Four images of SMART repair areas - PDR, chip repair, wheel repair, and paint touch-up

S.M.A.R.T. Repair in the USA

The term “SMART Repair” has become a popular way of representing the mobile repair industry in the UK and is slowly catching on here in the United States. SMART repair – Small to Medium Area Repair Technique – offers services like wheel repair, bumper repair, paint correction, glass repair, and paintless dent repair (PDR) companies we increasingly see across America. An assortment of cosmetic, cost-effective and quick repair techniques, SMART repair offers U.S. mobile repair and fixed operations a way of offering more services for more revenue, and more inexpensively than conventional collision repair shops.

Starting out in the SMART repair business can be tough. There are many obstacles to cross in building your independent mobile repair company. SMART repair professionals often face common issues such as:

  • Records and Customer Management
  • Creating Inspections
  • Parts and Labor Times
  • Estimate Approvals
  • Monitoring/Managing Employees
  • Customer Pricing and Commissions
  • Invoice Accuracy
  • Accounting

A good resource for SMART practitioners can be found here.

AMT is here to provide help, too. ReconPro™ helps the mobile repair professional get organized and get busy. It’s a software ideal for managing client paperwork, billing, estimates, and tasks. Perform inspections tied to VIN or Stock Number, and add notes and photographs to create a complete estimate to submit to the customer via email or printed form. You can receive work approvals electronically through quick link or direct signature right on your device. Approved estimates become work orders, and the app creates and sends your invoice when work is completed. As your business grows, the software will help you manage multiple technicians and teams, regardless of geography. ReconPro helps manage workflows and back-office tasks to give you more time to spend with clients and vehicle repairs, and offers a full suite of productivity options, including commission calculations, service requests and dispatch, time and attendance management, role-based access, customer-specific pricing and much much more.. 

ReconPro is available for iOS or Android devices, and completely self-contained, meaning you can take it anywhere and complete your work without needing to connect to Wi-Fi. When you do connect, all your work is synched to your back office for complete record-keeping and secure access from any computer. Are you an auto industry professional looking to break or expand into the SMART repair scene? Does your current SMART repair business need the extra assistance? AMT has the solutions and we’d love to help you. Reach out to us today!

PDR Estimate and Invoicing Software on different devices

How PDR Software Makes Life Easier For You And Your Customers

While you may see the front-end of your PDR business as the primary force behind profit, you also have to consider your back-office and customer experience. When it comes down to it, both how well-run your back-office and how great your customer service is will decide how well your business does. Every front-end sale relies on your back-office, you providing customers with a transparent and convenient experience. 

The repair business is constantly improving to foster more productivity. In this rapidly changing market, the best PDR businesses have PDR software that makes back-office work way easier and helps create customer-friendly service experiences. Better organization, way less paper, and everything at your fingertips.

Repair360 Inspection Screen

PDR Software:

It Can Handle All Of Your Back-Office Needs

The great thing about PDR software is that it comes stacked with plenty of features. You can track work time, commissions, hourly payments, customer estimates, work orders, invoices, billing, and way more. Beyond that, most reputable software can integrate with pre-existing accounting programs you may have (Quickbooks, Sage, etc.)

It Can Make Your Front-End Operate More Efficiently

When it comes down to it, your business is the actual repair work, and software can’t do that for you. With PDR software, you can create individual or lot-walk inspections and estimates, automate tasks, assign work to technicians, attach photos & documents, but also set up a notification system for your employees to be alerted on a job’s status. Ultimately, it cuts down on paper and unnecessary processes and increases your business’ communication. 

It Can Improve Your Customer Service

While PDR software is extremely helpful for your back-office and front-end retail work, it’s also excellent for customer service. Scan the VIN with your mobile device and the basic information about the vehicle is displayed. A few clicks later, and you’re ready to estimate the work. You can set up a text messaging system that notifies customers of exactly what’s going on with their vehicle. Better software can also create easy-to-navigate customer forms, email and print templates for your business forms that include your branding, and estimate approvals on device, via email, or web-connect.  

