- December 14, 2004 at 6:59 pm #3792
I bought a new system about 1 1/2 years ago. I’m not happy and as much as I hate to think about it, I must consider another system and I want to know who LOVES their system. I’ve heard 2 or three people tell me that they LOVE their system, 2 of them have RO writer, the other has Genesis Four. These are people that use a system as it sould be used too,to manage and control the numbers, all of them as well as write, sell and market.
- December 17, 2004 at 6:38 pm #6399
- December 21, 2004 at 12:02 pm #6400
Been using it since 1998
Have looked at others and can’t find anything that does anymore as easy!
- January 3, 2005 at 9:26 pm #6402
Hello, you might want to look into GarageIQ. Its freeware at this point. Go to garageiq.com
I have been using it for about two years.
- January 6, 2005 at 4:08 am #6403
I threw away a $35,000.00 program and a $10,000.00 special SCO network system two weeks after Paul Stewart demoed his R.O. Writer system. This is "the best" system, 2nd to none. R.O. Writer is great, but Paul makes the system unbeatable. This program was designed and built by some of the best shop owners in the automotive industry. Now with some new investors, the system is awsome. Something that is very important to me is that Paul and R.O. Writer have never lost their personal attention. They listen to your needs and improve with updates. Hope this will help.
- January 11, 2005 at 12:28 pm #6404
We bought the whole Mitchell On Demand 5. Both the shop management and the repair. It is expensive yes but well worth it. We also bought a program called Zarsoft that imports all of our Mitchell data into QuickBooks with the touch of a mouse button. Talk about streamlining the accounting process!
- January 13, 2005 at 10:24 pm #6405
Rick, I am giving RO Writer some serious consideration. Is there
anything that you don’t like about it.
Kirkwood Auto Center
Wilmington DE 19808
Rick Bigham AAM wrote:
> I threw away a $35,000.00 program and a $10,000.00 special SCO network system two weeks after Paul Stewart demoed his R.O. Writer system. This is "the best" system, 2nd to none. R.O. Writer is great, but Paul makes the system unbeatable. This program was designed and built by some of the best shop owners in the automotive industry. Now with some new investors, the system is awsome. Something that is very important to me is that Paul and R.O. Writer have never lost their personal attention. They listen to your needs and improve with updates. Hope this will help.
- March 24, 2005 at 12:03 am #6418
I have RO Writer. As I have not demoed others before I bought my shop this is what I inherited. What I can say is that it is very professional looking. It runs quick on a new system. It backs up data which can be off loaded on many different systems. It is networkable and very easy to use. It has very good reporting tools built in. As they update it regularly it is getting better. I have seen others such as mitchell and it does not look as clean as RO Writer does. Cutomers here love that it is easy to read and understand. But it is not cheap.
- March 25, 2005 at 1:04 am #6419
I can’t tell you how much I like my Genesis 4 software, the page isn’t big enough. I will say that it’s not cheap, but i think it paid for itself the first 8 mo. I had it. The annual updates and support for the program are second to none. Alan and his crew actually seem to listen when I talk to them! The updates don’t come annually, i mispoke- they come every time they improve the software! It aint cheap, but you DEFINATELY get what you pay for in my opinion.
- March 26, 2005 at 12:45 am #6421
We use invomax. It works great and is very resonable. if you get the demo make sure to delete all of it before installing the program. that was the only problem i have had with it. the profession edition has all the management tools. get better everyqtr. also. travis
- April 1, 2005 at 11:52 pm #6427
I have used Scott Systems since 1989. I suggest Motortraxx as it is DOS, read easyer to use more of the program. It is one of only two truely integrated accounting systems and is very stable. I have used this in both a fleet repair and a tire and auto shop. The Maxtraxx is coming along and integrates with many windows programs but no accounting. I would rather jump into other windows programs then back to Motortraxx then live without the integrated accounting.
- June 27, 2005 at 6:13 pm #6438
I use Shop Controller. It does all that as well. Estimates, history, marketing, reports, commissions, incorporates into Quickbooks, works with AllData, Mitchell…
- January 3, 2006 at 1:57 pm #6467
HI MY NAME IS TONY
FROM TA’s AUTOMOTIVE SPECIALISTS INC, BEEN USEING MAXXTRAXX FOR YEARSTHIS PROGARM IS OK: PUT DOES NOT HAVE THE BASICS WHAT NEED TO RUN MY SHOP, NO ACCOUNTING NEW UPDATE A VERY SLOW ALWAYS MONTHS BEHINE.THEY PUT IN MSSQL SERVER IN PRGRAM I THING IT WAS I WAS OF TIME, HAS MORE PROBLEM, THEN THE BASIC PROBLEM.
