• October 8, 2019 at 8:06 pm #93342

    Let’s start with the good news. The concern over data transfer is greater than it should be in most cases. If you change to quality software, stay open-minded, and commit to learning the best way to use it, it won’t be long before your data transfer concerns begin to fade.

    When you do a data transfer, what you are going to get will almost always be less than what you had hoped. Each type of software is designed differently, and it is virtually impossible to transfer all the special features of one to another, especially all the little details in the service history and inventory.

    Customer and vehicle information typically transfer well, but often that is where it stops. In some cases, you will get slightly more than nothing – if that. As for the situations where most of your data does transfer well, keep in mind that it will likely be arranged differently than it was in your previous software, which can be confusing.

    Before you become disheartened, keep in mind that technology is changing rapidly. In many situations, you are likely better off not transferring all the errors, bad entries, old information that is no longer needed, and things you will not use anyway. Starting clean will often be beneficial a short time down the road.

    So, what is the best way to approach it? We suggest that you continue to run a “read-only” version of your previous software. Most companies will allow this at no cost to you. Keeping a “read-only” version running is normally the cleanest, simplest, fastest way for advisors, techs, and management to find the information they need.

    WARNING: There are a few companies that will require you to continue to pay your subscription even if all you want to do is view your old data without continuing to use the software. Always make sure you check this from both your current and potentially new software if you are thinking of changing. Unfortunately, there are shops out there paying for two subscriptions because of this little-known policy.

    What is the bottom line? Don’t expect too much. Then you won’t be disappointed by what you get. However, don’t let this deter you from making a change. If you have worked hard with your current software company to address your concerns, but things are not improving, then it’s probably time to find another. The good news is that the learning process is getting faster and easier with almost all types of software, so there is a pretty good chance that if you changed in the past, this time it will be less painful.

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    October 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm #93386

    If I might add.. the files that are usually easily transferred are customers, vehicles, and inventory.

    Invoices/work orders are a different story, as in most cases they consist of several files, and there is and probably never will be a standard.

    Most transfers happen via CSV or Comma Separated Value files. They can be read by all spreadsheet programs and many SMS programs for import. If your program only exports to xml or a spreadsheet file, you can then export to a CSV file from your spreadsheet.

    As Tom said, check with your new software company to make sure you can export your data, and run it ‘read only’.

    It is your data, and you should have access to it.

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