PDR Matrix - Hail Matrix
Multiple PDR and Hail matrixes included, and you can customize

AutoMobile Technologies Makes PDR Software

AMT offers software solutions designed to help business owners and technicians in the reconditioning industry be more efficient, provide customers with the information they need, give 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.

ReconPro™ is the leading management software for PDR, SMART Repair, Wheel Repair, Paint Correction, and Automotive Reconditioning. We’ve been reducing paperwork and increasing productivity and profits for our users for over a decade. Let’s talk about how we can help your business.

Flow PDR

Recon Vendor Management – Multiple Moving Parts and People

For those who manage multiple vehicles through a reconditioning process, like dealerships, fleet managers, auto auctions, and rental companies, employing multiple vendors and employees on top of the administrative duties of running the business can be difficult to manage. There are a lot of steps to getting a vehicle through the make-ready process. To help ease the pains of so many moving targets, AMT developed ReconMonitor™, smart workflow management software for auto reconditioning.

This software is specifically designed to assist in your execution of auto remarketing at maximum speed and efficiency. ReconMonitor improves the ready-for-sale process by giving the user visibility into each of the many steps in the recon process. It also provides a detailed look at how each of the steps and technicians is doing from an efficiency perspective. Let’s look at an example:

Let’s say your dealership acquires a car at auction. The initial inspection indicates that the vehicle needs some mechanical work, PDR, a bumper replacement, paint touch-ups, and of course, photography. Then the next day you acquire 5 to 10 cars through trade-in (wouldn’t that be great), each with its own list of needed repairs. For the recon director or manager within your operation, it can be dizzying tracking numerous vehicles at different stages of the recon process. If your facility employs its own mechanical repair resources in addition to outside vendors for specialties like PDR and other sublet work, keeping track of everything can be stressful and things can slip through the cracks. You not only have administrative tasks to complete but have to manage multiple workflows and stations to make sure the right employees and vendors are matched to the right jobs for the most efficient turn-around.

Capacity management and knowing where each vehicle is in the process becomes complex and the entire process can become bogged down from a single inefficient step. Vendor management in ReconMonitor means the ability to plan, schedule, and evaluate vendors for improved efficiency. For the example above, it would make no sense for the dealer to have the photographer come on a day when a car wasn’t cosmetically ready for its close-up. Knowing where each vehicle sits in the process, and planned time until it is ready for the next stage is a critical ability that will set your business processes apart from any other dealer without this type of visibility and control.

With ReconMonitor, you can watch your vendors and employees complete the designed order of tasks in real time, contact them if needed, make changes where you see fit, and analyze the quality of work. ReconMonitor will also automatically create and distribute vendor work orders, and generate vendor invoices when the completed work is approved, giving you full control.

Dealerships can lose around $35-$50 every day a car is stuck in the reconditioning process. ReconMonitor increases the visibility and control you have over the end-to-end process of reconditioning any vehicle. It’s a great way to get rid of disorganized paper orders and antiquated whiteboards and keep everything in one centralized management solution. With ReconMonitor, your reconditioning process is transformed with vehicles efficiently made frontline-ready in record time.

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!

Heavy Storm Hail Ice

The Best Hail-Tracking Software For Your PDR Business

We’re a couple of months in hail season with several more to go. But how can you track the hail before it hits, so you’re ahead of the game? Surely, any weather app can provide you with enough comprehensive data to track hailstorms. But what if there was a way for an app to offer you instant storm reports, provide storm history on a location, and much more? The following are among the best hail-tracking software for your PDR business.

 

Hailstrike

An exclusive feature of Hailstrike is it lets you choose up to 2 states to get instant hail, wind, and tornado alerts from the best data available. An example of where this data would be coming from is NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Another incredible feature of Hailstrike is coming with a Historical Storm Search feature, where you can find every storm that hit a location since 2011. This in-depth analysis will help hail chasers determine if an area would be a good location for business.

