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Does anyone have any experience with SMOTGO - Shop Management on the Go?

It's 100% free web- and cloud-based shop management software that seems to have a lot of features included.

There is a robust series of videos on their website demonstrating everything it does.

 

As far as I can tell, the biggest thing it doesn't do is integrate with parts suppliers or labor guides.

However, if you're willing to do the legwork, the price is right on this software.

It might be a better alternative to using Quickbooks premium as a low-cost solution for a struggling or new shop?

 

As a future shop owner (hopefully), I've toyed around with it a bit, not enough to make any decisions, I've just played on the demo account a bit to see what it looks and feels like.

It might be a good way to get things off the ground and making money, then being able to afford one of the more expensive shop management software suites within the first year or two, instead of a huge investment before making any profits?

I was hoping that someone actually uses it in their current business and has an opinion to voice.

 

www.smotgo.com

www.smotgoinfo.com

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Copied from their FAQ:

 

How can you offer SMOTGO for free? What is the catch? Do you plan to commercialize in the future and charge monthly?
SMOTGO is a free service and we intend for it to always be that way. Currently it is privately funded by a shop that uses it 5 days a week. Eventually we hope to find sponsors, advertisers, and possibly some joint ventures. It is our goal to find companies that can bring value to our users and to not have any of this interfere with the use of the site.
How secure is the server/site, and who will have access to my client's private information, should I choose to use SMOTGO?
Let's start with securtiy. The reality is that once information is on a computer, it is never 100% secure. If you pay attention to the news, companies are getting hacked everyday. Big companies, security companies, banks, etc. Just saw in the news today that a credit card processer lost 45 million when someone gained access to their data. I'm guessing that these company spend hundreds of millions of dollars to secure their information. So there is always a risk and we can make no guarantees about the security of your information. Even information on your personal computer is at risk. Having said that, we do take measures to keep the information secure. The server is currently located in a Godaddy data center. We use an encrypted SSL conection, firewall, security updates, ect. If you are not comfortable with the risks, you should not use SMOTGO. As far as privacy goes, we will not knowingly allow personal information to be used for anything unless authorized by you. That includes your personal/shop info and your customers. We may use your email address to contact you as needed. As far as access to the information, anyone working on the SMOTGO program may be able to view the data. We use this program to run our shop. We designed it and we trust it with our customer's info and your info will be treated no differently. We will use some of the repair information to evaluate things. We may look for pattern failures, trending repairs or labor charges by things like year make and model to improve the program and offer more information to you the user. We may use it to make suggestion if we notice certain parts are being sold together. These are features that are just ideas at this point. You also have the option of not entering the customer's info. All that is required is a last name and a tag to create an invoice.
So it seems that their backing company has elected to remain anonymous.
As for customer data, it appears the same as any other cloud-based software, and does not seem to be used for any malicious purposes such as bulk spam to your customers or anything like that.
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bstewart,

 

I am the creator of SMOTGO and the videos. We use it everyday to run our shop. We have a 5 bay shop. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. The shop I own is in Rockville, MD so we are not too far from you. I'm not necessarily trying to remain anonymous. I run a shop full time and this is my hobby/pet project. While I answer any and all questions via email, I am not in a position to offer any type of phone support at this time. So I don't broadcast the connection between my shop and the program to try to mitigate the phone calls.

 

I think you have already picked up on the weakest points of the program, the lack of integration. One of the biggest reasons for this currently is the lack of integration/support from parts and labor vendors. SMOTGO is a web app. Like you said cloud based. There are only 2 other apps. like this that I am aware of. Most of the integration out there is for desktop programs. I've been in touch with RealTime and they are supposed to notify me once they can support a web app. I have tried to contact WorldPac, but have not gotten very far. On there site they say they are working on integration with Omnique which is web app, so I have to believe they are still building the systems. I've had some discussions with Ramac and they are also working on something. So for now, if you go with a web app. you may find integration lacking. It is certainly my desire to have integration, but for now I have to wait for it to become more mainstream.

 

As you read on the site, we do as much as we can to protect your personal information. We have no interest in this info, in fact, you don't need to enter anything more than a last name and a tag number to create an invoice. I'm building a tool for shops like mine. I do hope to find some sponsors in time.

 

This app. is great for a shops that are just starting out as you said, but I think it is a bit more powerful than that. I think this app. can serve small and mid sized shops pretty well. It has a lot of features that some of the more established programs do not. No installation, no backups to worry about, no limit to the number of computers it is used on, runs on anything with a browser, can be used anywhere you have an internet connection. I love being able to check our schedule from home before I head into work. the employees love that also. The can check the schedule any time they want so they know what is going on. I can hang out with the kids at home with my laptop and work on invoices or inventory. While the integration is lacking at this time, there is a copy and paste feature which allows you to copy info from a catalog you already have and then paste those into an invoice. They can also be added to inventory at the same time.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

Scott

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Well said, Scott.

As I was playing around with the demo, I was rather impressed with the appointment page, it seems to work well.

I like the idea of anyone in the company being able to check the schedule before coming to work.

 

Is there any data stored on the server unencrypted? For example, if a credit card was put in as a note on a customer's account.

If godaddy was ever hacked, would the credit card be visible in a text file, or is everything encrypted on the server side?

Do you do all the programming yourself? That's impressive if you do.

 

I'll probably be sending you an email with a bunch of questions and some suggestions, but I have to say, great job.

