We Will Rock You! How the Right Automotive Mechanic Software Helps Rockstar Mechanics Shine
What do a famous Queen song and a stellar repair process have in common? Impeccable role designation and collaboration. With the right automotive mechanic software, your rockstar mechanics can produce great results that make your auto repair shop #1 in town.
Countless people around the world have stomped their feet and clapped their hands to these iconic lyrics. Arguably Queen’s most famous song up there with Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are the Champions, We Will Rock You has quite the origin story.
As they were touring in Great Britain, the band had noticed that audiences were participating more and more during concerts, singing along to the lyrics of songs. At first, guitarist Brian May told the Wall Street Journal, the band “sort of felt [the audience] should keep quiet and listen to what we were playing.” However, during one concert, the audience sang the lyrics to You’ll Never Walk Alone. Moved, May said he and his bandmates later “talked about the audience’s growing role” at their concerts and “why it wasn’t such a bad thing.” When the band returned to the studio to work on songs for News of the World, Brian May pitched the idea of a song that the audience could participate in beyond singing the lyrics. That song became We Will Rock You.
What made this renowned song so successful both on the radio and on stage? The different members of Queen knew what they were responsible for, and worked in harmony with each other to produce a stellar result. The most successful bands are always talking and informing one another in the songwriting process.
Exactly who writes the lyrics and arranges the music can change from song to song, as was the case with We Will Rock You. Brian May wrote the original lyrics and came up with the stomp-and-clap motif, and Freddie Mercury added his own twist.
When it’s time to perform, everyone knows what they are responsible for. And in the case of We Will Rock You, even the audience knows what they should be doing.
Perhaps without even being aware of it, successful songs and repairs basically use the concept of RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed). RACI is a matrix that serves as a way to get teams operating in high-performance mode. For bands, high-performance equates to playing hundreds of shows a year and consistently releasing platinum records and hit singles. For repair shops, high-performance is about being able to take in repair work, have rockstar mechanics provide flawless repairs, and get exceeding profits month-over-month.
Responsible: these are the people who have to finish the task.
Accountable: these are the people who set the task in motion and own it; if something goes right they get a payoff, if something goes wrong it’s on them.
Consulted: these are the people who provide information or feedback on the task; they give assistance.
Informed: these are the people who need to be in the know about a project but don’t need every single detail; they get the updates.
Here’s how RACI plays out for We Will Rock You:
RACI for Auto Repair Shops
So, how does RACI play out at different stages of a repair? Here’s a breakdown of how a RACI matrix might look at a typical auto repair shop:
There’s a lot of moving parts (no pun intended… ok maybe we intended it a little). One of the most effective ways to enforce RACI is with automotive mechanic software. The right software for mechanics will make it clear who is responsible and accountable for different tasks as well as help inform and consult different parties throughout the process.
Rockstar mechanics and service advisors can focus on doing the best job possible, customers drive away singing I’m In Love with My Car, and shop owners have the peace of mind that their team is performing up to their highest standards.
Software for Mechanics: The Different Needs of Your Team
The most important thing to keep in mind as you begin researching automotive mechanic software is that it needs to help your technicians (those responsible for repairs) do their work as efficiently and smoothly as possible, so the service advisors and everyone else can fulfill their roles under RACI.
Of course, there are some overlapping needs between technicians and service advisors. For example, they’ll both benefit from using a solution that integrates with the third-party tools (like parts ordering platforms) they need to finish their respective jobs. Hwowever, mechanics do need certain features to flow through different steps of the repair process. When everyone on your team has the features they need, they’ll be able to work harmoniously and rock the auto repair industry.
Here are the different tasks and tools that will help your team with their respective RACI designations.
Performing Inspections and Building Estimates
Let’s start with what happens after the service advisor greets the customer: the digital vehicle inspection and estimate process. There are three parts to digital vehicle inspections. You, your team, and your customers have different RACI designations for each task:
The Inspection and Estimate Process Without Automotive Mechanic Software
Without automotive mechanic software, things can quickly become time-consuming and clunky during the inspection and estimate stage. Here are some key ways an inspection and estimate process that relies on pen and paper becomes time-consuming for everyone:
Performing the Inspection: technicians (who are responsible for this task) have to painstakingly jot down key details, checking line items as “good” or “bad.”
Building the Estimate: service advisors (who are responsible for this task) have to shuffle through technicians’ notes and put the key information on the paper estimate, leaving a lot of room for errors.
Approving the Estimate: customers (who are responsible for this task) are left to figure out choppy handwriting on an oily sheet of paper, and if any miscommunication happens, the shop owner is accountable.
How Automotive Mechanic Software Streamlines the Inspection and Estimate Process
Automotive mechanic software gives clarity to everyone on your team, helping them perform better. When the inspection and estimate process happens digitally, your team will save time, becoming more efficient with each repair, and your shop will build more trust with customers and give them better, happier experiences.