Price: The Premium package is $189 a month, while the Ultimate package is $249 a month.

 

Interactive Hail Maps

Similar to Hailstrike, the Interactive Hail Maps software provides you unlimited access to over 5 years of hail history. You can also have unlimited hail impact reports and connect the software to as many devices as you’d like. The Impact Explorer (part of the software) allows you to view the hail affected areas and provides on-the-ground data via NOAA. That way, you know exactly where to go instead of relying on a radar giving you the data.

Price: One state is $749 annually, Three States is $1099, and Nationwide is $1499.  

 

Hailtrace

One of the most significant features of Hailtrace is Client Management Tools. The software will help you manage your PDR clients and provide the necessary tools to know when hail will hit a location. Hailtrace is all about helping you in any way that they can, which is why they’re available with 24/7 “out-of-the-box support.” You can also manage your employees by assigning them different tasks and remind them through the iOS app. They have over 5,000 active users and growing each day.

Price: Call for price inquiry 1-(855)-334-HAIL

 

Map Forensics

Quite possibly the biggest seller for Map Forensics is its SAMS integrated software. SAMS is short for Storm Activity Monitoring System. It is a customer-focused system that helps you identify customers based on their exact location needing your services. SAMS can also provide the history of hail for a specific location in a matter of seconds. Map Forensics also gives 24/7 monitoring of over 2,500 locations with more available, if desired, and you received unlimited hail swaths for one state.

Price: $999 annually for one state. Additional states are available.

 

As we are approaching the halfway mark for hail season, we encourage you to ask around to other pros and see what their favorite storm tracking software is and why. They can offer their first-hand experience using the different apps and you may see that what they enjoyed wouldn’t necessarily work for your business.

Do keep in mind as you’re selecting the best hail tracking software, you’ll want to see what the geographical needs of your techs are as some of these apps offer limited locations. Of course, we hope you’ll be using ReconPro™ to manage your PDR business, regardless of how you chase hail this season. Time is money and we are ready to help you with your mobile business, every step of the way.

 

ReconPro is a trademark of Automobile Technologies, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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.

PDR Estimate and Invoicing Software on different devices

3 Best Perks of PDR Software in Your Back-Office Operations

hand holding mobile device displaying the same charts page as the laptop behind itEven in 2019, there are still quite a few PDR businesses out there that rely on out-of-date processes in their back-office. It may be because they’re skeptical of change, or simply because they feel like things work well enough as-is. However, with the PDR business developing as rapidly as it is, you’ll need a way to keep up with the competition and make your life easier.

For many of you in the PDR business, you may not even realize how much faster and easier your back-office operations could be. Anyone who’s familiar with running a PDR operation knows just how much time they spend on things like invoicing, commissions, customer accounts, and more. It’s a lot of work, and you’ve probably spent hours on a daily basis stuck with a pile of paperwork.

Fortunately, each year, technology becomes better, faster, and more efficient– which means the PDR software of today can take all of that time stuck with back-office work, and turn it into just a few minutes of attention each day.

While there are plenty of benefits to a software solution for your PDR business, here are 3 of the best perks of PDR software on your back-office operations:

Increase Operational Efficiency, Enhance Customer Service, and Save You Time (and Money)

Since most everything related to your operation can be put into PDR software in real-time and in just a few minutes, everyone from the front-end to the back-office can keep things moving. Having a quick and efficient back-office means that your front-end work won’t need to sit around and wait for things like information or approvals to continue working.

Your PDR technicians can process customer estimates, transactions, and more all at the click of a few buttons– keeping your back-office constantly updated with all of the relevant information already filled out and accessible. With PDR software solutions, your back-office tasks can go from hours of your time to minutes– impacting your entire operation’s speed and efficiency for the better.

With the ability to track every bit of your PDR business in real-time, you’ll be able to focus more on the part of the business that makes you the money.

You Can Review All Operational Details Privately, Anywhere, and Anytime

PDR software stores all of your operational information in one spot. This means that as the owner or operational executive, you can keep track of your business from anywhere at any time, privately. No matter what business you’re in, there’s sensitive data that you may not want other employees or customers to access. So with a PDR software solution, you can keep track of the essentials comfortably and without worry.

