Choosing auto repair shop software
Hello, everyone, let me share something with you …. not so long ago my husband, a very experienced mechanic and a small repair shop owner put in front of me interesting and quite challenging job. After analyzing the current situation in our repair shop, we decided to automate our shop management as much as we can. The specifics of the auto shop operation is that you need to keep under control a huge number of things (auto parts ordering, customer/vehicle registry, …..), and tiny mistakes can lead to unwanted misunderstandings with the customers. And here we’ve explored the possibilities of modern management systems and realized that it’s about time for us to choose a program that will ease the management process of our business.
Because I have long been in business with my husband, it became my job to choose the right solution for us. So we’ve separated carefully our Needs and Wants and came up with the list of absolutely necessary features that will work for our business.
1) The best program for us should be web based, so that sophisticated installations, data loss, upgrades will never bother us.
2) While any new system takes some time to learn, it should be user friendly, so the one who first time looks at it shouldn’t spend more than 1-2 seconds in order to find “Add new vehicle” button.
3) Must-have features we came up with: appointment control and scheduling features, repair-in-progress tracking, customer/vehicle data and repair history, VIN code scanner, integrated auto parts ordering and nicely organized electronic inspection reports and invoices.
So I had to carefully go through a huge number of websites featuring their own shop management solutions (I have to say I found over 50 different systems for auto shops), read many reviews and tried out 9 demos.
And finally I’ve chosen three major candidates for our future management system, and together with my husband we decided among those three (AllData.com, Shopbosspro.com and Autorepaircloud.com)
AllData Manage Online
ALLDATA is the leading provider of software for repair shops and collision centers. From the start it provides a vast range of educational resources for its users, such as webinars, videos, free demos, product training and online classes.
AllData Manage Online has all necessary features that Repair shop software should have to give customers great service and to run an efficient business. AllData helps to manage Vehicle/customer information, keep track of inventory and auto parts, and create clear estimates, work orders and invoices. It offers online parts ordering and provides access to CARFAX tools, you can look up the complete 17-digit VIN from a license plate and get access to exclusive CARFAX service history.
If you are switching your existing management system to AllData manage online an ALLDATA representative will remotely connect to your computer to perform the transfer of vehicle/customer/inventory data, vendors and repair orders to the new system.
AutoRepair Cloud is an affordable automotive shop management software that includes a lot of features that any repair shop business needs. You can schedule appointments, keep track of all the information concerning vehicles in shop, customers, repairs done. It has built-in VIN code scanner/decoder so you can scan VIN code using your cell phone camera and decode it having all the vehicle info in the system instantly without typing it.
AutoRepair Cloud also provides comprehensive inspection reports drafting, invoicing, company financial reports and integration with most popular accounting apps (QuickBooks, Quicken and MS Money). And it offers free cell phone app for your customers that helps to chat with the customer, send images, get the invoices approved and keep this information stored in the system.
It has additional Maintenance schedule lookup application for your Facebook page that calculates for the customers date and price for the maintenance services scheduled.
An easy-to-use web-based application for auto repair shops. It offers appointment scheduling, paperless inspection reports and estimates. With Shop Boss Pro you can build an estimate for your customer and order the parts, all at the same time. There’re integrated Epicor Online Parts ordering and Mitchell labor times. All labor times and parts are transferred directly to your Shop Boss repair order which saves your time.
The program is also equipped with QuickVin service from Carfax, which allows you to translate a license number, and state of registration, to a VIN and Shop Boss Pro will connect to the Carfax, obtain the VIN, then it will decode the VIN and save the information in your system.
Shop Boss Pro is offering 24/7 Appointment Booking and Maintenance Services lookup for your clients - a self-service app integrated right into your website.