Used cars balloons

Advantages Of Management Software For Your Used Car Dealership

  • Faster Turn Times
  • Improved Vehicle Volume
  • Better Coordination

For used car dealerships, management software is an excellent way to increase your efficiency both in the back-office and front-end operations.  Having a system in place not only reduces your overall cycle time but also increases your throughput– maximizing profit and minimizing overall costs.

Employing a management software solution for your fixed operations and reconditioning emphasizes your commitment to making your dealership run as effectively as possible, that you care about making tasks more streamlined for your employees, prioritize customer service and sales readiness, and you’re willing to adapt to the newest technologies out there for dealerships.

With management software in place, back-office administrative tasks that used to take hours can be cut down to just a few minutes. It allows all of your departments to be connected and work together, while also improving productivity on all fronts. Instead of relying on one employee or vendor at a time during each stage of vehicle processing, the operation becomes a more team-oriented environment. There’s a clear and organized structure that doesn’t rely on a back-office spreadsheet or whiteboard to get done. If a team member updates a vehicle’s status in the software, all relevant team members have access to the information, instantly, on their desktop or mobile devices. This lets the team know what’s in the pipeline, and lets both your technicians and your sales team plan for when work is coming.

You can see what vehicles are being reconditioned, where they are, the stage they’re in, and who’s working on them. You can also track and anticipate bottlenecks or delays during the reconditioning process, and improve resource planning based on vehicle volume and where they are in the recon process. The goal, of course, is high-quality work at optimal speed. Workflow management software can get your cars from acquisition to front line sales-ready in as little as a few days. Dealerships lose an average of $30-$50 per day when cars are stuck in reconditioning, so each day you can shave off your recon equals more profit per vehicle. And that savings adds up!

Workflow management software will make your used car dealership faster and more efficient both in the back and front-end of operations. You can create and refine your processes to make the back-office, reconditioning, and retail side of things work better together.

Automobile Technologies Can Help

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your used car dealership and reconditioning process as efficient as possible. We also provide you with better visibility and get your vehicles frontline ready in the shortest possible time.

ReconMonitor™ is powerful workflow automation for auto recon, dealerships, and auto remarketing companies that integrates with Dealer Management and Accounting Systems to ensure seamless operations across the enterprise.

Pensive At Laptop

Is Reconditioning Software Still Relevant in 2019?

Too much paperworkIf you’re staring at a desk surrounded by sticky notes and stacks of papers, wake up! It’s 2019! It’s no wonder you’re backlogged when you can’t even find the invoice for yesterday’s customer.

But somehow even with all the hours spent on invoices and paperwork after a long workday, many repair business owners and technicians take more comfort in this chaos rather than adopting a new method. The problem with that comfort zone is it’s virtually impossible nowadays to keep track of the repairs, check-in with your customers, and keep the business coming with increasing revenues. It’s frankly, well, not wise for these SMART repair shops to be using out of date methods for managing a business when even the way a technician approaches a car repair has gone through significant changes over the past few years.

Perhaps the fear of change is because many of these programs have often been designed without the mindset of the typical auto repair shop owner and its technicians. They’re often very complex and require specific training.

This is why AMT created a simple yet powerful software solution that eliminates the paperwork and helps make you more profitable. The software comes with all the features you need to be in command and control of your work, from PDR and hail damage estimating to an invoicing system that seamlessly integrates with your accounting software.

When it comes to reconditioning, the top 4 things that a thriving repair operation needs to keep track of are:

  1. Estimating the cost of the service
  2. Managing the front and back-end operations, including overseeing your technicians and making sure everything is running on schedule
  3. Billing and invoicing
  4. Serving your customers well = generating more profit

SMART Repair is all about doing the most effective job in the least amount of time to keep a steady money flow. Sticky notes and dry-erase boards may have worked before. But why be running your shop with limits when you can be limitless? AMT’s Automotive Repair Software manages over $139 Million in monthly repairs and estimates across over 23,000 repairs daily!

Go ahead and schedule your demo today!

