Running your auto repair shop is getting tougher by the day, simply because there are lots of areas you need to handle such as marketing, sales, inventory and customer service. With the intense competition in the automotive repair industry, it is essential to make your shop innovative and adaptable so it will stand out among the rest. Fortunately, because of advances in software technology, automotive software solutions are available to help you handle every detail of managing your shop.
Automotive shop management software will allow you to reduce the burden of shop management and increase your shop efficiency. Every auto repair shop manager already knows the advantages of the automotive shop management software. It is also critical to select the appropriate automotive shop management software to meet all your dealership’s needs. So, it is important for you to consider the following buying steps before deciding to commit:
Step 1: Conduct Analysis
Planning an automotive software procurement project is essential to precisely determine the scope, objectives, timelines, deliverables and platform in selecting the software. A little planning will make it easier for you to choose the best software solutions.
Step 2: Define the Requirement
Write down precise answers to questions like:
- What goals will be achieved in using the automotive shop management software?
- Who will be using the automotive software?
- What functions or features you are looking for?
- Do you need this kind of software for remote teams, locally or on-site?
- How technology savvy is your team?
Step 3: List the Required Features
List all the essential features for your software solution like: Whether it is cloud/web based or local install, whether you require mobile support, software security, cost, scalability, flexibility or personalization. Other required features may include time tracking, task management, risk analysis, email integration, file sharing, resource planning and more.
Step 4: Reliability and Security
Most everyone’s top priority is data reliability and security, so it is important for you to ask your vendor how the software application maintains data integrity and backs up data. Also, ask them what security features will help protect your internal data.
Step 5: Determine your budget and your timeframe
Take a close look at the price of the entire automotive shop management software package as well as the services offered by the vendor. Also, let your vendor know the timeframe you require to implement the software solution for your automotive shop.
Step 6: Evaluate the software Vendor
Next, perform a high-level evaluation of the software. Create a short list and send a request for proposal to each of your chosen vendors.
Step 7: Request a Software Demo
Ask the vendor to conduct a live software demo to confirm that their system can meet your expectations.
Step 8: Ask for References
Ask the software vendor to provide you with at least three references. Cross-check the references to see how their software solution performs. Ask whether they required customizations or features similar to yours, and learn their experiences with the vendor’s support.
So, now you have been provided with a list of questions to ask your provider, the features to look for in automotive shop management software, how to find a reliable provider, some tips in buying one and the step-by-step buying process. You are now prepared to evaluate and buy your own software. So, start your search today and never miss out on the chance to take advantage of your software. Enjoy watching your business grow and become a leader in the industry!
As always, see you next week.