to drum up maintenance business its useless. It also can not manage estimates. Estimates created appear in your current WIP, so if you do an estimate, and the customer doesn't do the job, you have to delete that estimate and loose a record or ever quoting it. The alternative is keep it and need to see that estimate within all your current open work. This would easily be hundreds of open estimates and simply not manageable. The workflow of the software was relatively poor also. I does not follow the natural progression of work through the shop and is not customizable in any way. I saw no added benefit to Mitchell than I already see with my current management program MotorWare, which is already bought and paid for and outdated.

 

 

On another note, we are taking a second look at R.O. writer next week with an in house demo. I am still trying to be optimistic about Pace's Yes management, but they can not get their online demo to work properly and in the last week I have started to receive poor correspondence from my salesperson (read none). We'll see how that goes.

I have been a user of TABS software since Nov 2009. I find it to be outstanding for my needs, www.tabsautobiz.com. There you can run the demo and check it for yourself. The staff and customer service is excellent, always get a live person, in the one location. They can log on to your computer and walk you through any dilemmas. Try them, if you go with them, please mention our shop as the referral.

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We are just getting back into looking at software after a brief hiatus. I took a look at Mitchell and found it useless. The biggest problem was the schedule. Its simply a list of text lines at times. You can't assign jobs or time blocks, techs or bays. This is one of the things I need and I don't see how a busy shop can do without. Use of maintenance information from Mitchell was terrible. The software lacked most of the factory maintenance items and had incorrect maintenance intervals on a handful of cars I looked up. That information came with Mitchell repair. If you don't have the full repair information system you still get the parts and labor guide and maintenance guide with Mitchell manager. The software does not allow you to enter maintenance intervals per vehicle so if you';re trying to use CRM tools to drum up maintenance business its useless. It also can not manage estimates. Estimates created appear in your current WIP, so if you do an estimate, and the customer doesn't do the job, you have to delete that estimate and loose a record or ever quoting it. The alternative is keep it and need to see that estimate within all your current open work. This would easily be hundreds of open estimates and simply not manageable. The workflow of the software was relatively poor also. I does not follow the natural progression of work through the shop and is not customizable in any way. I saw no added benefit to Mitchell than I already see with my current management program MotorWare, which is already bought and paid for and outdated.

 

 

On another note, we are taking a second look at R.O. writer next week with an in house demo. I am still trying to be optimistic about Pace's Yes management, but they can not get their online demo to work properly and in the last week I have started to receive poor correspondence from my salesperson (read none). We'll see how that goes.

 

 

Iv never found any discrepencies on the maintenance stuff on mitchell. Were you vin decoding? As for estimates there easily kept in the revision tabs without startign a repair order. I ve done it daily for the last 10 years with no problems. I have never found any othe the issues you are describing to be true for me. Its true you cannot "customize" maintenance intervalls they are there in the factory form. I use there crm program and it also allows customers access to there information and videos onlone if needed. Autoownersite I believe. Its a great tool. Ive found mitchell to be the best in my limited experiece of using them 10 + years.

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone know anything about VAST Enterprise retail?

 

http://www.aftersoftna.com/vast_retail

 

I dropped RO Writer in favor of VAST shortly after buying a Midas franchise. I've had my ups and downs with VAST, but all in all, I am happy with it. It works well with Quickbooks, has a great inventory tracking function, and it is highly customizable (easy to put together packages). I have VAST integrated with Activant for catalog lookup and their OpenWeb program lets me order online from CarQuest, Pronto, USAutoforce, Worldpack, and AutoZone (last resort) without leaving the estimate screen. It works well, but I have hundreds of hours over the last 3 year tweaking it so that it does what I want it do.

 

phl

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Bay-MasteR Shop Management connects with multiple suppliers pulling part #'s from all different vendors right into the work order, No contracts, access to either the Mitchell data or Motor information system. A software that you can really customize to your shop. Also free and unlimited training (even for new employees after you have the system), online support AND updates. A real bang for your buck. Pricing is posted right on the website as well. www.bay-master.com

 

If you have any particular questions feel free to contact me.

 

Welcome to AutoShopOwner. I know a couple of shops that use Baymaster and are happy with it. :D

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Guest Bay-masteR

Welcome to AutoShopOwner. I know a couple of shops that use Baymaster and are happy with it. :D

 

Thank you! I appreciate the welcome! :D

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