• December 8, 2006 at 10:10 pm#63061

    I am a computer programmer helping a friend who has an auto repair shop (total of 2 employees). The software he is using is 10 years old,  DOS based, does most of what he needs,  similar to  other softwares; however, he is not happy with the support he gets from the company,  and the yearly maintenance fee of  $800 (for one computer), in my openion is way too high.   I am encouraging him to switch to newer (Window based), software, which can be obtained for less than $500.00 ,  with a  very low yearly maintenance fee or no fee at all.

    I really liked the Automotive Expert, which I got for 45 days for trial;  it did every thing he needed ,  the price was right,  HOWEVER,  there is one requiremnt that Automotive Expert couldn’t meet, and possibly a lot of other software might not be able either.  This individual,  has pre-printed Form paper which has the name of his shop and specific fields printed on the paper,  the old software is able to print on this form, since he has 5000 copies of this pre-printed Form,  he is not willing to throw away the paper.  Is there an automotive software out there that can print on pre-formatted form ?   and of course it has the basic automotive shop management features ?



    December 10, 2006 at 4:33 pm#67571

    "since he has 5000 copies of this pre-printed Form,  he is not willing to throw away the paper. "

    That statement says a lot.

    At $800 year for support of a dead technology, he has about six months worth of paper that he is stuck on. (That will take him three to five years to use, that is roughly $2400 to $4000.00 in support).

    Scott Systems is one good low cost system that I know of. (I am not a user).

    Most of the powerful systems are in the $200 to $400 per month range. Of course on the opposite end, you can step back all the way to the simplicity of Quickbooks or paper.

    If you have researched Automotive Expert & it is within budget, why not? If he still won’t move on the paper issue, suggest that he store the paper for six months then make a final decision with bonfire to follow.

    HTH (I hope this helps).

    December 13, 2006 at 8:54 pm#67578

    Alice, do you really want to be his new software support staff?  There are way too many things that need to be addressed that can’t be given justice in this message board. We  first have to understand his long term goals and his budget.  There are literally hundreds of software programs designed for the automotive shop environment that MIGHT work.  Most if not all require some sort of support costs and implementation fee structure, at least the ones that are worth keeping.  You get what you pay for in this business arena. 

    He is playing russian roulette with most systems running DOS apps but time is needed to make the right choice.  Drop me an email if you need some direction or input.

    December 14, 2006 at 8:31 pm#67582

    This paper that he has.. is it printed like a letterhead with his name at the top? Or is it designed to be used for invoices? (with lines and seperators throughout) If it is just for invoices, he might not be able to find another software that not only uses pre-designed paper, but also in the same format.

    If it is like a letterhead perhaps he could use it as one, send out thank you letters, coupons, reminders, etc. The paper would not go to waste, and you could get the program you like that fits his needs.

    December 14, 2006 at 8:34 pm#67583

    opps I see, it is form paper, I don’t know how I missed that the first time. I don’t think that you will be able to find another software that uses the same form, many are different.

    In that case, I agree with what was said above by the first poster, what seems more economical? Save the paper, and continue to be unsatisfied with the program, or toss it and get something new.

    June 21, 2007 at 6:12 pm#68030

    Hi Alice, please visit my website at http://www.autoshopcontroller.com or email me at [email protected].. If you are still looking for repair shop software my software can print on pre-printed forms.

    July 1, 2007 at 3:37 am#68041

    I have tried 3 different software packages and found R.O. Writer to be the best. I did have Mitchell and they were pretty good but not in the same league as R.O. Writer. If you email me I will tell you all I can to help you decide.

    September 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm#73262

    We’ve been using a slightly modified version of QuickBooks Premier.  It allows custom user-defined queries, reports, and form.  We write estimates, RO’s, manage Payroll, inventory, and more.  There’s virtually nothing we have to do other than sign the checks.

    J. Larry Bloodworth

    April 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm#73546

    Larry Bloodworth, your post really made me sit up and take notice! I’ve always wanted to use Quickbooks Premier as shop management software and thought somehow it should be workable, but ran into strong resistance among the guys here who felt we really had to have industry-specific auto repair shop software. We are pretty detailed by nature and QB caters to that. Our current shop software has wonderful support but isn’t what I’d call intuitive or streamlined like QB. Do your vendors integrate their parts portals into QB? Do you have any problems achieving service histories? You mentioned your QB is “slightly modified” … could you help me understand the area of the modifications? Thank you in advance, Larry. I think you have a brilliant idea.  

    April 21, 2014 at 11:33 am#73548
    Rick White


    How did you handle marketing out of QuickBooks for service dues and declined repairs? Also how do you handle the parts limitation QuickBooks has? I have heard that these are limitation within QuickBooks and would love to see how you handle them. Thanks so much!

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