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Cloud Based Management Software with Tablet Capabilities


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I'm curious as to why your planning on switching away from Mitchell1?

 

It's quite frustrating that most of the good software packages only work with the biggies: Mitchell1, ROWriter or Alldata Manage, and maybe a select few more (Bolt On also works with TASCO, one that I had never heard of).

Shop owners who want good add-ons get pigeon holed into picking a certain shop management software suite.

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I am actually switching over to Mitchell from RO Writer. Decision was based on cost mostly as well as Mitchell integrates the best with Bolt On Technology. It would cost me about 4k in upfront cost to upgrade my RO Writer software as well as having monthly costs of subscriptions. I can switch over to Mitchell without incurring any upfront upgrade costs and keep my subscriptions at about the same price. Also I am limited by what will integrate with WorldPac.

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There are a few things I'd suggest before buying or switching business software systems that over and over again I notice that everybody does in the manufacturing market that just about nobody does in the automotive market.

 

1. Make a list of the capabilities your business needs.

If the software has some bell or whistle that you don't need, you don't need to buy it.

2. Look under the hood on the software you're buying.

I'm pretty much stunned over and over to see shops running proudly on databases that Microsoft abandoned 20 years ago. That's nothing to brag about. Today's state of the art is three tier architecture using .net Framework on SQL Server. Anything else is like comparing a wagon wheel with an iron rim to a Michelin tire.

3. Fact check!!

Too many buyers accept hearsay and rumors from the sales reps. Do your own homework. Ask the reps to demo the capabilities your business needs before you buy.

4. Understand that Integration matters.

The more seamlessly your applications tie together and the fewer vendors you have, the happier you'll be in the long run.

If you want to pick one of these and one of those, have lunch at a chinese buffet but don't deliberately put your business in a position where multiple vendors can blame each other for problems and leave you caught in the middle.

 

The Total Solution your business needs starts with a customer walking in the door and ends with your year end tax filing. And the Total Cost of ownership includes all the manual labor and time it takes you to do what the software doesn't do for you to compile the information.

5. Choose the strongest company to do business with.

A business solution that is great but has a tiny customer base and a few people won't have the ability to deliver awesome support and new features in the long run unless they have the capital to expand out of their backyard. Big strong companies make big, strong partners.

 

The strongest player in extending the management solution to the shop floor is Bolt On without a doubt.

No other commercial application can do what they do at this point. And they're growing exponentially.

 

Some features work differently with different management systems because of the underlying technology. As time goes on, that gap is only going to get wider because of the speed at which mobile technology is developing.

 

Remember, technology solutions are dynamic, not static. If your vendor's underlying technology isn't going to keep up with the changes in the mobile market place, your business is going to be left behind.

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Will Bolt on Technology ever do a shop management program?

 

If they ever do, I will sign up as soon as they let me! Not to start rumors, but they have 'Dashboard Pro' which looks very close to a SMS program. It still appears to be in beta testing, but hopefully turns into something more.

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I'm guessing the infrastructure needed would be a lot more than what the product they are currently selling now. They would also potentially alienate themselves from the SMS they are currently integrated with. This is just my thoughts off the top of my head. If they eventually do create something, that would be cool to see.

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Mike, just fix Mitchell's scheduler and we'll be golden!

 

Care to elaborate on this? I've heard it before, but haven't had someone describe what the problem actually is.

Has anyone contacted Mitchell about fixing the problem(s)? I can't see a big company like Mitchell not fixing issues with their system.

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Care to elaborate on this? I've heard it before, but haven't had someone describe what the problem actually is.

Has anyone contacted Mitchell about fixing the problem(s)? I can't see a big company like Mitchell not fixing issues with their system.

 

You have no experience with Mitchell Manager, do you? Speaking with their customer service is almost guaranteed to leave you dumber than before you called. You are almost forced to either figure it out yourself or go to the online forms to see if someone else has had the same issue and found a solution for it.

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Care to elaborate on this? I've heard it before, but haven't had someone describe what the problem actually is.

