The small investment of a few hundred dollars for an Auto Repair Shop Management Software can save you thousands in the long run. This article was not written to steer you to any particular software company, instead think of this article as a piece that will provide you with information on the top 3 tools your Management Software should bring to the table.
First things First, Inventory
This is not negotiable; your management software must have some form of tracking inventory. This is essential to keeping your shop fully stocked. An inventory spreadsheet helps you maintain control over what is coming in and going out on a daily basis. Over time you will begin to see a pattern of when you peak in business. Let's say December has been extremely busy for the last three years while August has been down-right slow. Well with a proper inventory list you can stock up on products when business is slow and products are on sale in anticipation of your busy season. This will keep you out of a jam when the busy season begins and may save you money if you have a detailed inventory list of item pricing throughout the year.
How much is it going to cost me?
Your software should come with an estimator. This handy piece of software allows you to pinpoint what your cost will be which in turn will allow you to give a proper quote. A lot of businesses either charge too much or shoot themselves in the foot by not charging enough. Don't try to fly by the seat of your pants when giving an estimate. Instead use a software program that will look into all the components that go into a job such as man hours, equipment usage and purchasing of special items. By doing this you will make sure you are not cutting your business short on potential profits.
Did we get paid for that job yet?
Don't put yourself in the situation where you might be asking that question. Back in the days a hand shake might have sufficed but in the world we live in written documentation is a must for your protection as well as your clients. Record keeping is a huge help when tax season comes around. The IRS advises businesses to keep records in case it has a question pertaining to an item on a tax return.
Keeping documented records also helps in times of conflict resolution. An invoice shows in plain black and white what services have been provided and the cost that has been agreed upon. An invoice also shows professionalism. Businesses are judged everyday by the way they present themselves. You have a better chance of being paid in a timely manner if you present your client with a professional invoice as opposed to a price jotted down on a napkin.
Is that it?
Well no. Most Auto Repair Shop Management Software will come with more tools but these are the most essential for any business. With these three tools alone you will be able to properly manage your business to success.