PDR Software Can Be Used Anywhere, Even Without Internet

Because the information is collected through a native mobile application and synched to your back-office, all the information is available to you on your desktop, and any information stored on a mobile device can be accessed with or without internet access. This provides you with quite a bit of flexibility and the comfort of knowing that you can monitor your PDR business wherever you are. It allows you to better manage your PDR business, track sales information, check accounts, review job statuses, and be alerted of any delays or problems in real-time. So if you have a team of technicians out on the road, you can see exactly what they’re doing and any issues there may be, all on your mobile device.

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. Let us show you how we can help.

ReconPro is the industry’s most versatile and powerful software solution built for auto recon professionals. With essential tools for performing PDR estimates, hail 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.

CLICK HERE to get in touch.

Best Software For PDR Commissions

Running PDR business, you understand how much time it can take to track and calculate commissions. Your back-office has to put in a lot of time and effort to record complete and accurate data. Beyond that, if you’re running your back office manually, you’re probably still using paper documents, dry-erase boards, spreadsheets, and maybe even sticky notes to record information. It demands a lot of time and attention and can even take away from focusing on growing your business.

Management software has become a standard in the auto industry to record information and improve workflow. And the best software for managing commissions?

ReconPro

ReconPro is one of the best management software solutions for PDR businesses. You can create invoices, estimates, approvals, and even track vehicles statuses at the click of a button. The software can also automatically calculate and track commissions from simple splits to complex multi-tiered and team commissions. ReconPro is feature-rich, including access to a number of hail and insurance matrixes, conventional repair costs, parts management, and a host of other useful functionality. It has fully customizable templates for print and email documents, so your business and brand are well supported.

ReconPro is a native software app that allows PDR businesses to keep their back-office running smoothly while also making it easier to access information on the fly, and keep technicians up-to-date on everything they need to know.

Beyond that, ReconPro provides you with visibility and control, eliminates manual and duplicate data entry, automates commissions and vendor payments, offers the most detailed reports on the market, can easily integrate with QuickBooks and crash management systems, and eliminates any need for IT staff to install or maintain– all on your mobile devices and back-office computer.

To speak with a specialist and arrange for a demo of ReconPro, click here.

NADA Chairman Says Dealerships Need To Be Active “Now More Than Ever”

According to NADA News, the new NADA Chairman, Charlie Gilchrist, strongly recommended that franchise-owned dealerships need to be active in NADA “now more than ever.”

He continued on with his recent speech in San Francisco and said: “I want you to think of your association as your second identity. It’s always a part of you, and it’s always there. That’s a big deal, whether you’ve been working in this industry for decades or you’re just getting started.”

President of Gilchrest Automotive, Charlie Gilchrist, has franchises including Ram, Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler all in the DFW area of Texas. His obvious success quickly reminded everyone in the Moscone Center that being a franchise owner is the best way in the world to distribute vehicles. However, he also discussed some of the major challenges dealerships of all sizes are familiar with and will have to prepare for down the line.

“My challenge to each of you today is to get involved,” Gilchrist said. “You are not just ‘a member’ of NADA. You are NADA.” He then followed up with: “Profitability in our new-vehicle department is a serious issue. This means we have to be better, and more creative, at running the rest of the store. We must adapt to this reality to survive in this new world.”

Beyond that, according to NADA News, Gilchrist urged the entire auto industry to unite together to help tackle the issue of technician shortages in the retail sector by supporting the NADA Foundation Workforce Initiative.

With the shortage of technicians and the many challenges ahead for dealerships in 2019, software companies are working hard to help manage and automate the workflow of dealership operations. Among the leading products is ReconMonitor, a state of the art workflow automation software for auto recon, dealerships, and auto remarketing companies. ReconMonitor dealership software decreases reconditioning cycle time and increases your dealership’s operational control and profitability.