Why Choosing ReconPro Helps You Claim Your Life Back

  • Reduce the hours spent on paperwork
  • Coordinate jobs and teams
  • Complete visibility of every job and customer

When you manage a SMART repair business, you are the captain of your own ship. No matter how big or small your business may be, your systems allow you to see how your technicians are doing, manage your team, check your sales figures and more. You’ve spent late nights creating invoices and filling out paperwork, only to be back on the job early in the morning. Sound familiar?

Then you decide enough is enough and you purchase, or start a free trial of, a mobile reconditioning management software program. However, not every reconditioning program is designed the same way or has all the features you may need. If you make the investment in a flawed solution that is not fully functioning, you may never experience the bliss of owning a smooth-running operation that keeps you on top of all your jobs to keep all of your customers happy. In fact, the wrong program may actually backfire on you and make you miss the days of collecting invoices on a weekly basis, those sleepless nights, and conducting business based on the word of your technicians. Owning a bad solution might end up being worse than no solution at all.

Thankfully, there are programs for PDR and SMART Repair professionals that were designed specifically for those working in the auto recon industry. We all know time is money. But how can we make that money if we are backlogged and unable to effectively manage the repair process? There could be a hailstorm and all of a sudden, a customer contacts you needing repairs on hundreds of vehicles. If you don’t have an efficient way of creating estimates, managing your technicians, the repair process, and making sure your team is all on the same page, you may end up losing a major sale.

What if the time you’ve spent documenting the repair, invoicing, transcribing VIN’s, keeping tabs on your technicians, and more could all be significantly reduced with the right software? You’d finally have your life back to spend your nights for what they were meant for: rest and relaxation.

The quest to reclaim the hours of paperwork and administrative tasks is how AMT came up with the idea for ReconPro™.

ReconPro was conceived with the idea that there had to be a better, more efficient way to manage the repair process that was simple, easy, and accessible anywhere on any device. AMT engineers have a passion and deep understanding of efficient processes and auto recon workflows. As more and more providers entered the industry, AMT wanted to help SMART repairers get a leg up on the competition and get out of their own way. By working in a quick and efficient manner in ReconPro, you are able to handle all the paperwork you’ve had many late nights over and complete it during the work day so you can claim your life back outside of work.

While ReconPro was designed for reconditioning companies and technicians, it also makes the customer process much easier. From mobile estimates to team collaboration, ReconPro allows everything to be managed and accessible in one, easy-to-use location. You are able to set, adjust, and control customer specific pricing with even the most complex pricing models.e all know that every repair is different, no 2 jobs are ever the same. and every customer is unique. The software lets you manage all of the variables.

In addition, you can manage jobs, track time, receive real-time reports of the repair status from your technicians, determine R&I labor times and conventional repair costs for fully informed estimates. Work orders can be assigned, technicians can be scheduled, and customers can receive and approve their estimates, supplements, and invoices. It’s a simple-to-use yet powerful tool capable of doing a lot for you – because you do a lot already.

ReconPro makes the repair process easier for both you and your technicians by keeping it all in one accessible place. Keep the flow in your workflow by using a tool that works wherever you do. The days of IT staff installing software for your auto repair business and you spending hours working on invoices and paperwork are forever behind you. AMT invites you to schedule a free demonstration of ReconPro and see just how well it works for your business.

Four Tips to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your Dealership

In 2019, dealerships have a lot of competition when it comes to returning buyers, servicing, and simple repairs. However, if you focus on the customer experience first, you’ll keep them coming back for years to come. Nowadays, it’s not just their time at your dealership that counts, but also their convenience when visiting your website or waiting for their vehicle to be serviced.

The auto industry is evolving every day, and the way your customers experience your business is changing, too. Below, we have four tips that will keep customers coming back to your dealership.

 

Prioritize A Simple, Effective, & Informative Online Experience

Obviously, smartphones are everywhere. We all know it, and because of this fact, the way customers experience your business begins with a Google search. Typically, they’ll see a list of businesses (on Google My Business)  in their area that match what they typed in. They’ll go through, read reviews, look at pictures you upload, and then they’ll go to your website.

Customer service begins at first touch– your website. If it’s easy to navigate, provides useful information, and puts simplifying the customer experience first, then you’re much more likely to gain their business– and keep it.