I LIKE TO KNOW HOW LONG YOU BEEN USEING MOTORTRAXX WITHE THE ACCOUNTING PROBLEM IS FAST AND BASIC,
PLEASE CALL OUR SHOP IF YOU GET A MONMENT, 401-828-9738
- January 5, 2006 at 9:44 pm #6471
QuickBooks Pro is the only way to go. I’ve used virtually every automotive-specific application out there and there’s nothing that QBPro won’t match or do better. It actually does things that I have seen no other program do. I’ve tried the rest, now I’m with the best; and have been for almost 5 years. At under $700 w/24/7 live support you can’t beat it. You can drop the support and get the same software on the street for under $300. Both have no monthly fees. I love it!
Larry Bloodworth, CMAT
Certified Transmissions, LLC
- January 31, 2006 at 7:59 pm #6477
Larry: This is kinda scary—no pun intended– but this is the second response on this network and your name is on both of them. great minds think alike i guess.
I too have only quickbooks pro as my accounting / management software. if you get to know it, it will do just about anything you want it to do. I’ve been using it since 2001 and I’m still finding features that i haven’t taken advantage of.
Looking up customer history is sometimes a little slow and cumbersome—my system needs to be archived—and I am thinking about using MOD cause my parts vender is pushing it my way free if i spend enough money with him. Haven’t really used or seen it much but I might give it a try. Any suggestions?
- February 1, 2006 at 4:58 am #6478
You say great minds think alike. The corollary to that is fools seldom differ. Yes, I’ve tried most all automotive software packages but the problem is that they were developed by technicians, not business people. My suggestion is to hook up with a local CPA who is QB certified. They can log onto your machine and make acounting tasks much easier and streamlined.
What would you like to know?
- February 21, 2006 at 3:45 am #6491
So….Dick, what did you learn????
- March 5, 2006 at 12:45 am #6495
Hi Dave, how are things with you? It’s good to here from you.
What did I learn? I learned that there are few systems that people LOVE. If I remember correctly the 3 names that came up repeatedly in my searching for the ultimate software was, RO Writer, Genesis Four and YES. I chose the YES system because Genesis does not have Activant and I was not impressed with the sales rep in my area for RO Writer. YES does not use sales reps but the support is so great you don’t need one. My impression was that YES was more flexable too, but thats just my impression. I’m quite sure that any of these systems are very good. I know quite a few people using these systems and I don’t here any complaining.
- March 7, 2006 at 1:06 am #6496
Thanks for the reply.
Things are going well for me here in the east. We continue to use Mitchell here and it works reasonably well although I suspect there are better products. The thing is, the switch over learning curve is so steep, I balk at even thinking too seriously about changing over. My impression is that most people like what they have because they don’t or can’t know any better since you really have to use a system for a couple of years before you can make an educated decision about how it compares to any others (which you don’t really know about.) Does that make any sense. We try to use it to it’s full extent and regular improvements are coming in three times a year. It would be great if there were a better parts catalogue interface that could be trusted for pricing and availability. And a faster way to analyze fluid capacities/types/specs without leaving the mgt program, better marketing, scanning capabilities for vin’s, parts, etc. I could go on. But at the same time, I feel fairly comfortable that Mitchell will be in business for some time to come and that is one of the largest factors for me. Support is fair to good and cost is not as bad as others that I have heard about.
Does it sound like I’m trying to convince myself???
Hope all is great with you. I’ll give you a land line sometime to catch up.
- April 4, 2006 at 12:55 am #6497
I ran Invomax (or should I say INVOJUNK) for several years I had nothing but problem after problem, and it was so poorly supported it literaly cost me an unbelievable amount of wasted time and of course time is money. Invomax was the single largest business mistake I ever made.
- April 27, 2006 at 11:04 pm #6501
What is yes, and where can I find out more about the system?
- May 1, 2006 at 9:52 pm #6504
larrymParticipantHi Chip,Go to http://www.pacecomputer.com and look at the YES system. They were a good system 3 years ago and they are a very good system now. The program was written by a businessman/shop owner so it has 99% of the features that anyone would need. We are ready to change our system after 22 years and that is the way we will probably go based on my research and the response I got when I called current users.Weather should be great in Maine about now!
- May 29, 2006 at 9:32 pm #6506
I thought my Triad Service Writer for windows was the best and used it
for 7 years then switched to Mitchell Manager. A little learning curve
and adjustment as with any software change and have to say it is far
better than the TSW software.
The only reason for the change was TSW was stuck on 98se so it began to
create issues with other softwares needing a newer operating system on
the same PC.
