• March 23, 2017 at 3:17 pm #74685
    William Hill

    Mitchell is the 800Lb Gorilla in the room. They are one of the easiest to learn, Pro Demand is better than Identifx, or Alldata. Is constantly improving, And there training is second to none. If you go to a training class put on by Mitchell. You will always want to go.. First class, And the Trainers are top notch.

    April 6, 2017 at 8:14 am #74699

    I will give Lankar software a 9.5-rating simply because it provides shop owners with an All-in-one Shop management Software to address all the business needs.

    From professional invoicing to online ordering to full accounting system, Lankar software offers a wide range of solutions at affordable pricing,

    There is an option on the website to download its trial version after providing the required details  . Trying it once by downloading the free version will help you learn more about the software before you finally go on to buy it from them.

    June 8, 2017 at 9:36 am #74769

    We use mitchell because i am lazy. have been since 1998 . it kinda works. noplace to put tech observations is the sucyest part. We also have the bolt on module that you can build great custom queries.

    June 15, 2017 at 6:57 am #74770
    Richard Zaagman

    We use the YES management system by Pace.  I’d rate it a 7.5.   Works well, has lots of features, support is good.  There are things I think could make it better.  Parts ordering integration doesn’t work well for us.

    June 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm #74771

    We have been with RO Writer since 2008. It’s got a ton of features, unfortunately rarely does everything work properly. I’ve spent so much money on hardware, software, tech support, tech support for every third party application, hardware tech support to fix what the tech support screwed up, and countless hours each month on phone calls. They take sometimes a week to get back to you (if they do), then they’ll go through a season where they’re available or calling back but this has been the exception since ’08. Even with everything seemingly working ok, it’s slow, it crashes several times a day, and takes far too long to boot and quote.  I’ve been told over the years that their issue (too much data on an antiquated Access Database causing mass corruption and system instability) was either: a. “my infrastructure” which I completely rebuilt/wired twice, b. “my hardware” which I’ve replaced in it’s entirety twice, c. “my other software” such as antivirus to which we’ve always moved to whatever they recommended, d. “I use too many of the features” seriously, they said this to me, and e. (love this one) “you type too fast.” Progressive Automotive Systems sold out not too long ago and while hoping for improvements in customer care, we’ve seen a rapid decline from nearly every angle. In case you were wondering, or any ROW folks are reading this, yes we have fresh Cat5e, gigabit routers, 80mb internet, 16gigs of ram on quad-core processor comuputers, use redundant stand alone windows servers running Server 2012. We’re set up.

    My issue with RO Writer is the bait and switch, inconsistency, blaming the customer, the money on top of money, on top of money that you have to spend to get the next feature, and the fact that they offer no trial period, no satisfaction guarantee, and to those of us that purchased the program years ago when that was your only option, you have no right to sell any part of it. It remains their intellectual property.

    My rating: 1 (lowest possible).

    I understand they’re working on v. 2.0 in Sequel DB but that’s been in the works for years. I can’t hold my breath any longer and we are finally jumping ship and done trying to get something out of my years of effort and 10’s of thousands of dollars spent. You know that its been over a month that I’ve been leaving multiple messages and emails a week with ROW billing and they’ve not gotten back to me.  Heading over to Shop-Ware. Looks promising and they have a fantastic crew eager to help and they are active in development and customer correspondence. Check with me after July and I’ll let you know how its working for us.

    June 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm #74775

    This probably won’t work for most shops, but it works super-great for us.

    I’ve been a QuickBooks user since 2000.  Before that, I had used 2 other SMS that I liked, but using them and then having an accountant was like running 2 sets of books to me.  So, in 2000, I started using QB for everything and dropped my accountant.

    Long story made short, I became very proficient at QB over the years.  There’s nothing that QB can’t do that any other SMS does, except order parts.  Estimates, Repair Orders, Inventory, Payroll, CC Processing, Online Banking, etc.  It does it all.  I can and do reconcile the checking account daily because I haven’t handwritten a check in over a decade; they are all printed and CC are automatically deposited.  My checking account balances to the penny on a daily basis.

    Some companies we write checks to vendors who have a corporate name DBA another name.  QB allows for that with a feature they call “aliases”.  On top of all the stock reports the software comes with, I can create my own reports based on my own criteria.  I can print a P&L or Balance Sheet at will.  We have no need for a SMS.

    I can text, E-mail, or print snail mail letters to customers individually or in bulk.  I created one report to tell me what types of vehicles and what types of jobs are the most profitable.  The list of what you can do with QB is endless.  Of course, I’m very computer savvy and a numbers person.  Many shop owners are not and have zero interest in doing what I do.

    I’m rarely out in the shop or on the front counter.  There’s too much for me to do in my upstairs office, especially with marketing.  I handle all of the online advertising and social media.  I don’t mean to boast, but we’re the highest grossing transmission shop in the Salt Lake City market for a reason.