Here are the features to look for in automotive mechanic software:
Digital Vehicle Inspections
With Tekmetric’s digital vehicle inspections feature, technicians can inspect vehicles and input what work needs to be done directly from their tablets or smartphones, marking the urgency of individual jobs via a color-coded system (jobs marked in “red” need attention as soon as possible, jobs marked in “yellow” can wait for the next visit, and jobs marked in “green'' mean things are A-OK). Technicians can also snap photos and videos and attach them to the digital vehicle inspection, so customers can get an accurate picture of what’s going on with their vehicles; they don’t have to just take technicians’ word for it.
From there, the service advisor, who is responsible for putting together the estimate, can view the digital vehicle inspection in Tekmetric and create a digital estimate.
True Two-Way Texting
Once the service advisor has created the digital estimate, they can send it to the customer via email or, if the automotive mechanic software has this feature, true two-way texting.
Tekmetric’s Tekmessage feature makes it easy for service advisors to send estimates directly to customers’ smartphones, so customers can easily approve and decline jobs—and your technicians can start jammin’ away on the repair work.
Another benefit you get from Tekmetric is that each time a customer sends over their approval, there will be a record of it in the system. These records enable service advisors to track declined jobs so you can cross-sell that work to those customers in the future. For example, if Mary Austin decides that she doesn’t want to take care of an issue coded as “yellow” on a visit, the service advisors have that information stored in Tekmetric and can reference it a few months later when they call her to remind her about the repair (which might be in the “red” category by then).
Managing and Completing Repairs
Once the responsible party—in this case, the customer—has given the go-ahead to start the repair, your team has to get things in motion. Here’s what’s involved:
Managing and Completing Repairs Without Automotive Mechanic Software
When people don’t have clear expectations of what they need to do at work, there’s a high risk of confusion and misunderstandings. Here are some ways that managing the repair can become slow, or muddled with confusion and misunderstandings, if your team sticks to pen and paper or mentally sorts through the process, instead of using automotive mechanic software:
Buying Parts: a service advisor (or another person responsible for ordering parts) forgets to order parts for a particular repair because they thought one of their colleagues would do it.
Communicating With Customers: service advisors (who are responsible for this task) have to get up and interrupt technicians to get repair updates, so they can then let customers know.
Managing Repair Work/Technicians: service advisors (who are responsible for overseeing repairs) have to constantly leave their workstations to check up on technicians to see who is available to take the next repair, how far along they are, if they need anything, etc.
Repairing Vehicles: technicians (the responsible party) will have to face interruptions as they work.
How Automotive Mechanic Software Makes Managing and Completing Repairs Easier
Automotive mechanic software removes the need for service advisors to get manual updates from technicians, and as such, enables technicians to carry out repair work with as few distractions as possible. Service advisors will be able to get accurate updates within seconds, without ever having to leave their workstations, and can routinely keep customers in the loop.
Here are the features to look for:
Integrations With Parts Ordering Platforms
Automotive mechanic software that integrates with common parts ordering platforms makes it easy for service advisors to place orders without having to hunt down parts and open multiple tabs.
Tekmetric integrates with some of the most popular parts ordering platforms on the market: WORLDPAC, Nexpart, PartsTech, and MyPlace4Parts.
With the Tekmetric Tech Board, technicians can start each day by quickly getting the full picture of the jobs they need to work on—with one glance. And throughout the day, they’ll be able to keep track of the repair orders or line items they’ve been assigned, and see any reassignments as well.
And with the Job Board, service advisors can get a bird’s eye view of different stages in the repair process. They can see how far along repairs are without walking up to technicians. In other words, both sides of your team can go through each work day with minimal interruptions—and as a result, be better able to stay in a state of psychological flow, which is the mental state of being totally absorbed in the task on hand.
In Tekmetric, a built-in timer makes it possible for service advisors to be kept in the loop about how far along repairs are in real time.
When you’re researching software for mechanics, make sure that the “to-do” list board feature comes with a built-in timer. Without a built-in timer, it becomes tricky for technicians to time their repairs—making it difficult for the two sides of your team to keep each other informed, and in turn, for service advisors to update customers on the status of their repairs. If technicians have to time themselves on their personal devices, the service advisor can’t just check the automotive mechanic software and get a snapshot of the repair progress.
With Tekmetric’s built-in timer, technicians won’t have to shuffle between different apps and devices. Instead, they can go into repair orders on the Tech Board, and start a timer for individual line items on each repair order. They can pause the timer if they need to take a break. Once they complete the task, they can select “Mark Completed.”
And once the technician has finished every job in a repair order, they can hit the green “Complete Work” button.
The Ability to Search Within Individual Repair Orders
Technicians have to digest a lot of information with each repair order. As the timer on a repair is running, they might want to double-check some important information about the repair, such as whether or not the relevant parts have been ordered.
However, hunting down that information manually is time-consuming and can lead to misunderstandings. For example, a technician might ask a service advisor if a part has been ordered, but the service advisor accidentally looks up the wrong part and tells them “yes,” resulting in a delayed repair.
To avoid these time sinks and misunderstandings, it’s important to choose an automotive mechanic software that enables technicians to search within individual repair orders.
