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Procces and hardware/software of writing RO start to finish


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Hey guys I need some help I,m opening a shop for the first time.Ive been a tech 25+ years but only worked the front counter very limited.I know this may sound stupid but I, was wondering if some of you could take afew minutes and give me the run down.Now I know some are using Alldata or Mitchel orRO Writer or simalar so some processes may differ.But say a costomer comes in you open your program and write a RO then it prints out on a printer ,is it specal paper? is it a specal printer? they sign it it goes to the tech and down the line to where the costomer picks up is there a reciept printed out in the end ?And what about a cash register?Would it be a register that ties in with the PC your using to write your RO,s? and is tha t diffrent program?Any support you can give would be greatly appricated I feel that I should already know all this.I have not bought a PC ,cash register ,printer or program yet this whole department has not been adressed yet I still have a month or so before opening ,but time goes fast thanks

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I'm personally a fan of Automotive Expert, it actually learns from you. It will store part numbers, all written estimates with customers information, as well as all previous invoices for each customer. Will also maintain vendors, tech tracking, accounts receivable, and a customizable parts mark up that you control with multiple labor rates. Prints out very professionally. It also has a built in function for time line service reminders for each customer that can be printed off and mailed to the customer. I've used the Mitchell and still do on occasion if I'm having issues looking for O.E part numbers. But with the onslaught of 29.95 - 49.95 brake jobs , and 9.95 oil changes, I find it very hard to sell alot of the retail pricing that is built into that program. On a side note though being such a new shop its hard to stay afloat and give work/parts away for next to nothing. But there is always the psychological advantage of making the customer feel better about spending a little bit more with you than anyone else.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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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.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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