Auto repair shop owners are usually very cognizant of the level of resource utilization in their business. They want to see all bays in their shop being utilized to their fullest. And they want to see all technicians spending all their time working on automobiles. Shop management software can sometimes be the most underutilized resource in an automotive repair shop environment. To maximize success – all resources available should be utilized to the greatest extent possible.
At its extreme the shop management software system is used to generate invoices for services performed and parts used while every other activity is performed outside the software system. Customer interaction activities such as appointment scheduling, vehicle check in, quoting and vehicle delivery are all handled outside the software system. Other processes such as technician work assignment and part sourcing and procurement are also performed outside the shop management system. And the bill for the customer is generated at the end of the process. The shop that fully utilizes its shop management software performs all process through the system. While some shops perform most activities outside their software and some perform everything they can through their software – most shops fall somewhere in between.
A shop that underutilizes its shop management system is more dependent on people while the shop that utilizes its system to the fullest is less dependent on people. In the shop that underutilizes its system the need for people is greater and more time is spent by people performing process flow functions than value add functions. So the shop that fully utilizes its software is more efficient. Hiring and training are also easier as the tasks a person must perform are reduced and simplified.
An auto repair shop that fully utilizes its shop management software will not only recognize lower costs and greater profitability but the value of the business will be increased. Shop owners ultimately will look to retire and sell their business. The less people dependent a business is the more valuable it is. Estimates vary but it is recognized that a small business that requires direct involvement of the owner will be worth less than half of its annual revenue while a small business that doesn’t require direct involvement of the owner will be valued as much as 50 percent higher than the annual revenue.
All resources should be utilized to their fullest and the shop management system is no exception. Shop owners invest so much of themselves in their business that they owe it to themselves to take full advantage of their software system.