Has anyone contacted Mitchell about fixing the problem(s)? I can't see a big company like Mitchell not fixing issues with their system.

 

 

There is not neccessarily "wrong" with the scheduler, it is just that there is a lot lacking in the functionality of it. I would love to see a more visual scheduler that also follow the guidelines of what is normally taught or recommended to use in many shop management training courses. The scheduler currently is very very rudimentary.

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We've been using Mitchell since 1997. The product has always had issues. We have the most current version of SE available. This version just came out and since then there have been new problems to go along with the ones they haven't fixed yet. I just called tech support this morning to address the issue we were having and the tier 1 guy put me on hold, came back to the phone and said they are aware of the issue and are working on it. Can you imagine if we ran our shops this way. How long would we be in business. They are supposed to be the industry leader....whatever. I'm with one of the other members. If Mike comes out with a SMS I'll be on board no questions asked. Wouldn't care how much it cost either.

As a side note: If you have a large data base (like us...we have well over 12000 customers) and you're not with Mitchell I would stay away. The only reason I'm staying with them right now is because of Bolt On Tech. If I can find another SMS that Bolt On works with I'm out. I can't take the B.S. from Mitchell any more. Every time they do something new there are more problems to go along with the old.

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Mike, I have used the forum for years. There is great info all over it for how to use the program. There is very little useful info is you have a problem with functionality. I've called tech support and have gotten very little resolved. We've got several tickets still open waiting for a fix. I could spend my whole day filling this post up with issues we're having. Every time I call support I get a generic response regarding my issue, rarely is my problem resolved. One of my most recent issues I asked to speak with a tier 2 support guy. Once I was able to speak with him I begged him to stay remoted into my pc so he could see what I see when I see it. He literally argued with me about it but I was relentless about it. I told him I've been doing business with a company recently (since May) and when I had an irregular issue the support staff stayed logged in until the saw what was happening. I didn't even have to ask them to do this (Mike take a guess at which company I'm referring to). Eventually he gave in. We did not receive any input from him on what was going on. After two days I called to ask what was going on and alls I got was "we're working on it and don't have any resolution yet". The bottom line here is anyone that uses a large portion of what Mitchell offers is lying if they say they don't have a large amount of issues.

Someone tell me how you chunk out an update that adds new problems and doesn't fix any of the old ones. If it wasn't for Bolt On Technology's add on software I would have already jumped to Maxx Traxx or something else.

My question is why can't anyone come out with a SMS that works correctly. My advice is get with 10-12 seasoned service advisors that work with up to date shops. Ask them what are the necessities and what are luxuries. I mean you already have several examples of how not to do it. I'm just really at the end of my rope with how little support there is with this software and how many issues there are.

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Mike, I have used the forum for years. There is great info all over it for how to use the program. There is very little useful info is you have a problem with functionality. I've called tech support and have gotten very little resolved. We've got several tickets still open waiting for a fix. I could spend my whole day filling this post up with issues we're having. Every time I call support I get a generic response regarding my issue, rarely is my problem resolved. One of my most recent issues I asked to speak with a tier 2 support guy. Once I was able to speak with him I begged him to stay remoted into my pc so he could see what I see when I see it. He literally argued with me about it but I was relentless about it. I told him I've been doing business with a company recently (since May) and when I had an irregular issue the support staff stayed logged in until the saw what was happening. I didn't even have to ask them to do this (Mike take a guess at which company I'm referring to). Eventually he gave in. We did not receive any input from him on what was going on. After two days I called to ask what was going on and alls I got was "we're working on it and don't have any resolution yet". The bottom line here is anyone that uses a large portion of what Mitchell offers is lying if they say they don't have a large amount of issues.

Someone tell me how you chunk out an update that adds new problems and doesn't fix any of the old ones. If it wasn't for Bolt On Technology's add on software I would have already jumped to Maxx Traxx or something else.

