• January 4, 2015 at 11:26 am #64530

    100 MUST HAVE Features for your Automotive Shop Management Software

    Advisors, technicians, parts staff and management each have their own software modules displaying information specifically for their needs.

    Alerts are generated automatically for service advisors when technicians perform actions which require advisor attention; and alerts for techs when service advisors perform actions that require tech attention.

    Alert occurs when entering any appointment, estimate or RO if any of these currently exist for this vehicle.

    Appointments are automatically color coded uniquely for each of the following:
    Loaner car needed
    Rental car needed
    Ride needed
    Pick up and deliver needed

    Appointments automatically display the name of who made them, and the date and time entered.

    Appointment dates for all next scheduled maintenance services automatically generate future appointments on the schedule.

    Appointments have fields where technician, advisor and bay can be reserved.

    Appointment scheduler is sortable by technician, advisor and bay.

    Appointment “No Show” automatic tracking and alert when making new appointments.

    Appointments can be dragged and dropped on the schedule.

    Average RO, total spending and total visits display on appointments, estimates and RO’s.

    Caller ID is integrated.

    Core charge and credit amounts display alongside parts prices.

    Credit card processing is integrated.

    CRM is integrated.

    Customer documents can be generated to include or not include:
    Part numbers
    Labor times
    Labor rates
    Individual parts prices
    Individual labor prices

    Customers can each have unique pricing for:
    Labor rates
    Labor discounts
    Parts matrices
    Parts discounts

    Customer information screen includes fields for:
    Preferred service advisor
    Preferred technician
    Date of first visit
    Multiple email addresses

    Different areas of the software can be displayed simultaneously.

    Documents and photos can be attached to the customer, the vehicle or the RO.

    Documents and photos can be emailed directly from the software.

    Driving directions and mapping of customer and shop locations.

    Estimated services can be grouped and displayed in a menu with separate sections for:
    Services related to complaint
    Other repairs found
    Maintenance services due

    Excel import and export capability.

    Inventory stocking levels are calculated and adjusted automatically.

    Invoice checklist of tasks for the service advisor to do must be completed in order to finish invoice.

    Inspections compatible with mobile devices.

    Inspection results can include photos and audio.

    Job kits can include multiple labor operations and other job kits.

    Job kits can be created from any job estimated or performed.

    Job kits can be attached to any inspection result.

    Job kits can include date and mile intervals for automatic next service due reminders.

    KPI tracking for the shop and other users of the same software.

    Labor matrices.

    Labor operation times can be split among two or more technicians.

    License plate entry auto fills VIN, year, make, model and engine.

    Loaner car reservations system including tracking of times, dates, fuel and miles.

    Menus, inspections, descriptions and fields customizable.

    Merging of duplicate customers, vehicles, vendors and parts.

    Messaging system between all users.

    Mobile device capability for every area of the software.

    Oil change sticker integration.

    Paperless capability for every area of the software.

    Parts and cores return tracking.

    Parts cataloging and ordering for all major vendors integrated.

    Parts costs updated automatically weekly for all parts in the system which are tied to integrated vendors.

    Parts file becomes a year, make and model parts catalog based on the shop’s sales history.

    Parts information not currently on file can be automatically added to parts file when added to an RO.

    Parts matrices which can be unique for parts types, brands and vendors.

    Parts ordered time and expected arrival time display next to each part on the RO.

    Parts ordering screen automatically displays when an authorization occurs if any parts for that authorization need to be ordered.

    Parts ordering screen that lists all parts needed for current jobs and future appointments for any selected date range.

    Parts statuses are color coded and change automatically when certain actions are taken.

    Pick-up and delivery scheduler for customer vehicles including locations, maps, times and drivers.

    Prices update to current automatically when pulled from an RO in history, an earlier estimate or a previous recommendation.

    Profit checker with parts and labor gross profit dollars and percentages for each sold and estimated service on the RO.

    Recommendations automatically save the names of the technicians and advisors who made them.

    Recommendations previously made can be displayed on estimates, RO’s, tech sheets and invoices.

    Reminders for maintenance dates are calculated automatically according to the number of miles driven.

    Reminders for maintenance services due and recommendations can be set to be emailed automatically at selected intervals.

    Reminder pop ups for advisors to contact customers, check with techs, or monitor parts delivery status at designated times.

