Why Shops Need a Cloud-Based Shop Management System
Look at it this way: Would you want to get rid of your 3D alignment rack to go back to the old-school way of taking angle measurements by hand to dial in toe and camber so your customers don't eat their tires and come back complaining?
Of course not, you're going to keep using that new rack that you paid good money for. And in all honesty, the same is true for running an independent auto repair shop.
Owners may have never really thought of it this way before, but relying on some old-school system to run their shop, manage repairs, order parts, stock inventory, and keep track of all their finances is just making things so much harder.
But shops that invest in the right tool for the job will not only make their shop more efficient but also have the opportunity to make even more money off the work they already do.
Just this time, instead of an expensive alignment rack, it’s a cloud-based shop management system.
Common Problems With Older Shop Management Systems
On-premise auto repair software, AKA legacy systems, may have been the only way to go at one point, but they left a lot to be desired. If you're still using pen and paper, or something old school, some of these annoyances might ring a bell.
1. On-premise systems can't be used remotely
More than likely, you will have to go on-site to boot up your machine to check anything.
If a customer calls you when you stepped out for a moment, or texts you after hours, you can't get them a solid response until you're back in the shop. That’s limiting.
2. It's their way or the highway
Older tools for managing your shop kind of only let you do things one way.
Generally, shops will need to learn how to create repair orders a certain way or they can only print out inspection findings in one format.
Older, rigid platforms also make it harder to access your shop's data, and they usually have extra menus to dig through or options to click to find exactly what you need.
3. Older systems are overly complicated
Most of these older systems just aren't easy to understand. Chances are, you or someone you've worked with has felt like the system you use to run your shop just doesn't make that much sense.
Whether you're coming from a different shop with a different system, bought a shop and have to figure out how to use their existing system, or you're trying to hire new advisors or technicians and it takes time to train them on the systems.
4. Legacy systems are also prone to crashing
Nothing is more frustrating than having your system go down while your shop is busy, having to call in and see if you can someone to stop by, and then fix whatever old-school pre-2000 computer you have sitting behind the desk.
That's not just a headache, it can completely bring your shop to a halt, and now you're relying on outside support that's not in your control.
The Advantages of a Modern, Cloud-Based Shop Management System
Modern shop systems aren't just fancy bells and whistles. They help you run your shop in a way that lets you make more money off of the work you already do.
1. Run Your Shop Like a Well-Oiled Inline 6
Cloud-based shop management system lets you build a streamlined workflow throughout the entire repair process: from the moment a customer walks into the moment a payment is sent to your shop, it flows through the shop management system.
This creates a seamless operational process for your shop which makes it easier to keep track of repairs and frees up technician and advisor time to provide better customer service. And, of course, great customer service in turn helps customers feel more comfortable approving repairs and coming back for repeat work.
2. Keep Track of Everything, and Keep it Secure
Because modern shop management systems are cloud-based, nothing lives on your shop's computers, or stuffed in your binders. Why is that a good thing? Because you never have to worry about losing it!
All of your shop's operations, data, customer history, vehicle inspection findings, declined estimates, and everything, is collected and saved remotely. give shop owners the option to check on their shops remotely.
3. Modern and Easy to Use
Cloud-based shop management systems are built with your shop in mind. From assigning jobs to tracking progress and prioritizing tasks, Tekmetric ensures that your shop operates like a well-tuned engine.
That means a user-friendly interface designed to make it easy for owners to manage their shop's workflow, service advisors to build and review repair orders, and easy for technicians to complete inspections and track their repair process.
4. Payment Options and Protections
And because modern shop management platforms bring everything that goes into running your shop under one roof, that means you gain access to modern ways for your shop to get paid.
Whether you want to enable your customers to send their payments directly over text for ultimate convivence, or even buy now, pay later plans to help customers cover the cost of a large repair bill, while also helping your shop stay secure from fraudulent chargebacks.
5. Grow Your Shop In New Ways
Whether you're looking to increase business at a single-location shop or grow into a multi-shop enterprise, a cloud-based shop management system is the right foundation for your expansion.
Because all of your shop finances, operations, and related data are stored within the platform, shop owners and general managers can see where things are going right, and where things are slipping, and better understand what changes they need to make. If one shop is seeing success, you can compare locations and implement the best practices in your other location.