As the automotive industry continues to grow and advance, so does technology. Obsolete and old methods of auto repair have been replaced with technologically advanced, improved, and more efficient ways.
Technology is also shaping how an auto repair business competes within the industry. It has helped auto repair shops in improving efficiency, driving down costs, and enhancing the overall customer experience.
But this is just a small snippet of how technology is changing the automotive industry. Here, we will do an in-depth analysis of how technological advancements are shaping auto repair shops.
How Technology Is Changing Auto Repair Shops
With the advent of technology, systems like auto shop management software have made everyday procedures much more efficient.
But auto repair software is not the only technology that has gained traction in the auto repair industry. Other trends are shaping how auto repair shops function too:
Customers Can Bok Appointments en on the rise even before COVID-19. But the global pandemic gave the trend of taking business operations online one final push.
Many shop owners of auto shops picked up on this trend and now allow customers to book their slots online.
This increases customer satisfaction by allowing them to book appointments or repair services online, from the comfort of their homes.
By offering customers more value for money, auto repair shops can also build long-term relationships with existing customers. Automotive technology also allows independent auto repair shops to collect vehicle identification numbers (VIN) from customers, preferred times, and repair issues.
This allows the auto repair shop to align labor and resources in advance, to conduct the repair process more efficiently.
Automated progress reports also keep the customers in the loop about the auto repair services and keep the procedure transparent.
Shop Owners and Staff Can Conduct Efficient Diagnostics
At an auto repair shop nowadays, you’ll find that the repair process is now conducted through innovative diagnostics. Many shop management tools and software are now easily available to auto mechanics, technicians, and auto shop owners.
Automotive diagnostics tools can now assess the extent of damage to a vehicle through a car’s master computer.
Some technicians and auto mechanics also use scanners to assess and evaluate the repairs required, when they are unable to pinpoint the issue with a car.
Using Mobile Applications and Software
If you’re running an auto repair shop, you would know that there are many mobile applications and software that have been developed to streamline auto shop operations.
Some of the functions of these applications and software include providing information about specific car parts, regulating car problems and solutions, and looking up service history.
Before the advent of this technology, mechanics and technicians at an auto shop had to manually look up reference guides and conduct trial & error tests to diagnose issues.
But technology has completed changed how mechanics and technicians work; allowing for greater accuracy and efficiency levels. Such advances have enabled automotive businesses to reach heightened levels of success and profitability.
What Is Auto Shop Management Software?
Perhaps, the most important technology for an automotive business nowadays is auto shop management software.
Shop management software has been designed to streamline, improve and efficiently conduct the operations of a business.
Different shop management software for auto repair come packed with different capabilities, but some of their common features include invoicing, inventory management, scheduling, labor tracking, and analytics.
Also commonly known as auto repair software, this technological advancement has taken the auto shop industry by storm.
The reason is simple; it helps strengthen customer relationships, increases profit margin and boosts employee productivity levels.
It’s just another tool in your box to help you take your repair business to the next level and stand out from the competition!
There are two main types of auto repair software:
Different auto repair businesses have different needs and capabilities. For a cloud-based shop management software, an auto shop will require an internet connection.
A cloud-based auto repair software usually requires a monthly subscription and doesn’t require the hassle of downloading the software on your computer. Having cloud-based software also means that all your customer data and repair information is saved on the cloud.
It’s also cost-effective in the long run as it does not require technical maintenance and upgrades. Moreover, you also don’t need to add more physical infrastructure, if you plan on scaling with cloud-based software.
Usually, an on-premise, shop management software only requires a one-time, upfront cost outlay. A workshop software that is based on-premise will only be accessed from the computer that it is installed on.
You’ll also need to pay for any software updates and technical fixes required for your workshop software that is based on-premise.
Although this type of workshop software requires more investment, you will have ownership of the software for as long as you’d like and can access all the features.
What Are The Features of an Auto Repair Shop Management Software?
Sure, it’s great to know that a shop management system or software can help you amp up profits. But what helps is understanding what are the features of this software that help you grow shop customers, profits, and your business’s footprint.
Here are some of the common features of auto repair software that help in auto shop management.
Repair Invoicing and Estimate Generation
One of the biggest benefits is the ability to generate invoices digitally for customers that are accurate and detailed. That can save your labor a lot of time too!
Additionally, this system comes in handy for generating estimates for repair orders every time you get a customer. The cost of repair orders is generated through labor estimating, assessing which parts will be utilized along with other cost indicators for your shop.
This can help in speeding up the process!
It’s also a good idea to get a workshop software that is easy to integrate with other software in your shop for example, for accounting.
