Auto Service World
News   May 21, 2022   by Auto Service World Staff

What is Shop Management Software and Why Do You Need it? 

It’s no secret that the automotive industry is increasingly becoming dependent on technology. The driving force for the tectonic shift towards technology is simple; the efficiency gains!

One such technology trend that is owning the automotive industry is automotive workshop management software! This software has been transforming the way auto repair shops over the globe are functioning. 

In this post, we will discover everything you need to know about auto repair software; what it is, how it works, and lastly if it’s even worth your money! 

So without further ado, let’s really get into it.

What is Automotive Workshop Management Software?

Are you the proud owner of an auto repair shop? Then you must be well-acquainted with the tiresome and exhausting amounts of effort this business requires. 

Just like any other business, auto repair shops nowadays are also facing increasing competition. Gone are the days when all you needed to successfully run an auto repair shop with a trained technician.

An auto repair shop software is a shop management software or system that automates the daily tasks and aspects of running an auto repair shop. 

Commonly known as auto repair software, it’s more than just a system installed on your computer. It’s another tool in your kit that you can leverage to strengthen customer relationships, inventory management, manage your employees, and boost profitability.

The sheer utility of this software has made it a necessity for any auto repair business that aims to benefit from higher efficiency levels. 

At the end of the day, enhancing productivity, allows auto shop owners to increase the scale of their operations. 

Auto repair shop software is of two main types: 

Cloud or Web-Based Software

In layman’s words, this type of software requires an active connection to the internet. Usually, a cloud-based software charges the user per month. However, this cost can also vary with the number of users or the location of usage. 

There are many benefits of using cloud-based software or a web-based platform. For example, having all of your data backed up on the cloud can insulate auto shops from data losses. 

You can also access all the data of your auto repair shop from anywhere in the world; as long as you have the login details along with the internet connection. One example of a cloud-based auto repair software is AutoLeap.

On-Premise Software

An on-premise auto repair shop software is the one that you need to download and install on your computer. Usually, there is a one-time but hefty fees that you need to pay to get on-premise software. 

You’ll also need to pay for any technical updates and support that the software requires over time. 

Although on-premise software usually requires more setup on your physical infrastructure, you can use the software for as long as you find it useful for your auto repair shop. 

Although the upfront cost of on-premise software can be thousands of dollars, it can be more cost-effective in the long run. 

What are the Features of an Auto Repair Shop Software?

Auto repair software is one of the most useful shop management software, especially for the automotive industry.

There are many standard shop management features an auto repair software has that helps auto shops in their standard procedures: 

Streamlining Payments 

An auto repair software also functions as a point of sale mechanism, offering independent auto repair shops the ability to collect payments from customers. 

You can accept credit cards, cash, and other forms of payments, depending on which software you have. 

Sometimes you can choose your own payment process, at other times you will have to use the preferred payment processor of the software provider. 

Managing Invoicing and Order Estimates

One of the key tasks of auto shops is to provide customers with estimates of the repair orders. The traditional way through which shop owners or managers provided estimates was through labor guides. 

However, with the advent of auto repair software, estimates of orders can be provided within minutes. 

These estimates account for labor times and the parts used. You can also share these quotes with your customer through an automated system with emails and text alerts. 

The invoicing feature allows auto repair shops to create invoices digitally, saving them time and potential errors of doing this manually. It also speeds up the process.

Scheduling Appointments 

Automotive businesses thrive on sales; just like any other business. For this, customers need to book appointments or repair sessions for their vehicle at an auto repair workshop. 

But using shop management software can also allow your customers to book their appointments online, as they’re on the go. Offering your potential and existing customers convenience takes you one step ahead in the sales journey!

This also has another benefit – as the customers book their appointments, the technicians can also see the orders assigned to them. 

Key information is updated in real-time and we all know what the means…higher efficiency!

Work Order Management

Shop owners of auto repair shops know how hard and exhausting it can be to manage a complete fleet of technicians and mechanics. From assigning duties to managing orders, it can become a challenge to stay on top of things. 

Luckily, auto repair software can easily handle this with its automation. Using this, you can create canned jobs and assign work orders within seconds with just a few clicks.

Integrated suite solutions that offer many different types of solutions in one bundle, can also update the customer on the status of their work under this feature. Shop owners can also increase customer satisfaction by adding pictures and videos of the repair process. 

This increases transparency which in turn, bolsters customer satisfaction.

Inventory Management and Parts Ordering 

Inventory management is again, one of the most beneficial features of workshop software. Independent auto repair shops need to constantly be on the guard to detect any shortages or surpluses of inventory levels. 