Many of the software packages I've seen truly do have less features, and a lot are WAY overpriced for what you get.

As a future shop owner hopeful, I could definitely see myself using this software to get things going, and maybe continuing to use it with a few extra features added in the future!

 

Ps. Not sure if you thought I'm in Edmonton Kentucky, I'm actually in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Not exactly close to Maryland haha.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Started using Smotgo about 6 months ago. Like any software of this kind there are pros and cons. Some of the features seem a little tedious to me (inventory/purchase orders) - but overall I really like it.

Scott is very responsive to questions and suggestions for improving or changing things. The appt page was a big plus for me - I used to keep an excel spreadsheet - but I had to key everything in - it's great to just pull the customer and vehicle from the database when scheduling.

i agree to ability to access the info from basically anywhere is great. I've used my iphone countless times on the way in to the shop in the morning to check the schedules and order parts I forgot about the day before or to call customers if we have an issue getting in by opening time (are we done with winter yet?)

My only real concern is that if Scott closes shop - what happens to the site and all my info? And obviously, if the integration with labor times could be accomplished I might just be in heaven.

I would definitely recommend it.

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Started using Smotgo about 6 months ago. Like any software of this kind there are pros and cons. Some of the features seem a little tedious to me (inventory/purchase orders) - but overall I really like it.

Scott is very responsive to questions and suggestions for improving or changing things. The appt page was a big plus for me - I used to keep an excel spreadsheet - but I had to key everything in - it's great to just pull the customer and vehicle from the database when scheduling.

i agree to ability to access the info from basically anywhere is great. I've used my iphone countless times on the way in to the shop in the morning to check the schedules and order parts I forgot about the day before or to call customers if we have an issue getting in by opening time (are we done with winter yet?)

My only real concern is that if Scott closes shop - what happens to the site and all my info? And obviously, if the integration with labor times could be accomplished I might just be in heaven.

I would definitely recommend it.

Right on! This is exactly the type of thing I was looking for!

I'm glad you like it, and I've already found out that Scott is quick to respond.

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I have also used this for awhile. It does lack integration with parts and labor guides, but it isn't a huge problem. It works fairly easy, and Scott has been constantly upgrading and has answered all my emails. A great feature is customers can sign up and look at their invoice history or stored notes and pictures that you have attached to the invoice. That is a nice feature. The ability to email out quickly from the app is great, Mitchell lacks that. The ability to mass email specials, discounts and such from the app is another great plus. This has worked out great for me as a small shop.

 

I can't thank you enough for this. :)

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  • 4 years later...
On 3/2/2014 at 11:48 PM, ScottSpec said:

bstewart,

 

I am the creator of SMOTGO and the videos. We use it everyday to run our shop. We have a 5 bay shop. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. The shop I own is in Rockville, MD so we are not too far from you. I'm not necessarily trying to remain anonymous. I run a shop full time and this is my hobby/pet project. While I answer any and all questions via email, I am not in a position to offer any type of phone support at this time. So I don't broadcast the connection between my shop and the program to try to mitigate the phone calls.

 

I think you have already picked up on the weakest points of the program, the lack of integration. One of the biggest reasons for this currently is the lack of integration/support from parts and labor vendors. SMOTGO is a web app. Like you said cloud based. There are only 2 other apps. like this that I am aware of. Most of the integration out there is for desktop programs. I've been in touch with RealTime and they are supposed to notify me once they can support a web app. I have tried to contact WorldPac, but have not gotten very far. On there site they say they are working on integration with Omnique which is web app, so I have to believe they are still building the systems. I've had some discussions with Ramac and they are also working on something. So for now, if you go with a web app. you may find integration lacking. It is certainly my desire to have integration, but for now I have to wait for it to become more mainstream.

 

As you read on the site, we do as much as we can to protect your personal information. We have no interest in this info, in fact, you don't need to enter anything more than a last name and a tag number to create an invoice. I'm building a tool for shops like mine. I do hope to find some sponsors in time.

 

This app. is great for a shops that are just starting out as you said, but I think it is a bit more powerful than that. I think this app. can serve small and mid sized shops pretty well. It has a lot of features that some of the more established programs do not. No installation, no backups to worry about, no limit to the number of computers it is used on, runs on anything with a browser, can be used anywhere you have an internet connection. I love being able to check our schedule from home before I head into work. the employees love that also. The can check the schedule any time they want so they know what is going on. I can hang out with the kids at home with my laptop and work on invoices or inventory. While the integration is lacking at this time, there is a copy and paste feature which allows you to copy info from a catalog you already have and then paste those into an invoice. They can also be added to inventory at the same time.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

Scott

Are you still offering the setup?  I couldn't find anywhere to register or check it out.

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7 hours ago, CCS Auto Inc said:

Are you still offering the setup?  I couldn't find anywhere to register or check it out.

CCS,

I stopped creating new accounts a few years ago. The system is still up and running with about 75 users, but it never developed they way I hoped, and since my time to continue supporting it is limited, I had to stop adding new users.

Scott

 

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7 minutes ago, ScottSpec said:

CCS,

I stopped creating new accounts a few years ago. The system is still up and running with about 75 users, but it never developed they way I hoped, and since my time to continue supporting it is limited, I had to stop adding new users.

Scott

 

Thank you for replying and letting me know.  Guess I'll have to keep hunting for shop software.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
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