    RO changes color when another user has it open.

    RO content of all types can be copied, cut and pasted to other RO’s, estimates and invoices or other areas of the same RO.

    RO statuses are color coded and change automatically when certain actions are taken.

    Scheduled maintenance list can be included on every RO, estimate and invoice displaying the date and miles each service was last performed and the date and miles each service is next due.

    Schedule retains appointment information permanently.

    Service history, vehicle information and miles can be accessed from all screens.

    Service history performed at other shops can be integrated with the shop’s service history.

    Service history search includes other shops and dealers (if it has been reported).

    Service history search for similar services performed on similar vehicles.

    Signature capture at PC and on mobile devices.

    Single screen display of key customer, vehicle and RO information.

    Software tool bars and grids can be rearranged.

    Spelling and grammar checker – up to date and comprehensive.

    Technician assignments and priorities can be dragged and dropped on a tech assignment screen.

    Technician pay can be instantly calculated for any selected time period.

    Technician time clocking for both individual labor operations and groups of labor operations.

    Technician time log showing date and time started and completed for each labor operation or each vehicle.

    Text fields can be expanded to full screen.

    Text for different types of information on estimates, RO’s and invoices can display in different colors.

    Tire cataloging and on line ordering integrated.

    Tire matrices automatically generate multiple pricing levels for each tire quote.

    Tire pressures and wheel torque specs appear with every tire related service on the RO.

    Tire serial numbers must be entered in order to complete tire replacement service on the RO.

    Tire serial numbers are automatically reported and tracked once entered in the RO.

    Training videos, help index and step by step instructions covering 100% of the software.

    Training and updates webinars regularly scheduled.

    Vehicle information screen includes fields for:
    Miles last serviced
    Date last serviced
    Fuel type
    Fuel level
    Type of use
    Registration date
    Broken odometer
    Broken fuel gauge
    Vehicle diagram where body damage can be indicated

    Vehicle specific information available on all screens including integrated parts catalogs.

    Voice to text.

    Word search of all content of all types in the software.

    [email protected]

    January 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm #73837
    Voit Ritch

    So… I am wondering if there is such a software that includes all of these or if it is just envisioning panacea?

    Inquiring minds would like to know!

    Thank you,

    Voit Ritch

    Autowerkes Maine Inc.

    Freeport, Maine



    January 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm #73838

    wow! if such a program exists, sign me up!

    January 6, 2015 at 7:14 am #73843

    Some information about the list:

    Our goal was to:
    #1: Create a specific list that shop owners could use when shopping for new software.
    #2: Create a system where shop owners could rate their own software and see whether or not it may be time to upgrade. This could be changing software, or looking into which features could be added to their current software.

    We found everything on the list, with just a few exceptions, offered as a current feature of one or more shop management software companies.

    We came up with a small number of items that we would like to see. We do not believe any of these are unrealistic considering the features we found that already exist.

    While we could find no one company that had it all, there are companies out there offering a large majority of the features.

    We ask that you tell us which software you currently use and tell us how many of the features on the list your software offers.

    [email protected]

    January 7, 2015 at 4:34 pm #73844
    Voit Ritch

    Our software is RO Writer and it does about 75% of the excellent list that has been created here. Like any software it is not perfect but has been a good (complete) system for us. It has evolved with the times and it integrates with plenty of other applications. One thing I find positive about it lately is that the latest owners (TBC) have enough financial backing to be able to fund changes and improvements. Nothing happens without funding so I like to see that companies I use for services are well funded.  

    January 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm #73846



    January 12, 2015 at 4:39 pm #73850

    That is quite a list… and thank you for displaying it. It gives our programming team some more ideas. However, we’ve always built our software using our customer requests (priority 1).. it gives us a true picture of what our customers want. However, we of course add features that we ‘assume’ they will want in the future (priority 2).

    The trick is building software that anyone can use, and making sure the advanced items don’t get in the way, but are there when you need them. 
    Thanks again for the list.
    January 12, 2015 at 7:07 pm #73851

    FastTrak Auto Shop Manager contains over 85 percent of the features on this list. Some of the other items are in progress or planned for future release.

    Larry Wible



    February 16, 2015 at 5:05 pm #73920

    101 MUST HAVE Features for your Automotive Shop Management Software

    101) does the program integrate with the QuickBooks hard drive or online version?

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