Bay Scheduling, Tracking, and Management
This feature allows shop owners to manage jobs for technicians or auto mechanics, easily. You can add bays, assign your technicians tickets for repair orders and build out a schedule based on expected service times for customers.
If your software also offers a mobile application, your technicians will be able to view their assigned tasks and duties on the go. You can also use mobile apps for customers, so they can easily book your services on their smartphones.
The software helps in tracking your repair orders and basically, makes life easier for owners and managers!
Inventory Management and Parts Ordering
Inventory management is one of the key operations for any business. Workshop software makes it easy to track your inventory levels and detect shortages or surpluses at a glance!
You can also add vendor details to your auto shop software and set up automatic parts ordering. After you lock in contracts with your suppliers, just feed the details in the system!
Your service writers no longer need to manually maintain data on inventory levels thanks to this feature!
It allows shop managers to stay on top of things when it comes to managing inventory levels and ensuring seamless operations.
Appointment Booking and Sharing Service Reminders
It also allows you to maintain detailed customer service and vehicle history. Customers can also book their appointments online, which can trigger an automated system to shoot service reminders.
You can also manually schedule and edit customer appointments based on the availability of your team.
The automated text and email features to share service reminders in auto shop software eliminate the need for manual calls and emails.
Additionally, vehicle information is saved in the program and doesn’t have to be manually fetched every time you get a repeat customer.
Digital Vehicle Inspections
Digital vehicle inspections help save time on one of the most labor-intensive tasks – conducting vehicle inspections! Digital vehicle inspection software helps in conducting high-impact, multimedia-based inspections of each vehicle.
It also makes the process transparent for customers who can eventually decide if they need a repair! Customers love detailed information on what kind of repairs are required before they need to pay.
The best part? All the technical information is distilled down for customers in the form of photos and videos, so they can understand what’s wrong with their vehicle!
Customers can view the results of DVI, in their customer portal without you having to call and walk them through the entire inspection.
At the end of the day, it saves time for both customers and technicians making it a win-win situation.
Track Your Business Performance
The best part about the software is that in addition to work order management, you can easily track and grow your auto repair business at a single glance.
From data on sales, revenue, and gross profit to cost, the dashboard will display all the key KPIs you need to assess to improve your performance. It does not require any manual data entry provided that the software is integrated with other features.
There is no better way to get a 360 degrees overview of your business at a single glance and track all the moving parts.
Why Should You Invest in Auto Repair Software?
Impressed with all the solutions that this technology has to offer? Well, you’re not the only one.
But here’s the catch, purchasing auto repair software requires an investment. So that means you have to analyze if this investment makes sense for you.
To help you decide whether this is worth your money, here is a summary of how the key features translate into actual, actionable benefits for your auto repair shop.
Save Yourself Time and Space
One of the most important benefits of making this investment is the time and space savings that it results in! And we all know that time is money.
Having an automated system in place can help you save time on many of the day-to-day operations including diagnosis, estimation, parts ordering, scheduling appointments, and managing your labor.
It also helps you in saving a lot of space – one laptop is going to occupy much less space than cabinets filled with files and paperwork! It can declutter your workshop and office and save you the time involved in sorting through heaps of paperwork.
Keeps Your Auto Repair Shop Organized
Running an auto repair business is no easy task; there are many things that you have to keep a track of. From tracking repair orders, inventory, and customer satisfaction levels, as a shop owner or manager you’ll always have your hands full.
And coming up with an organizational system for your business can be even harder! But luckily with this technology, you don’t have to chalk out a process manually. All your data will be backed up in an organized manner.
Creates Better Communication and Improves Access To Information
Keeping your team and customers on the same page when it comes to performing repairs can be a time-consuming task. Through real-time updates, all the stakeholders can stay abreast of critical information by logging into the portal or application.
Real-time access to information can improve communication and also keep your customers satisfied.
Satisfied customers, in turn, translate into customer retention. Without effectively engaging your customers, you will not be able to grow your business. Hence, it’s important to keep them engaged and happy.
Helps You Make Informed Decisions
Having a key performance dashboard is a powerful tool and very useful in making informed decisions for your business. For example, you can compare key performance data with your business goals and objectives.
If you are lagging on goals, you can strategize and focus more time on making informed decisions.
Wrapping it Up
The automotive space has greatly benefitted from many technological advancements. Technology has improved efficiency levels in terms of day-to-day operations and helped businesses grow their footprint while cutting down on costs.
One such technology is auto repair software which has gained traction due to its sheer utility. With its power-packed features, it’s a must-buy!