Not having an inventory of repair parts can interfere with the repair procedure and lose credibility with the customers. But with this feature, you can monitor your inventory levels in real-time!

Auto repair software also has the capability to add your preferred vendors or suppliers to the online catalog. This can trigger automatic parts ordering, each time your inventory levels fall below the standard. 

You no longer have to rely on your memory to order parts; the software can accomplish this task within minutes! You can use the software to track inventory management in real-time too. 

Inventory control really streamlines operations and allows auto shops to function more efficiently,

Vehicle Identification Number Decoder and Plate Lookup

One of the many business processes at auto repair shops is vehicle tracking. Hence, using auto repair software you can easily look up the VINs using a handy decoder or search by the vehicle license plate.

Labor Rates and Tracking 

Auto repair software also tracks your technician times and sets the labor cost as per hour or the billable rates. Tracking your costs helps set up a streamlined profit machine; so you can easily track your business performance.

Customer Management 

If you are running an auto shop, you’d know the importance of auto parts sales and managing your customers. Getting an auto repair workshop software can really help you in managing and improving relationships with customers. 

Here’s how: the shop management software can maintain a detailed history of customer servicing. This helps technicians at auto repair shops stay up to speed before starting any auto repair job.

The Ability to Integrate 

Many auto repair shops nowadays are relying heavily on integrations between different software that they are using. For example, it’s common for auto repair shops to use accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero. 

So if you get shop management software, you can integrate it with this to import critical data. This will enable you to streamline invoicing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll. 

Why Should You Invest in Auto Repair Software?

Are you looking to spend less time behind a desk and focus on what’s more important; bringing in business? Then getting shop management software for your auto shop might just do the trick!

It’s a comprehensive solution that comes coupled with power-packed features that make shop management much easier. All the features of the software are designed to help you meet your business goals, more efficiently.

But buying shop management software to benefit from the key features requires an investment. So here’s the real question; do you even need it? 

The easy answer? Yes! You do need to get yourself a premium shop management software for your auto shop if you plan on taking it to the next level. 

Up next, we explore the top reasons why you should invest in auto repair software for your auto shop.

It Will Save You Time and Increase your Efficiency

An auto repair shop software that can automate processes, capture and analyze data, and organize everything into one place for easy access, saves you a lot of time!

It stores all of the repair information in one place while providing the entire team and customers with real-time access. Reducing the amount of time spent on completing a repair order, also helps to improve the customer experience. 

The software can generate invoices and conduct other key tasks like labor estimating within minutes. Again, this can improve the customer experience, save time and help your business stand out from the competition.

Provides Data and Analytics On The Performance of Auto Repair Shops

To drive profitability, auto repair shops need to analyze the efficiency of their employees, understand the current state of their business, and develop goals for future growth. 

By using auto repair software, you can track every aspect of your business in real-time, monitor productivity and revenue trends, track employee performance and efficiency, manage inventory and order stock, communicate with customers, and automate many other tasks that would take hours if done manually.

These systems allow the to track everything that they do. You can view the performance of your business or shop at just one glance!

Shop overview is a must-have if you want to see your sales at a glance or monitor your customer satisfaction.

With shop management software, you can see job status, parts status, work time, and customer information in one comprehensive view, whether you have one location or 10.

Improves Profitability and Cash Flow

Shop management software allows you to get closer to profitability and improves your cash flow with features like online invoicing. Automating this process allows you to craft more accurate quotes, cost estimates, and budgets with an all-in-one tool.

The labor profit margin in this industry is above 60%. Maintaining your gross profit by streamlining day-to-day operations is a necessity.

As a car repair professional, you must have strong mechanical skills to repair and service vehicles in the black.

Your employees will be happier, more productive, and more effective when they are equipped with top-of-the-line tools.

With this tool, you can also monitor sales which will give you an instant insight into what is and isn’t working.

Build A Paperless Shop Management System

A paperless shop management system is powerful, flexible, secure, and professional.

Cut back on paper costs and print expenses and experience the security of knowing your digital documents are guarded by data encryption, anti-theft software, and other security tools.

Combine lists quickly. Update customer information across systems. Communicate with customers online — no more duplicate data entry, disorganized file cabinets, or rapid note-taking.

Make the most of your time and avoid the hassle of having to track down paper records and printouts.

Wrapping it Up 

A shop management software is a new tool that businesses across industries and the globe are using to streamline their operations and drive profitability.

Auto repair software is a shop management tool for the auto repair industry; its power-packed features help auto repair businesses stay on top of operations to perform better.

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