 

Be Transparent With Customers

First and foremost, this will gain your customer trust. People know when salesmen are just trying to close a deal. It’s also safe to say many dealerships believe front end sales are where all of their money is made. However, in today’s market, it’s not so simple.

If you treat a customer well and prioritize their comfort, they’ll be more likely to come back for business and refer you. Beyond that, when you set expectations,  provide exact costs, estimates, rebates, and work with them through every step of the process, you’ll develop a positive relationship.

However, as you’ll probably guess, this transparency doesn’t end with the in-person meetings. The best dealerships have software in place that will calculate everything a customer needs to know, instantly, for their purchase– including all of the things (and more) that we listed above. Whether it’s for service, or simply offering information, you can send out automated text alerts for customers to stay updated, giving them another easy way to connect with you.

 

Keep In Touch With Customers

Whether it’s through emails, texts, or phone calls, it’s important to check in with customers every now and then. This isn’t to suggest you should pester them on a regular basis (don’t do that), but sending out promotions every now and then is never a bad idea. Beyond that, if you have a social media page, that can be a great way to stay in contact with customers and provide updates on anything you’re doing that they may be interested in.

 

Have A Management Software System In Place

We touched on it a little bit above, but it’s crucial to have a system in place that helps make the customer experience as easy and informative as possible. In 2019, the majority of the most successful dealerships have a software system in place that not only increases operational efficiency, but also can create custom forms, email templates for promotions, provide customers with text message updates on services, and inform them of pricing and estimates on the fly.

 

AutoMobile Technologies

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your dealership more efficient, provide your customers with the information they need, offer you better visibility, and give you peace of mind knowing that your back-office is always up-to-date and you’re building a positive relationship with customers.

ReconMonitor is a state of the art workflow automation software for auto recon, dealerships, and auto marketing companies. ReconMonitor dealership software decreases reconditioning cycle time and increases your control and profitability.

3 Ways To Improve Your PDR Business

Whether you’re a traditional collision repair shop or a PDR business, it can be challenging adjusting your workflow. Even within some of the most successful businesses, there are constraints that could be tackled better. A good way to improve on your PDR workflow is by looking at all areas of business, but before you can even consider that, you should prioritize connecting your PDR technicians to your back-office and to whoever is handling the customer invoices.

In PDR, speed and efficiency play the biggest role in how much your business will make on a daily basis. Once you understand this, you can begin to look at how you can re-organize your business’ workflow management system. Fortunately, because of the already fast nature of PDR, it’s pretty easy to adapt to a more efficient management system. While PDR is already a lucrative and fast endeavor, better workflow in all aspects, especially the back-office, will not only increase the number of vehicles you work on in a day, but also make it easier for your technicians.

 

Track Your Data

In the PDR business, the back-office is one of your biggest headaches. You don’t want to spend hours on paperwork, but you also don’t want to track invoices, estimates, employee compensation, or more based on information that isn’t completely accurate. What you do want to track, though, are PDR estimations and the exact amount of hours your technicians are spending on each repair. Beyond that, you’ll want to look at it all in real-time to accurately measure how you can reduce your cycle time and increase throughput. No matter what, it’s important to use a database to track and record important information about the vehicles you’re working on.

 

Upgrade Your Workflow Management System

First thing’s first, in 2019, your PDR business shouldn’t be relying on spreadsheets, dry-erase boards, or even sticky notes. They can get easily lost or misplaced, and create unnecessary bottlenecks in your workflow. Right now, the most successful PDR businesses out there are using management software to track their entire PDR process from estimate to the paid invoice accounting entry. Management software applications can manage your entire workflow, invoices, estimates, upload documents and photos, track individual vehicles, customer pricing, and employee commissions.

 

Find Your Biggest Constraints

After you’ve improved on your workflow management, simply embrace the newest technology available. For a lot of PDR businesses, the biggest constraints lie in the back-office. Whether it’s misplaced paper, poor filing, or communication issues on approvals, the back-office is definitely one of the biggest struggles for anyone in PDR.

 

AutoMobile Technologies Can Help

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your PDR business more efficient, provide you with better visibility, and give you peace of mind knowing that your back-office is always up-to-date.