The integration with their repair information and aftermarket
cataloging is real nice and they seem to be doing a good job with
updates. A real nice feature is their very own site much like this one
where user can post to and Mitchell staff participates in.
- September 14, 2006 at 1:43 pm #6510
HI MY NAME IS TONY I USE GARAGE IQ IN THE PAST HAD A LOT OF ERROR DOES IT HAVE PART AND LABOR GUDIES TO US I USE REAL TIME LABOR WHAT DO YOU USE. GIVE A CALL AT THE SHOP WHEN YOU GET TIME 401-828-9738
- September 17, 2006 at 2:42 pm #6511
- November 9, 2006 at 2:25 am #6517
RO Writer it is great,so is the support.
- March 1, 2007 at 3:01 am #6542
Been on Mitchell for years
But they haven’t been improving at the same pace as the industry
"we’re gonna fix that on the next update is the standard line"
I’ve been looking into ro writer which is recommended by my accounting guru Norm. He’s made adifference in my bottom line and says ro writer will too.
as to accounting software I use quickbooks premier with no online and have been with it for many years and swear by it.
I also believe keeping pos software and accounting software separate. i have been doing that way for about 20 years. After this long it takes me about 15 minutes at end of day to make any entries and i’m on the way home
anybody got bad vibes about ro writer?
- March 1, 2007 at 8:15 pm #6544
What type of improvements do you desire from Mitchell Manager that are still behind industry pace. I may be able to assist.
JOHN HOPPE wrote:
> Been on Mitchell for years
> Works well
> But they haven’t been improving at the same pace as the industry
> "we’re gonna fix that on the next update is the standard line"
> I’ve been looking into ro writer which is recommended by my accounting guru Norm. He’s made adifference in my bottom line and says ro writer will too.
> as to accounting software I use quickbooks premier with no online and have been with it for many years and swear by it.
> I also believe keeping pos software and accounting software separate. i have been doing that way for about 20 years. After this long it takes me about 15 minutes at end of day to make any entries and i’m on the way home
> anybody got bad vibes about ro writer?
- March 20, 2007 at 1:25 am #6557
where did you get the zarsoft software? I have mitchel and wish the accounting part was better.
- March 20, 2007 at 1:02 pm #6558
Zarsoft is no longer offering their software. You’ll have to use Mitchell’s.
- March 20, 2007 at 1:06 pm #6559
- November 16, 2007 at 6:29 am #6602
I use Scott Systems MaxxTraxx product. I really like it. It integrates with World Pac, Nextpart and many more. It generates parts P.O.’s automatically and will soon have full accounting. The inventory program is great, includes customizable parts matrix per vendors. the appointment scheduler is incredibly intuitive and simple. It is incredibly reasonable and is upgraded often and the support is great. Call Mark @ scottsystems.com and he will tell you all it will do. P.S. I bought R.O. writer thinking I could do better. The sales rep was very helpful until I paid my money then he wouldn’t return calls in a timely manner then he made someone working for him try to train us that couldn’t answer questions on how to do things and didn’t seem to know the auto repair business very well. It took them 2 months to get it working (I have all new hardware with 8 workstations and a server that had 2 gig’s of memory) and to get my old data converted and never did get the integration working. It crashed several times while trying to bill customers out and was incredibly slow (R.O. Writer is several programs that is made to look like one program which is one reason its slow) I found it very cumbersome to use and took several time longer to do the same thing MaxxTraxx will do and I never did figure out how to use the scheduler and couldn’t get tech support to figure it out. After a week it was crippling our business and quit using it. I tried to get my money back and ended up losing $7,000 + and tons of time. Went back to MaxxTraxx and realized I already had an awesome system. The moral of the story is give MaxxTraxx a try, they have a full running demo you can use for 30 or 60 days.
- December 8, 2007 at 2:52 pm #6603
As you know, I am that rep that you claim didn’t return your calls after you bought and paid for R.O. Writer. This statement is false. I have the phone records to back it up. Rather it was you that avoided our calls to train you, I believe because you wanted to avoid the pain of the inevitable learning curve that comes with any new software program.
You say you it took two months to get it working. Again, a misrepresentation of the facts. You neglected to mention that you went on vacation only a week after we installed it.
You also neglected to say that a near super-human effort was put forth to successfully convert your data, not once, but twice, to keep you happy. Moreover, at no additional charge to you but certainly an added expense to me.
You mentioned that you spent a week with R.O. Writer and then “quit using it”. Did you learn your current software in a week? Does anybody learn ANY specialized program in a WEEK? I started using MS Office 2007 last February and I am still learning it, and yes, some days tearing out what’s left of my hair in the process.
