April 21, 2011 at 2:36 am #64016aarstjMember
I would really appreciate some feedback of any users of TRACKUM or INVOMAX, or any low cost programs. Hey I have a limited budget and I am currently using hand written invoices, really don’t like the idea of a monthly fee or online service, would much rather buy it own it. I know there is much better programs, but I can;t afford them. TRACKUM is less than $400, believe INVOMAX is $30 a month, had once looked at TRACHER, but they are at a $1000 a month. I am just a small shop with 2 techs.April 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm #72019Site Administrator / Forum ModeratorKeymaster
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616-340-2380April 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm #72022Bill WhiteParticipant
Go to mfsfred.com It’s easy to use and the suport per quarter is about the same as some of the other companies are per month. I have the multi user version. Works great. I started 12 years ago with their dos version and switched to their windows version about 5 years ago. No complaints and a live body always answers the phone. You can demo it and I don’t think you will be disappointed.April 27, 2011 at 7:57 pm #72031CORNERSTONEMember
I have small shop 2 mechanics and a service adviser and I use Mitchell you are probably already paying for their repair access. the management system is only $30-$40 more a month.To print invoices you use regular paper.Mitchell has everything you`ll need.April 27, 2011 at 11:30 pm #72035aarstjMember
I know a few years ago, this program for FRED was running $2500, this is not a consideration. I am not in the situation to put out that kind of money. I am not sure how everyone else is doing, but I am struggling and it seems like this economy, I am not getting the business I need, the phone is ringing less and it seems people are more hesitant in spending the money unless it is a must. Our work load has slowed down.
Basically I was hoping to find a management system I can purchase under $750 and avoid the monthly subscription as I don’t want to be cut off and have a monthly bill.
Second was hoping to get some feedback if anyone has experienced TRACHUM or INVOMAX,
I do appreciate the response! THANKS!April 28, 2011 at 1:43 am #72036GChilds57Member
I have run my whole operation with just using “Quick Books”. It is very easy to use and set up for your needs. I have 5 employees and gross sales are 800,000 plus for 12 years now with quickbooks and my CPA loves it too. E-mail me anythime for any details on how to set it up. Cost is cheap. $300.00 for the premier setup and no more cost. [email protected]August 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm #72268larmstrongMember
I HAVE BEEN USING TRACKUM FOR YEARS. IT IS USER FRIENDLY, FLEXIBLE, AND AFFORDABLE. DENNIS IS GREAT TO WORK WITH AND ALWAYS AVAILABLE.August 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm #72269JeffreyDParticipant
I also use quickbooks for my repair business. I am not real happy with my setup maybe its the way I set it up. I would appreciate any information you can supply to help me set quickbooks up better than what I have. I use the pro version. Is there an advantage to the upgraded quickbooks?
JeffreyAugust 30, 2011 at 4:40 am #72280
I have used both TABS and InvoMax. TABS has better met our needs. I’d be happy to discuss more specifics off the message board. Is there a way to contact you directly?September 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm #72294hansMember
One of the things to consider when shopping for a new shop management system is how and if it is integrated into your supply line. This will make inputting your parts from your suppliers to your invoice a much simpler process. I believe Tabs & Invomax do integrate into WHI/Nexpart & Activant supply line systems. These are the two most prominent e-commerce supply line systems here in MI.September 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm #72298
I agree 100%. TABS also integrates online ordering for American Tire Distributors, NAPA, Real Time Labor Guide, Mitchell, Alldata (and possibly others I might be forgetting) into the estimating, quote, ordering and invoicing process. This is a huge timesaver. Unlike some other programs, you can export your report data into Excel if you wish to manipulate figures further for other purposes. Their customer service has been excellent and TABS tech support has always been there via phone, chat or online support desk/remote connection when we needed an answer to a question or with a request to tweak the software for our individual needs. We have never regretted going with them and thus far have found the value for the money spent to be excellent. Changing software was a big decision for us, but we have no regrets.September 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm #72300
I spent a lot of time researching different software before changing. In addition to whether the software can seamlessly integrate online with Mitchell, Alldata, NAPA, ATD, RealTime Labor Guide (or whatever services you use), here are a few suggestions to consider in making your decision:
1) Check to see if you can continue to use the software for invoicing, etc. if you do not want to pay the ongoing monthly support fee after you pay any up front amount. You may not be able to create new work orders/invoices or export data if you discontinue the monthly support plan, but make sure you will still be able to access existing data. Some software might actually allow you to continue to input new data, create new invoices and export data if you discontinue the monthly or quarterly support fee, but you don’t get any software upgrades or tech support if you needed it until you renew the support plan. (I assume this is the difference between software that you “subscribe” to or software where you purchase a “license”? At least ask those questions.)
2) I also recommend that you look to the future and where you would like your business to be, not necessarily where it is now; then choose software that enables you to grow. A little more spent now is better than having to completely change over again down the road because the software is too limited. And starting a good customer followup program through new software might just bring in the repeat business for recommended services to pay for that new software! If you are currently using paper invoicing only, you will find a HUGE time savings in accessing customer records. Remember, time is money!
3) Can the software export data to Excel or spreadsheet format for additional manipulation or purposes? (e.g. online mailing or customer followup services.)
4) Ask about the programmer(s)’ credentials. (What experience and training are behind the software?) If there is only one programmer, what is his succession plan? If he doesn’t have one already in place, you could end up with no support at all if something happens to that one guy.
