• September 15, 2019 at 7:01 pm#92672
    Kyle Monaghan
    Participant

    Hey guys I’ll keep this as short as possible. Dad had an auto repair/towing business for 20+ years in Northeast PA which I worked in. Dad got hurt on the job and had to sell. I’m now trying to reopen the shop myself but it’s been a really long time since I’ve been in the business. Assume I know nothing at this point. What suggestions do you guys have for payment processing, CRM etc? How about Shop Monkey? Identfix? Just throwing out some things I have heard may be helpful, but last time I was in a shop we used Mitchell books lol. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
    PS Don’t limit advice to the software side, like I said, assume I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s been awhile.
    Thank you all in advance!

    1 user liked this post.
    September 16, 2019 at 11:03 am#92684
    Tom Ham
    Participant

    Kyle,

    How about you list your top 5 things you would like advice on at this point?

    Also, do you have any photos you can attach?

    🙂

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    September 17, 2019 at 5:37 am#92732
    Kyle Monaghan
    Participant

    Kyle,

    How about you list your top 5 things you would like advice on at this point?

    Also, do you have any photos you can attach?

    🙂

    Hey Tom thanks for responding!
    I would say my top concerns would be on the software side… ie CRM, Payment processing software and credit card processing etc. Just trying to figure out if anyone has a good catchall software for scheduling clients, taking payments, managing work orders and similar tasks.
    Thanks for any help!

    September 17, 2019 at 9:57 am#92747
    Tom Ham
    Participant

    Kyle,

    Things like CRM, CC processing, etc. may be dependent on which shop management software you choose, so I would go after that first. Start by going to the comparison chart on this site:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lRLSF-4f5VBaXMv4m_fAs4Vj0J5mzqg82Dk0bMTlRwE/edit#gid=350300638

    Then narrow it down to the ones that may work for you. Then go to the full survey on each of the possibilities.

    Narrow it further, then contact your finalists and request a demo.

    It will take some time, but this is the most important “equipment” purchase you will be making. 🙂

     

     

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    September 24, 2019 at 4:41 am#92972
    Kyle Monaghan
    Participant

    Thank you so much!

    September 24, 2019 at 7:29 am#92977
    Rick White
    Participant

    Kyle,

    Before you start looking at software programs, I strongly recommend coming up with a list of musts, a list of wants, and a list of like-to-haves from a software system. The reason I say this is because it’s very easy to get caught up in all the bells and whistles you’ll see in a demo possibly causing you to make a decision on a system that doesn’t really meet your needs.

    I hope this helps!

    Rick

    1 user liked this post.
    October 8, 2019 at 6:11 pm#93337
    jbrenn77
    Participant

    I like the YES management system by PACE software.  We’ve used it for about 13 yrs now.  For CRM we are with Kukui.

    1 user liked this post.
    October 8, 2019 at 6:47 pm#93339
    eric davis
    Participant

    I like baymaster, it functions well has marketing, digital inspections email and text capabilities and is very inexpensive. I would actually not  start software, most management software is similar and there are many other things to consider.  The first thing i would do is set a budget for at least 6 months. The second thing i would do is put a marketing plan in place to drive revenue including direct mail and the internet. i would make sure i spent enough on effective marketing to provide the sales necessary to meet the budget goals with profit as an expense line on the budget. After that was done it would be time to start interviewing for staff, place ads on indeed, craigslist, zip recruiter. Recruiting is a job that you should do at least 2 hours a week every week of the year even when you are fully staffed. This should get you started, but i would also make a plan for after you get the doors open and document it. We wrote an operational guide and add a operational procedure to it quite often. If you have any questions reach out.  Eric

    1 user liked this post.
    October 9, 2019 at 4:07 pm#93353
    Joe Fordyce
    Participant

    I think before you do any of the above, you need to decide what services you are going to provide. For example, if you want to properly service European cars, you may have to invest a lot more to be well-supplied (oils, fluids, scan tools, etc.).  If you are going to try to service all makes and all models, you should be prepared to get in over your head until you learn your capabilities.  How many techs will you have?  Are they already in place?  What are their qualifications?  Do you have equipment that needs upgraded before you can really start providing high-level service?

    These are the kind of basics you need to establish before you get too far into what software is best.  No matter what anybody says, all vehicles are NOT the same.

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