Most auto shops today are using automotive management software because it offers great benefits for the owner. In the automotive industry, software can be designed to allow quick estimates and smooth flow of transactions from appointment setting to invoicing. Automotive software can consolidate essential information about customers, vehicles, transactions and service requirements in a single convenient and secure location. This allows the automotive dealer to maintain a relationship with the customer for better profits and customer retention.

For your automotive shop, choose the most efficient software to help you make the most of your business every day. The practical tips below will help you select the best software.

This is the beginning of a series of articles that will walk you through the automotive shop software buying process and give you the correct tools so you feel confident when making your choice. Let’s start with security, which is always a hot topic.

1- Is your Data Secure?

Are cloud or on-site server options available? You should be able to choose between a fully hosted cloud solution or an on-site server.  Most customers choose based on internet speed and reliability, but others just like the convenience and security of a hosted solution.

2-Backups?

Backups are critical to your business – look for a company that you can trust, particularly for automated backups . A small mistake can cause chaos to the entire business if your provider does not back up your data properly. A 3-way mirrored backup protects all your data and provides enhanced security. Are backups in separate locations? Real-time replicated database at separate locations is the ideal.

Here is what ShopController offers: 62 copies of your database at 2 separate physical locations. 2 are mirrored live databases.  30 are consecutive daily backups which are then mirrored to another hard drive which gives us an additional 30 copies. These full backups are configured so that no external network connections are allowed. Disallowing network access to the backup server may seem extreme but we prioritize your data security. Want to maintain your own backups? For your peace of mind we can even set up regular backups to a location you have access to.  We never hold your data hostage. Don’t settle for less!

3-Uptime? Data Center? Bandwidth Providers?

Here is what to look for:

  • Fully Redundant Network with NO Single Point of Failure and Multiple Layers of Network Security
  • Multiple Bandwidth Providers (AboveNet, ATT, Comcast, Global Crossing, Level (3), NTT
  • State of the Art Data Center with Backup Power Generators and HVAC Units

4-Bonus Tip: Premium Support

When buying an automotive management software, you need to see clearly which one can withstood the test of time. The value of your management program directly corresponds to the level of support and training your team receives. Your people must know how to run it and to take maximum advantage of its features! A management system becomes a huge headache when it takes way too much time and frustration to get answers to simple questions.

Well, that’s it for now. See you next week.