ReconPro is the industry’s most versatile and powerful software solution purpose-built for auto recon professionals. With essential tools for performing estimates, hail/PDR and insurance matrixes, parts management, paint code lookups, integrations with body shop crash systems and accounting systems, too. ReconPro manages the details of running your business so you can focus on growing your business.

Are You Letting Revenue Slip Through Your Service Department?

 

In this line of work, I get to tour a lot of collision repair shops. Some of those shops are dealership body shops that are either under the same roof or located in the same lot as the dealership.

One thing that always surprises me is when I find that the service department, the sales department, and the body shop do not communicate with each other as a whole. In other industries, this situation is referred to as “siloed” where departments are in silos and either afraid to or unwilling to work with each other.

Just recently, I was at a shop in Pennsylvania and I overheard a customer who was getting an estimate for a new side mirror as a result of a sideswipe. What struck me is that the customer was there because the insurance company had sent her there, not the service department, despite her having just had the car serviced in preparation for a Pennsylvania safety inspection. Had the insurance company sent this person to another shop, the dealership would have lost out on some decent revenue.  If I was the dealership owner, I would be furious.

This situation plays out every day in dealerships all over the country. I have even worked with shops that are not allowed to email blast their sales and service customer databases. Does this sound like your organization? It doesn’t have to be this way.

 

Today, we are going to uncover some ideas to put an end to lost revenue in your service departments.

The first step is to realize that it is not your customer’s duty to remember that you also have a body shop or a service department. These should be kept top-of-mind with all customer contact points. For every sales piece you create to drive new car sales, you should think about how this could also drive revenue for the other departments.

Break down the barriers.

If you have a dealership marketing team, a service department marketing team, and a body shop marketing team, all these people should be working together to generate leads for the dealership as a whole. In fact, you may consider putting them all in the same location in adjacent offices or cubicles so that they can easily work together.

Mine your databases

Each car that is leased should be a lead passed over to the service department and the body shop. Some leases require the use of OEM collision repair parts. And most lease vehicles will require some reconditioning prior to trade in. Your body shop should have access to all leased vehicles who are due for trade-in six months prior to the trade in date in order to reach out and offer deals on trade in preparation.

Incentives

Money always talks. Consider implementing a cash bonus referral program for all work referred among departments. This should not be limited just to managers, empower your technicians to make recommendations. Vehicles declared a total loss should be an easy referral to sales, but service should routinely scan vehicles for body shop upsell work.

Train your staff to pay better attention to the customers coming into the service bays.

Take notice if they have any family lifestyle changes, like a new baby, a new driver, or upcoming graduation and discuss options that might help address the need for a new vehicle. Your service drive is an excellent business center to support your dealership’s CPO and new retail programs. Stay engaged with your customers to maintain their brand and dealership loyalty.

Staffing co-location

Consider having a body shop estimator work out of the service department to write complimentary estimates on any potential work they see in the repair bays. You don’t even need to ask the customer if they want an estimate, simply provide it along with the service work estimate and offer to set a time to have the car in for the repair.

Something as simple as that written estimate attached to a postcard advertisement for the body shop could generate additional revenues.

Text Messaging

Another option is to include this in a text message if your service department uses a texting service to update customers. Text a link to an estimate for the body shop while the car is still in the service bay to make the transaction smoother. For example, if the car has to stay in service to receive parts, now would be a great opportunity to take care of those dents, scratches or quick bumper repair.

Texting can also be a great way for customers to communicate with service managers, get answers to questions, and schedule appointments. However, we caution dealers against advising staff communicate with customers on their personal cell phone devices without the use of a texting platform that tracks conversations, manages opt-ins and opt-outs, and integrates into a dealer’s CRM tool.

Community outreach

Another suggestion is to host customer car care clinics, which includes all makes and models, and offer free vehicle inspections, appraisals on vehicle resale costs, or reconditioning costs. This positions your business as your customers’ advocate while giving you the opportunity to generate new business and goodwill.

We hope these tips have given you some ideas on how to stop the leak of potential profits that you may not even realize are slipping past your Dealership, as we continue our mission to make 2018 the Year of Growth for your business.


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