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Car repair software helps repair service owners handle their large inventory, bill for different types of services, and keep a record of the thousands of parts for all sorts of cars. It streamlines the unorganised workflows and offers complete visibility into operations, including service operations, inventory, labour and job scheduling, and billing. It's used by a variety of car businesses, such as crash repairs, car painting, and car retailers.
The software offers many features to schedule customer appointments, raise service tickets, assign job orders, bill customers, and track service history. It also keeps a tab on the parts inventory to ensure that items aren't used without being billed.
Some advanced solutions offer built-in CRM functionality to create and manage a customer database as well as engage with repeat customers through promotions and service offers.
The benefits of car repair software
- Enhance your customer's experience: Improve your customers' experience by speeding up the service, from when they bring their car in, until they take it back. Inform them of the approximate costs and waiting time in advance. The software will also make it easy to serve a repeat customer, as it will store their personal information, car details, service history, and even details of possible issues. This helps mechanics repair cars faster and reduce the turnaround time.
- Track performance: While manually managing a small garage may be relatively easier, things get complicated when it's a large garage or multi-franchise. In this case, car repair software will help you keep track of your operations and workflows in all locations. This saves time and cost, streamlines the flow of information between various garages, and helps owners to manage multiple stores from a single screen.
Typical features of car repair software
- Quotes/Estimates: Access the database of labour and parts so that you can estimate the final service cost. You can also send and receive quotations for parts and services.
- Billing and invoicing: Generate bills and invoices for the repairing job and services you provide. Also, process the payments you receive from customers.
- Work order management: Create and schedule work orders, distribute work orders among your mechanics, follow-up with your team, and bill customers when you complete a work order.
- CRM: Create an in-house customer database so that you build cordial relationships with your repeat, new and even potential customers.
- Service history tracking: Maintain customer service records so that you can look up their previous service details in the next visit.
- Labour rates: Set varying rates for different types of services and accordingly, charge customers for the service they choose.
Considerations when purchasing car repair software
- Deployment options: Most car repair solutions are offered as traditional on-premise software, where a raw setup file is installed on local computers. The software's functioning completely depends on the end user's IT infrastructure and equipment. However, a few new vendors have started to offer cloud-based solutions, which don't need huge IT investment—they just need an active Internet connection. Buyers must evaluate their current IT setup to choose a deployment type so that you can decide whether you want to host data on-premises or in the cloud.
- Pricing: Car repair software can be purchased upfront or paid in monthly usage fees. If you own a small car garage, opt for a monthly pricing model that fits your budget and avoid long-term software contracts. Do check about any hidden fees, such as termination costs or support and service fees, before making a purchase. Alternatively, check some of the free software on the market to meet your small garage's basic needs.
Relevant car repair software trends
According to a survey by V12, 75% of the aftermarket car repair jobs are performed by independent garages, while 25% of the business is with dealers. This has led to a series of innovations in garages such as the following:
- Mobility in garages: Upcoming car repair software vendors are also offering mobile apps in their solutions. These apps can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets, which allows you to walk around the showroom or garage while managing key tasks such as engaging customers, accepting work orders, executing payments, and updating service records.
- IoT improves car maintenance and repairs: IoT-integrated cars have been in the news for some time and the trend is expected to grow. Business Insider predicts that there will be more than 94 million interconnected cars across the globe by 2021. An IoT-enabled car makes repairs and services easy as it shows you the full information about faulty parts, driving habits, oil changes, etc. Some vendors, such as Tantalum and Openbay are working on automotive repair and maintenance solutions that will automatically notify drivers of critical problems in their vehicle for immediate servicing. The software will also direct drivers to the nearest service station.