In Tekmetric, technicians can click into individual repair orders and view the following details:
Activity Feed: information such as when canned jobs were added, when the repair order was created, etc.
Appointments: information about the relevant appointments, such as the date and time and purpose of the visit.
Job History: information about the previous repair work done on the vehicle.
Purchase Orders: information on all parts ordered for the repair.
With the ability to search details in repair orders, technicians don’t have to spend valuable time and energy walking up to or asking a service advisor to double-check a detail. Technicians can stay focused and on task, finding the information they need within seconds.
Tekmetric even has a “Search Shop” function to search anything in Tekmetric. If a service advisor or technician needs to find information such as a customer’s profile, a VIN, or an RO number, it’s just a search away.
When the technician is done with the repair, the service advisor is responsible for collecting payment. Automotive mechanic software simplifies the payment process for service advisors and customers. Here’s a typical breakdown of the RACI designations for collecting payment:
Collecting Payment Without Automotive Mechanic Software
When there’s not a digital process in place to collect payment, things become unorganized for service advisors (the responsible party) and customers (the consulted party) making them all feel Under Pressure:
Collecting Payment: the service advisor has to make sure that the customer is able to make it to the shop to hand over their credit card if they aren’t waiting at the shop; the customer has to stop what they’re doing to pay, or if they can’t make it that day, have to carve out time in their schedule to pay.
How Automotive Mechanic Software Makes Collecting Payment Easier
Automotive mechanic software removes the need for service advisors and customers to coordinate schedules so they can link up and complete the payment.
There’s one main feature to look for:
A text-to-pay feature like Tekmetric’s Tekmerchant enables service advisors to text customers a payment link so that customers can pay on their own time from wherever they are. Another benefit is that since the burden of coordinating schedules is removed, it’s easier for your shop to set up a drop box pick-up system, so customers can get their vehicles after hours and service advisors can go home.
Cloud-Based Software for Mechanics
As you’re evaluating different solutions to enhance your team's performance, make sure that as a baseline, every option you’re considering is cloud-based.
Think back to a scene you might have seen before: multiple technicians gathered around one computer to get the details of their assignments. Just imagine if Brian May and John Deacon had to share an instrument!
Forcing your technicians to share one device is what happens when your automotive mechanic software isn’t cloud-based or limits the number of users that can use the system. As you search for automotive mechanic software, make sure the solutions you’re considering are cloud-based and enable unlimited users per shop. Tekmetric meets both criteria.
Because Tekmetric is cloud-based, technicians can access it anytime, anywhere they have a device that’s connected to the internet. Instead of getting up and walking to a computer at the shop, technicians can double-check a repair order detail right from their tablets or smartphones while they’re in the garage. If they’re running an errand during the work day and need to double-check details about a customer’s appointment, they can speedily do so and return to running their errand.
The ability to access the automotive mechanic software anytime, anywhere makes work more efficient for technicians. They can check and update information from wherever they are, and as a result, repair customers’ vehicles as gracefully as Brian May shreds his solo in We Will Rock You. That increased efficiency leads to higher profits—the faster jobs get out the door, the more customers drive away happy.
Additionally, Tekmetric enables unlimited users per shop. So, if you decide to hire five more technicians, you won’t have to worry about paying extra fees for those five users. You can grow your business with peace of mind because you won’t have to worry about paying more for new employees to use Tekmetric.
Growing Your Team’s Happiness and Growing Your Business
With the right automotive mechanic software, your technicians can work as smoothly as possible. And when your technicians work smoothly, it has a domino effect on the rest of the team; your shop will run more efficiently, leaving customers so happy they’ll come back and also recommend your shop to their friends and family. In other words, you’ll be able to grow your business faster than ever!
Software for mechanics helps you, your team, and your customer stay true to their RACI designations. For every step of the repair process, the responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed parties will have tools to help them swiftly navigate what’s on hand.
Thanks to automotive mechanic software, following RACI becomes more of an automated process than a manual one for everyone at your shop. Technicians won’t have to scribble down inspection findings on paper, nor will they have to walk up to service advisors to ask them if they ordered parts. On the flip side, service advisors won’t have to fumble around with oil-stained paper or constantly step away from customers to answer technicians’ questions.
Ultimately, RACI is a concept that leads to achieving a state of psychological flow, just like the best bands when they’re performing at their peak. When people know what they need to do and when they need to do it, they can truly focus on what’s in front of them. They won’t have to go through a cycle of starting their work, getting interrupted, and re-starting their work. In other words, they can go, go, go like in the song Don’t Stop Me Now.
With the right mindset and automotive mechanic software, your shop can rock its way to the top and proudly proclaim We Are the Champions!
Tekmetric: Let’s Rock!
With Tekmetric, your team can shine like the rockstars they are.
Using Tekmetric’s features, including digital vehicle inspections, Tekmessage™ True Two-Way Texting, and Tekmerchant™ Text-to-Pay, your team will reach their peak performance and produce stellar repair work.
The results? Customers drive away happy and your shop will gain maximum profits.
Of course, seeing is believing. Ready to see for yourself how Tekmetric works? Schedule a demo today!