My question is why can't anyone come out with a SMS that works correctly. My advice is get with 10-12 seasoned service advisors that work with up to date shops. Ask them what are the necessities and what are luxuries. I mean you already have several examples of how not to do it. I'm just really at the end of my rope with how little support there is with this software and how many issues there are.

 

 

We've been using Mitchell since 1997. The product has always had issues. We have the most current version of SE available. This version just came out and since then there have been new problems to go along with the ones they haven't fixed yet. I just called tech support this morning to address the issue we were having and the tier 1 guy put me on hold, came back to the phone and said they are aware of the issue and are working on it. Can you imagine if we ran our shops this way. How long would we be in business. They are supposed to be the industry leader....whatever. I'm with one of the other members. If Mike comes out with a SMS I'll be on board no questions asked. Wouldn't care how much it cost either.

As a side note: If you have a large data base (like us...we have well over 12000 customers) and you're not with Mitchell I would stay away. The only reason I'm staying with them right now is because of Bolt On Tech. If I can find another SMS that Bolt On works with I'm out. I can't take the B.S. from Mitchell any more. Every time they do something new there are more problems to go along with the old.

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I don't want to sound rude but I still haven't heard exactly what your problems exactly are? Maybe just list one or two so we can get an idea.

 

Not sure if you were referring to me or not, but my problem is their almost non existent customer support. For example, many times Mitchell manager will come up and tell me I do not have an active license. I must go to settings, deactivate all licenses, reactivate all licenses, then restart the software. It's not a big deal, but it is annoying, especially when I pay them every month. What makes it worse is that they know about the issue, have attempted to fix it by downloading a patch to your computer, but it still does not fix it.

 

Small things like making the last 8 of the VIN bold have been asked for apparently for years. I know someone said coding takes a long time... 2 things. 1.) That's what they freaking get paid for. When I'm paying around $150 a month for just management software, I expect bugs to be fixed and requests for improvements to eventually happen. 2.) They release stupid upgrades like changing freaking colors of text on your screen or buttons that say 'done' to 'transfer' and expect their customers to think it is such a useful upgrade.

 

Overall functionality of the software is fine, but minor/annoying bugs and the lack of/ignoring requested updates combined with piss-poor technical support is what I hate about Mitchell and why I praise companies like Bolt-On. It is a shame, but Bolt-On is the only reason Mitchell still has my business. Again, not that the software is terrible, just the lack of technical support, customer service, and interest in customer satisfaction.

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Thanks Matt no I was actually referring to kingwoodshell. Wanted to hear some specifics. Just started with them, using teamworks5 6.5.45 ver. Working pretty good so far, have not experienced any glitches. I will say Mitchell compared to RO Writer is not intuitive at all. I'm really not stressing it much though since I catch on quick however seems like certain things such as moving parts around on the order screen would be best left as a drag and drop rather than cut and paste. The revisions tab is extremely useful though. Something I never had with ro writer. Can't wait to get mobile manager up and running.

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Jeff, please accept my apologies. I didn't mean to imply you were a liar. Just blowing off steam.

MSPEC, I have numerous issues. The absolute newest one since the newest upgrade is any estimate I do when using something from inventory the program will not carry the vender over. I can check inventory and the vender is there, but if I place an inventoried part on an estimate its not. I called on this one Thursday or Friday and they said they know all about it....no fix for it.

Another is one that I've been dealing with for YEARS. I can order parts electronically for restock, the program orders exactly what I ask it to, the parts arrive, I receive them and PO goes away after its closed, lets say a week goes by and I need to order same parts again cause they're gone / sold what have you, the PO does not pick them up...why do you say....because inside the actual part it still shows to be on order even though there is no open orders with said part. <-----I've been dealing with this issue for years and they still can't fix it.

There are numerous other issues, too many to list.

I agree with mmotely. They come out with some new features which is nice, but most of us would be happy with fixing the problems that the program has had for years. Then lets go try out some new tricks. I mean for crying out loud you can't even create a parts kit that will pull parts out of inventory. Even the simplest programs out there can do that. That's an issue Mitchel has had since the early 90s.

News flash Mitchell..........its the 21st century. Time to catch up.

