Shop Management and Invoicing expectations
Having been a classic car hobbyist over 35 years and with many friends and now acquaintances with their own shops, large or small, it always amazed me why most still use manual invoicing and either archaic contact list or none at all. But then again the availability and the pricing of such software systems were very, very costly. But that was then. This is now. There should be no excuse for not using a Shop Management CRM Software program!
As a lot of new graduates are entering the market and starting their own shops, this site has a wealth of information that is relevant to your success, but I would like to add some of those points that you need to maintain focus on. Remember an unorganized shop starts at the record keeping stages or lack of. It is downhill from there if you cannot properly manage you intake, customers and expenses.
Proper shop management and invoicing software is a MUST for every shop. It should be the first tool you get or at worst the last tool you get. But it should be a tool you get!
Consider why a good software package would help your company:
1: You need a good invoicing program and one that is easy to use and keep the information for later reporting.
2: You need to have a quick easy way to lookup and manage your customers records and history.
3: Work order preparation is the back bone of any system (or should be). This is where the entire repair project control takes place. your dashboard if you will. Changes should be manipulated here.
4: Profit and loss reports. At the end of the day, week, month, year you need the software of choice to produce a quick concise report with all the bells, charts and those things that make it easy to read. This information is valuable since it should be your core, reliable report for taxes and net worth.
5: Easy to use, Full featured and supported.
Those are the core parts you need, but of course the other functions and reports is what make software valuable. Garbage in, Garbage out.
Those are the basics of managing your shop. How you do it, is with your software of choice. There are many out there and many more upcoming, but make sure they are complete and will meet your ever growing needs.
I particularly like the systems that you can access anywhere from any device as a cloud based solution. For today’s demand and data security, it makes sense to go this route.
When looking for a Shop and Garage Management system, review their screen shots carefully. Evaluate the possibility of learning and or understanding it in under 3 mins. Anything longer is a longer learning curve/screen. Most think that us Mechanics, Technicians are not computer savvy. Even we tell ourselves that, but we have been using computers and systems longer than most. Laptops, desktops, tablets are only another extension of our tools. In any event simplicity should also be the key to what you need. Afterall you need to get back to work.
Next post: Who should use your Shop Management Software
This article will continue with other topics from my perspective.
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