POWAY, Calif. – It’s been 15 years since Mitchell Repair’s first Microsoft Windows-based shop management software was released as ‘Series I’ on Sept. 21, 1995. This ground-breaking software provided vehicle repair shops with an electronic solution for writing estimates, repair orders and invoices. Series I also stored all written vehicle history, allowing users to quickly retrieve and review previous completed work. Many changes have taken place over the years since the introduction of Series 1. Today, Mitchell 1 is proud to reflect on the evolution of its industry-standard Management System as it celebrates 15 years of tremendous growth and outstanding achievement.
Shortly after the initial release, a multi-user version of Series I was introduced. The multi-user version enabled shops to manage the workflow in the shop from five different workstations. Mitchell 1 also included integration to the Mitchell Repair parts and labor database in the second release. This allowed Series I users to build estimates faster for thousands of vehicle configurations as most part numbers, prices, details, labor times and descriptions were copied to the order screen for users who previously had to enter much of this information manually.
“Looking back, Series I was an important milestone in the history of Mitchell 1 as it immediately provided the means for users to improve their overall shop efficiency and professionalism, growing their business in the process,” said John Dwulet, senior product manager for Mitchell 1’s management software solutions. “We’re still building on that success with Manager SE and ManagerEnterprise to meet the needs of today’s increasingly sophisticated repair shops.”
A third version of the shop management software was released as Series II in 1997. In addition to the functionality included in Series I, the newer Series II offered shops a major upgrade to their parts-handling activity with a complete inventory module, purchase order functionality and related reporting capabilities. Shops with Series II software were now able to track their inventory levels and outside parts purchases, as well as prepare re-stocking orders to replenish their on-hand inventory.
"I re-joined Mitchell shortly after Series I’s introduction and it was immediately clear to me that we were part of a whole new ballgame,” said Tim McDonnell, senior corporate trainer for Mitchell 1. “Having begun my career at Mitchell as a book editor in the early ‘80s, I could fully appreciate that a revolution was now under way in our business. Series I followed by Series II were the first shots fired across the bow of the industry, demonstrating Mitchell’s serious intent and solid commitment to evolving its products to meet the needs of the industry. I’ve always been proud to be part of that on-going process."
The dawning of the 21st century brought changes to the organization and its products. In 2001, Mitchell Repair changed its name to Mitchell 1. In 2002, Series I and II were reintroduced as Manager and ManagerPlus. This marked a pivotal year for shop management software as parts catalog integration became a key development task for the next few years. Mitchell 1’s first integration to an external catalog was NAPA. As time went by, Mitchell 1 continued to develop more interfaces for additional catalogs. Today, Mitchell 1’s Manager and ManagerPlus products integrate to more parts catalogs than any other provider of shop management software.