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Jeff, please accept my apologies. I didn't mean to imply you were a liar. Just blowing off steam.

MSPEC, I have numerous issues. The absolute newest one since the newest upgrade is any estimate I do when using something from inventory the program will not carry the vender over. I can check inventory and the vender is there, but if I place an inventoried part on an estimate its not. I called on this one Thursday or Friday and they said they know all about it....no fix for it.

Another is one that I've been dealing with for YEARS. I can order parts electronically for restock, the program orders exactly what I ask it to, the parts arrive, I receive them and PO goes away after its closed, lets say a week goes by and I need to order same parts again cause they're gone / sold what have you, the PO does not pick them up...why do you say....because inside the actual part it still shows to be on order even though there is no open orders with said part. <-----I've been dealing with this issue for years and they still can't fix it.

There are numerous other issues, too many to list.

I agree with mmotely. They come out with some new features which is nice, but most of us would be happy with fixing the problems that the program has had for years. Then lets go try out some new tricks. I mean for crying out loud you can't even create a parts kit that will pull parts out of inventory. Even the simplest programs out there can do that. That's an issue Mitchel has had since the early 90s.

News flash Mitchell..........its the 21st century. Time to catch up.

 

 

This is good to know. I have yet to enter in my inventory into the management software. I will look out for these problems.

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  • 2 months later...

I didn't care for the Google reviews for Auto Vital so I have spent all weekend looking for a different solution. Every one here seems to like Bolt On Technology so I am taking a hard look at them.

 

I currently use Omnique but I am bailing on them after 2 years because of errors and design flaws. Omnique has some big upgrade which will get rid of silver light which may help them but I can not wait.

 

I am moving to Maxx Traxx at midnight December 31, 2014 and I was wondering if Bolt on works with the Maxx Traxx system?

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I didn't care for the Google reviews for Auto Vital so I have spent all weekend looking for a different solution. Every one here seems to like Bolt On Technology so I am taking a hard look at them.

 

I currently use Omnique but I am bailing on them after 2 years because of errors and design flaws. Omnique has some big upgrade which will get rid of silver light which may help them but I can not wait.

 

I am moving to Maxx Traxx at midnight December 31, 2014 and I was wondering if Bolt on works with the Maxx Traxx system?

 

Hello, our software does not integrate with Maxx Traxx. That could change in the future, however there are no immediate plans to integrate with Maxx Traxx. At the moment, Bolt On Technology's software add-ons work with Mitchell1, NAPA TRACS, All Data, Shop Controller, Tasco, Pace and TCS. Please call if you have additional questions: 610-400-1019. Thanks and Happy New Year!

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Hello, our software does not integrate with Maxx Traxx. That could change in the future, however there are no immediate plans to integrate with Maxx Traxx. At the moment, Bolt On Technology's software add-ons work with Mitchell1, NAPA TRACS, All Data, Shop Controller, Tasco, Pace and TCS. Please call if you have additional questions: 610-400-1019. Thanks and Happy New Year!

 

Mike, doesn't bolt on work with RO Writer as well?

 

 

I didn't care for the Google reviews for Auto Vital so I have spent all weekend looking for a different solution. Every one here seems to like Bolt On Technology so I am taking a hard look at them.

 

I currently use Omnique but I am bailing on them after 2 years because of errors and design flaws. Omnique has some big upgrade which will get rid of silver light which may help them but I can not wait.

 

I am moving to Maxx Traxx at midnight December 31, 2014 and I was wondering if Bolt on works with the Maxx Traxx system?

 

Used, any particular reason you are moving over to Maxx Traxx? I used to be with RO Writer. That was a fairly decent program however the way they have their system set up is that you buy the software outright whilst other shop management software you pay a subscription fee. I did not stay with RO Writer because there were option I had to upgrade for and it would have cost me an upfront cost of thousands of dollars. I have heard MaxxTraxx is nice because it is fairly affordable however the reason why I didn't look into further was that there was no integration with a digital inspection service. That for me was the deal breaker. Moving forward I knew I wanted to perform digital inspections and use them as a tool for increased profitability.