5) Some database “foundations” seem to be more prone to file corruption than others. Ask and compare what different answers you get from different companies.
6) Are there other shops in your state that are using the software? How many? Some states (like California) have very specific ways the software must handle things like discounts and sales tax. If the programmer is not familiar with those idiosyncrasies and you are audited down the road by your state’s sales tax division for example, you could be in a world of hurt.
7) Do you want the data for financial reports, payroll, etc. to seamlessly import into Quickbooks or do you expect the Management Software to stand alone? If you want it to import into other financial software, ask for a demo on how it handles the integration. Is it customizable to your existing sales and expense accounts or are you forced into using preset accounts dictated by the management software? Ask what the management software does and doesn’t do compared to the current flow of your data all the way from the front service desk to the back office taxes. Do you use an accountant? If so, consider what he/she needs and how the management software fits into the data flow to provide that information.
8) After you narrow it down to a few choices, ask for a fully functional trial version (they usually time out after a preset time period) and spend some effort entering some practice information comparable to things that occur in your shop. (Does it give you a cash reconciliation? Bank Deposit amounts? How does it handle cash paid outs? etc.) That’s about the only way you will be able to see what questions might arise during use before you actually purchase the software. This can help avoid surprises by exposing limitations, as well as highlighting benefits, before you purchase.
9) What type of training and how much is included with the software? Do you have to incur cost to travel for training, or can it be done online? Is the training time period limited? If you choose a more advanced software package and gradually phase into using all the features (we still have to run our businesses), you may want more training on some features down the road. If too much time has past, will you have to pay for that additional training?
10) Is the software internet based or housed on your own computer locally? If it is internet based, is your internet service reliable? (If your service goes down, are you out of business until it comes back up?) Is it fast enough? Or, if the software is housed on your own equipment locally, will you need to upgrade your hardware?
11) Choose your software package first, then determine your hardware needs.
12) Check out the management software’s website. If it has dead links, etc., or it looks low-tech, you have to wonder if their software will be the same!
No one software product will meet everyone’s needs. Do your homework. Only you can decide what is the best combination of features, price, value and support that fits your own particular circumstances. Consider typing out questions that are important to you, and record the answers from each company. You might even consider setting up a spreadsheet to easily compare the different software packages at a glance. It will help reduce the confusion and give you a clearer view of what is best for you.
By the way, after including the above in my research, I chose TABS.June 9, 2012 at 2:56 am #72769[email protected]Member
Hello Kelly,You also might want to check out
There are very functional programs listed that meet your budget requirements.December 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm #72993August 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm #73205Gus SwensenParticipant
I have been using Invomax since 1996 (I think). It was DOS then. The transition to windows was a mess but it seems to be stable now. I own my software. The Tech support is 75.00 per quarter I think. They actually take control of your computer and fix any problems that you may have remotely.August 7, 2013 at 8:48 pm #73213Raymond Wittneben IVParticipant
For the least expensive way, use Quick-books. Just a one time fee of about $300 and it’s yours for life. Takes more time to set up for the way you want it to work, but once you figure it out, it goes fine. It also makes your accounting and doing your taxes a lot easier.August 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm #73218EASAUTOMember
We have been using Auto Boss by Palmer products since 1994, has some really good modules. Go to the internet and do the demo.
SteveAugust 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm #73227Joe MazurParticipant
I started my business 5 years ago running quickbooks. Since that time, i have used some “low cost” programs, along with some of the “high cost” programs. My advice to you is this:If you are just looking for a way to give your customers a computer printed receipt, then use quickbooks. It will be the easiest and cheapest option.However, if you are wanting to grow your business, provide better service to your customers, become more efficient by being able to order parts online and add them to the RO automatically, and be able to run reports to track your numbers and percentages, then you need to invest in a good software program. If you are planning to grow your business and include automated appointment reminders, follow up surveys, and reminders to return for service, then you need to choose one of the mainstream programs that will integrate directly with your software.I would caution you to avoid looking at the “cost” of the program as the determining factor as to what company you choose to work with. You will want to figure out what you want the program to do, and spend time (lots of it) checking out different companies. Only you can pick what is best for your needs. And as far as the cost of the program goes, you can easily offset the cost of any normal program by charging shop supplies or raising your labor rate a little. The software will be a tool for you to be able to better take care of your customers, keep them coming back to you, and make you more money (a lot more money if you are using hand written repair orders). You need to look at this just like any of the “tools” that you buy for the back end of the shop.And for what it is worth, I use the Yes Management System by Pace software and have been very satisfied with it. We use it for 2 shops and it has more than paid for itself. Feel free to contact me for more info if you would like.September 2, 2013 at 3:59 am #73249ScottSpecMember
You may want to check out SMOTGO at SmotgoInfo.Com or Smotgo.Com. I built it to run my shop and have made it available to anyone who wants to use it. It is a web app so there is no software to install and you can use it anywhere you have an internet connection and a web browser. It is also free to use. You can email me or post any questions you may have.Scott FolleyOwnerScott’s Specialties, Inc.February 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm #73461CTerziMember
EasyRO is a great program. With a lease option you can get it at a very low monthly cost. You can download a demo version here: http://easyworks.com/download-demo-version/. I guess the key on any shop management software is if they will make you money or cost you money. If something costs $30 per month is worth less than a program that costs you $100 per month and making you $200 per month. But you can’t make that decision until you actually get a demonstration.
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