How to Get the Most Out of Your Shop Management Software

Tekmetric's Head of Operations, Alex Bunkers, Offers Shop Owners Best Practices on Ratchet + Wrench Radio

Originally published on:
September 6, 2022
Since joining Tekmetric in 2018, Tekmetric’s Head of Operations Alex Bunkers has spoken to hundreds of shop owners across North America, learning about their challenges and triumphs firsthand.

Alex recently sat down with Ratchet + Wrench Radio to discuss a whitepaper she authored on how shop owners can identify inefficiencies in their shops. During the conversation, she discussed how shop owners can recognize these inefficiencies and fix them with shop management software.

Here are some of the highlights from the podcast.

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The Challenge: Managing on Your Data

Alex Bunkers: "The saying time is money is no truer than in the automotive industry.

You're literally charging people time. I don't know of a single shop owner that would say they love having to dig through a file cabinet to find an old RO or a purchase order, and it's hard to keep track of tech hours on a journal or spreadsheet (which, we have some shops that come to us doing that).

So having a shop management system allows you to stop spending time in your business and more time on your business—or just more time at home or on vacation with your family."

The Solution: Customizable, Real-Time, Data-Driven Reports

As any shop owner knows, running a business is an art and a science. Yes, shop owners need to listen to their intuition, but they also need to follow the data.

Tekmetric generates several real-time reports that help shop owners track their key metrics for specific date ranges.

  • End-of-Day Reports: Shop owners can get a clear view of their Average Repair Order (ARO), Car Count and other key stats
  • Real-Time Service Writer Sales Reports: Shop owners can see key performance metrics for service writers such as how much work each service writer has closed.
  • Profit Details Reports: Shop owners can drill down into how much they’ve profited from their repair orders.

As service advisors punch key repair details into Tekmetric, the system tracks it all, and then generates real-time reports.

Tekmetric saves shop owners time spent calculating their metrics, so they can instantly access insights and spend more time thinking through what those numbers tell them.

By taking their time back, shop owners can grow their shops faster and more methodically."

The Challenge: Scattered Workflows

Alex Bunkers: “You probably do have some idea if you work in a shop what your bottlenecks are. But before you start, evaluate where your bottlenecks are formally. I would start, actually, with breaking out all the processes in your shop into two tracks.

The first one being all of your customer-facing things and kind of a step-by-step of what your customer goes through.

And that's something we like to call the customer journey. For most shops, this is probably going to look something like vehicle drop off, DVI and diagnosis, send the estimate approval, order parts, right, all the way through to payment and pickup. T

he second track would be all the back office things you do, your inventory audits, parts reconciliations, right, things that aren't part of the customer journey."

The Solution: Tekmetric's Job Board, Tech Board, and DVIs.

With streamlined workflows, auto repair shop teams are more unified. They can collaborate from one central hub, all while playing to their unique strengths.

Shop management software with workflow features, like Tekmetric, simplifies the process of streamlining workflows. Shop owners can set up manageable, trackable, adjustable workflows that minimize communication gaps and inefficiencies.

Tekmetric offers three main workflow tools for shops: the Job Board, the Tech Board, and DVIs.

The first is the Job Board, which gives service advisors a whiteboard-esque view of every repair order moving along at the shop, so they can track the progress of each repair and everything is humming along smoothly.

Next, there’s the Tech Board, which shows service advisors what’s on each technician’s repair to-do list and how far along they are with their assigned tasks, so they can know which technician is free to take on the next repair.

Finally, with digital vehicle inspections (DVIs), technicians can pinpoint issues and suggest necessary repairs, send the information to service advisors to create estimates, and then send the estimates directly to customers’ devices.

These three workflow features help service advisors and technicians reduce miscommunication and stay organized.

The Challenge: Measuring Short and Long-Term Performance

Alex Bunkers: “When you don't track metrics or take a serious role in orchestrating your customer journey, you're leaving money on the table.

We've worked with thousands of shops during my time at Tekmetric and I definitely notice a correlation between the annual sales of the owners who are actively involved in the operations, building the structure, training their teams, and tracking metrics, versus those who are having a hard time just staying on top of everything.

So, sometimes you have to make yourself slow down to speed up."

The Solution: Measuring by the Metrics

Let’s look back one more time at the importance of analyzing the data. It only takes an hour each week, or two hours every other week, to dive deep into real-time reports and monitor how things are going.

For example, spending a few minutes each day just to thoroughly analyze the End-of-Day Report can yield a wealth of insights into how to make more money for your shop and take back time in other parts of the day.

Examining the data makes it easier to know how your shop is doing on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis, and course-correct more intentionally as needed.

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