 

So far I have been using Mitchell and Bolt On. Any SMS is never going to be perfect but so far Mitchell has everything i have needed in a management system and I have no complaints. The revisions tab is especially useful for service writing.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

 

Care to elaborate on this? I've heard it before, but haven't had someone describe what the problem actually is.

Has anyone contacted Mitchell about fixing the problem(s)? I can't see a big company like Mitchell not fixing issues with their system.

 

lmao, Mitchell1 helping its customers? lol, thanks, i needed that......

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There is not neccessarily "wrong" with the scheduler, it is just that there is a lot lacking in the functionality of it. I would love to see a more visual scheduler that also follow the guidelines of what is normally taught or recommended to use in many shop management training courses. The scheduler currently is very very rudimentary.

 

I heard Mitchell did a scheduler update to improve usability. Is it much better now?

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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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    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, NAPA TRACS, AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching, and Today's Class Discover the significance of mentorship with Bill Weaver, a NAPA Autotech Trainer, and his mentor, Jim Dzurik. They share personal stories and insights into their mentor-mentee relationship, highlighting how mentorship has profoundly impacted their lives and careers. The conversation delves into the importance of passing on knowledge and wisdom to the next generation. The episode emphasizes the value of seeking and offering mentorship to foster growth and personal development. Bill Weaver, NAPA Autotech Trainer. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE Show Notes
      The idea of a mentor-mentee episode (00:01:02) Bill Weaver proposes the idea of a mentor-mentee episode, leading to the discussion of mentorship and the impact of having a mentor in one's life and career. Mentoring Bill Weaver (00:02:05) Bill and Jim discuss their mentor-mentee relationship, including Jim's initial impressions of Bill and the challenges and growth they experienced together. Teaching and learning (00:04:45) How Jim taught Bill about responsibility, punctuality, and the importance of learning and listening, leading to Bill's personal growth. Bill's entry into the transmission shop (00:05:58) Bill's entry into Jim's transmission shop and the initial impressions and experiences of working together. Challenges and growth in the mentorship (00:07:17) Jim's candid admission of being frustrated at times and the challenges they faced, including humorous anecdotes about being fired multiple times. Teaching the "why" and "how" (00:10:24) The importance of mentors teaching the "why" and "how" to their mentees, and Jim's realization of his role as a mentor. Passing on knowledge (00:12:07) Bill's realization of the importance of passing on knowledge and being a mentor to the next generation, inspired by his own mentors. Memorable moments and popular culture (00:14:11) Fond memories and experiences shared between Bill and Jim.. Star Wars memory (00:17:20) Discussion about watching Star Wars and the impact it had. Mentorship and life skills (00:20:26) Discussion about the mentorship relationship, life skills, and wisdom. Importance of research and failure (00:24:06) The significance of research, failure, and learning from mistakes in mentorship. NASCAR and boxing stories (00:28:47) Stories about NASCAR involvement and interactions with famous boxers. Retirement and family influence (00:31:29) Conversation about retirement, longevity, and family influence. Legacy of mentorship (00:32:56) Reflection on the impact of mentorship and teaching. Finding one's calling (00:38:00) Discussion on how individuals may discover their true calling and the importance of pursuing it. Becoming a mentor (00:40:11) Encouragement for individuals to volunteer as mentors and the impact of expressing gratitude to mentors. Persisting and seeking knowledge (00:44:25) The importance of persistence, continuous learning, and adapting to changes in the automotive industry. Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Thanks to our Partner, Auto-Fix Auto Shop Coaching Proven Auto Shop Coaching with Results. Over 61 Million in ROI with an Average ROI of 9x. Find Coach Chris Cotton at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching on the Web at https://autoshopcoaching.com/ Thanks to our Partner, Today's Class Optimize training with Today's Class: In just 5 minutes daily, boost knowledge retention and improve team performance. Find Today's Class on the web at https://www.todaysclass.com/ Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections                                  
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