Having spent 37 years in this business, 20 of them as a shop owner, I have come to understand that persistence and perspiration are two of the largest factors in successfully reaching our goals.
Not every program is right for every business but over 4500 R.O. Writer users, some of whom have related their positive experiences in this forum, have found it to be the finest management tool available.
Best of luck and success to you.
- December 19, 2007 at 1:11 am #6604
Dave, this seems to be more and more common within the shop management software world. While I’ve been working in the SMS business for 19 years, it’s only happened a few times, most recently this week.
After spending numerous hours on an installation, data conversion, and go live, the customer thinks that for some reason this is some type of “Trail” or something, and wants not only a refund for the software, but for my time in training, installation and network setup.
The customer had been using ShopKey for about nine years, and thought he could learn new software with little to no training, and thought that he should be able to basically go live without any kind of setup, or manipulation of data, starting immediately. We converted Nine years worth of customer info, vehicle info & history, which as you know is not an easy task.
Having worked with this specific software for the past 3.5 years, I have a pretty good idea how much time is involved in setting up the software and training the customer. I should have known better, and not even allowed the customer to purchase the software when they said they didn’t want to pay for the full amount of training, but I thought they might end up being a good reference, so I went against my better judgment, and sold to them anyway.
I had reduced my daily rate for training by nearly half, and spent over 36 hours on site, not including the data conversion time, and only charged them for TWO days.
What a mistake. The customer used the software for nearly two months, and has decided to stop using it. They sent a “Short list” of complaints, 5 of their 6 complaints were not even software related, but problems caused by their own ISP, and their own Exchange Server.
After over 36 hours of my time, not to mention the repeat visits for demos and questions, and self inflicted networking problems, the customer now says they want a full refund for what they have paid to the company for upfront fees and monthly support/catalog maintenance, but also what they had paid me.
I refuse to refund any of the dollars paid to me for training and setup. I went above and beyond for this customer, and did all of the work to the best of my ability. I feel the customer did not do the same in return, but chose to blame the software for his lack of understanding the software, and his lack of commitment to learning it.
In the future, I’ll stick with my better judgment and only sell to people who have done their homework and are willing to commit to making the change and putting forth the same effort that I am.
Best of luck.
- March 2, 2008 at 11:48 pm #6612
Three years ago I purchased RO Writer from Progressive Automotive Systems, 5 worstations & a mighty server to operate my shop. This was after using MotorTraxx, Triad, & a year of trial programs including WISE. The flexibility, integration, ease of use, support & training helps too. I have no regrets & would recommend it! P.S. I am not receiving consideration from them for this review
- February 11, 2009 at 12:43 am #6645
Been using RO Writer since Oct of 2008. Seems to me that a company that considers themselves to be “the best Shop Management System on the market today” would at least have the very basics. What I mean by that is all the management systems that we looked at prior to purchasing this one has vehicle year, make, model and corresponding engine sizes readily available for selection when creating work orders and/or estimates. Of course during the online demo, the sales person only selected examples that contained the correct information. I can appreciate being able to modify or create data for non-factory applications (hot rods, conversions, etc.) but not having published vehicles and engine size (corresponding to models instead of makes) seems elementary and represents poor research and development and/or implementation. All of this information is readily available and would think that a system that costs $9,000 – 10,000.00 (with no money back guaranty, ability to see comments from current users without purchase and access to the RO Writer website, or the option to sell the program if so desired like any other purchased shop tool) would want to have the latest greatest data base available.
Furthermore the inventory browse function could be from a different planet and should have its own training class; it appears so convoluted that I have found it practically useless, and also not having spell check available for all user written entry fields seems somewhat antiquated in this mostly window based world. In addition, having an out mileage window available to show the customer that we do actually road test vehicles for quality control seems basic for any customer conscientious facility. Also I don’t find any history available for parts only counter sales (necessary for parts warranty) and the committed parts report shows only 4 of the 5 work order numbers. This list could certainly go on and on and I won’t take up any more of the forum with our issues, again it just seems to me that a system touted as “the best” should have more of the basics covered.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me through the forum or @ email@example.com.
- March 9, 2009 at 7:47 pm #6647
- March 11, 2009 at 5:12 pm #6648
- March 17, 2009 at 1:32 am #6654
I’ve had the same complaints about RO inventory from some of my GarageKeeper customers who went to RO Writer and then back to GarageKeeper. These days we only sell GarageKeeper to companies with a serious (over $100,000 at cost) inventory control problem, so I’m not fishing, just relating what I hear. Automatic handling of multiple part number vendor combinations per SKU and tracking of special order back orders are not common needs.
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