    If you’re up to it, and want to quit paying monthly SMS fees, give QB a try.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    June 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm #74782
    Jim Masella

    Larry,  thanks for your input on QuickBooks.  I’ve been using QB’s as a shop management program since 1996 for everything.  I keep hearing people say I’m missing out by not having an automotive specific program.  I have checked out Mitchell SE Manager and it seems to be very popular w/few complaints but I have gotten so fast w/QB’s, I don’t know that I would save much time with a new program.  I also own my QB’s Enterprise Solutions software outright.  I also don’t like the idea of have two different software systems for management and accounting.  I would like to connect with you to share QB’s Ideas, ie. how to run some reports, etc.  I also see you do a lot with marketing, something I am weak on.  Please contact me if you will.  Masella’s Auto Repair Inc.  Venice FL.  [email protected].

    Thanks,   Jim M.

    July 19, 2018 at 6:04 pm #75184

    We use TireShop by FreedomSoft. Nice program. Works for our quicklube, tireshop, all services in one store. We do $2.7M a year in sales and 900 cars per month. WANTING

    digital inspections and thinking of changing to RO Writer or Mitchell to integrate

    with Bolt- ON. Any advice would be appreciated

    Hello Richard, long time no hear. Look into AutoVitals. Call me if I can help you!

    July 19, 2018 at 6:17 pm #75185

    Of the 52 companies listed above, I have personal experience with probably 1/3 of them.  For those of you considering changing for whatever reason, a few things I’d like to point out:

    #1 Will the new software company be able to extract ALL your data into your new program, i.e. vehicle history, customer data, etc.?

    #2 Go straight to the reporting module of the new software. What reports can be generated? If you can get it out, then the data is going in. I was appalled to learn a client of mine had just spent over $6K on software, only to learn that ANY report with regard to measuring GPM was going to be wrong! There was nowhere to key in Technician cost! Therefore, every report with regard to labor GPM showed 100%!

    #3 What is the company tenure? I have learned while being on software support teams that writing new code for software takes very deep pockets, indeed. Are they going to be around in 5 years?

    #4 What is the ease of use? No brainer here, but I’ve found much of the software to be “clunky”, far from user-friendly, and just a pain to learn. To add insult to injury, some of their online training and support mechanisms can be just as bad.

    #5 Ask for references! I also ask the person I’m getting the reference from “what is your PC usage skillset”?

    #6 I could go on for some time. If you have a particular question, feel free to contact me.

    November 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm #75279
    Marshall Kelly

    So you can retrieve the Vehicle Service History from QuickBooks? I don’t believe you can.. but you can from ShopController. You can also send everything from SC to QB with one click.

    February 27, 2019 at 4:16 pm #86227
    Greg Minnick

    FastTrak review is a 1 since -1000 isn’t an available rating. I’m a serial dater when it comes to software, I’ve tried several, both server/pc and cloud based, so I have plenty of experience with changing. I am paying FastTrak $100 per month to access my old data after switching to another software program. No other software company I’ve used has charged me to access my data after switching. I would rate FastTrak higher if it weren’t for their “pay to access data” policy.



    March 9, 2019 at 7:14 am #86523
    red switches

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    July 22, 2020 at 9:00 am #101081
    Michael Harris

    GEM-CAR. I’d rate it 9. The software offers a great variety of features like CRM, digital marketing, digital inspections, a very accurate reporting system, catalog integration with distributors. Overall, it’s really easy to use and affordable.

    1 user liked this post.
    August 25, 2020 at 9:57 am #101928
    Joseph Hall

    Has anyone gone with Shop 4D? I have viewed demos, looks like a really useful tool, I mainly am looking for digital inspection and paperless tech. I also have a job estimating issue. My current software requires constant updating of price changes etc that staff doesn’t trust it and doesn’t want to use the tool, thus estimating almost every job through the door with exception of regular maint. HUGE time waster! Shop 4D seems to have come up with a way to streamline some of these areas I have been brainstorming how to resolve and have tried different methods with little results. I have been with current software for over 20 years so its scary making a change. However I have been looking for reporting to get the health of my business and track customers better and I have received no results from them. To give you a taste, I have a customer that last did business in 1995 they are still listed as current customers. Sure I can change this one customer at a time, but I NEED a solution that will let me go with a report of anyone that has not been in for the past 3 years, boom, they are no longer customers. Now how did that change my numbers??? Do I bring in more than go out? I have no clue right now, scary stuff…. Covid gave me a lot to think about…  So has anyone tried or have SHOP 4D?

    1 user liked this post.
    August 28, 2020 at 10:11 am #102001
    Greg Battles

    Protractor (less than 6 months) coming from RO Writer.  To date (and we are still digging in) – I’d rate it a 9/10.  SO much better than RO Writer.  Upsides include better support – both during set-up and afterwards.  AMS (who formally worked with RO Writer) does the on-boarding/training and have a very active users group to post questions on Facebook.   Cloud based system – no more crashes or massive shut downs due to main server.  Flexible on how many users AND setting up on any computer/laptop allows for a nice remote feature.  More versatile than RO Writer – biggest downside is the time to learn/get comfortable.  It takes a bit of time – but after a couple of months – it does get easier.

    1 user liked this post.

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