Every auto repair shop needs reliable and robust auto shop management software to function smoothly. If finding the right software for your auto repair business seems like a daunting task, don’t worry. The Automotive Management Network has done much of the legwork for you.
Auto Shop Management Software Needs
If your business operates part time or does not do a high volume of work, you may feel like doing the job the old-fashioned way with cash and paper receipts is good enough. But you will be missing out on sales opportunities if your company does not have any management software. There are so many advantages to using a digital organization system over paper and filing cabinets.
The first thing that any business must do in the decision making process is to decide exactly what they need, ranking their requirements in order of importance. We have created a page for shop management software, and we also have survey results from our members you can look over for help.
Some packages are very basic, and many have a long list of features, ranging from oil change software, accounting, employee payroll, advertising and marketing, CRM, electronic vehicle inspections, job estimating, technical service information, profitability and efficiency tools, and appointment scheduling. Some software packages are cloud based, while others are downloaded or require a CD.
When you’ve decided what you want your software to do, you can cross off the list anything that doesn’t fit your needs. That immediately makes the task easier. From there you can focus on how well different software packages perform. For instance, your software should include a comprehensive database of all makes and models of vehicles so that your technicians will have all the information they need. If the software’s database is limited, it will be less valuable and useful. Some options will automatically fall off the list because they will not match your budget.
Switching Management Software Packages
If you already have management software, when you choose to upgrade, you should make sure that the data that you have currently will export and be able to be used by whatever new software you choose. You do not want to lose the existing data you have on your company and your customers.
Trying out Different Options
Once you have selected different software options, you will want to see them in action. This is what demos are for. A good demo will allow you to assess how user friendly the software is, how fast it is, and how well it operates. Most software companies will offer a trial period for their products or give a demonstration of how it works. Include your staff in this step. Get their feedback about how simple it is and whether it meets your shop’s needs. The more buy-in you have from your staff before you make a purchase, the fewer complaints there will be when you implement it.
Getting Feedback from Auto Shop Management Software Users
Consulting other shop owners about which software they purchased and whether or not they recommend it is another important step. This is where the Automotive Management Network offers real value. Our members are generous in sharing their experience and their advice on a wide range of topics related to auto repair. That’s exactly why we have our forums – because knowledge and experience are priceless.
Once you’ve defined your needs, done your research, seen demos of different types of software, asked your staff for their input, and gotten feedback from other shop owners, you will be ready to make a purchase. Our advice is not to rush through these steps. If you take your time with this process, you will be more likely to find the auto shop management software that works best for your shop and makes it easier for your techs to do their jobs.
Please share your experience with purchasing software either here on this blog post or in our forums. We all benefit from each other’s wisdom in this industry. And if you missed our blog post on marketing with your lube sticker printer, check it out!