50 Must-Have Features for Any Auto Repair Software
The auto-repair industry has experienced constant evolution over the years. In recent years, the use of high-advanced vehicles has led to the need for vehicle repair software. This has enabled repair shops to track their everyday business activities and stay sophisticated as the vehicles. More so, the labor market for automotive service technicians is shrinking.
The pressure to identify new talent has paved way for initiatives that make living easy as technology advances. This implies that independent auto repair shops are integrating car repair software and tech-driven technicians to speed up their business. While this increases customer service satisfaction, it also improves profit and enhances team performance.
What to Look For in Your Auto Repair Software?
The car repair software is developed to help automotive repair shops manage their businesses. The software grants access to the tools integral to managing inventory, keeping customer information, customer service history, pricing, and other essential information. The software is often cloud-based, which means that their data is protected even if their computer or smartphone gets ruined.
Basic software helps with our daily tasks. We create schedules to track our appointments, job orders, etc. This type of software initiative does the same for repair shop owners. As an auto repair owner or mechanic, convenient and modern ways have been devised to help you manage your traditional tasks. Want to know the features to look out for? Below are the top 50 features your auto-repair software must-have.
1. The Advisor Module
The advisor module consists of the customer details, authorizations, loaner car scheduling, etc. There are different categories to this module as it helps you plot necessary information sequentially. There is the technician module to help you track the jobs assigned to a technician, the time frame, and other inspections required for efficient service. Parts Manager Module notes the stocking levels of your shop, the location of inventory, and other vehicle parts. It’s specific to each department in your shop. The management module keeps a record of your employees, the financial aspect of your business, your payroll, and other related information. Rather than have a manual record-keeping medium, the software is an alternative.
2. Alerts for Technicians and Service Advisors
This feature improves service efficiency for both technicians and advisors. The software gives a buzz on the screen when a technician completes his job. The same buzz occurs when an advisor performs a service that needs a technician. This alert structure helps to increase prompt service response.
3. Every Document Retains a Maintenance Record
This is a customizable chart that consists of basic record for preventive maintenance services. It helps advisors and technicians know which customer needs their service, the location, and the kind of service the customer requires. This tracking feature allows technicians to be more accurate and prompt at work.
4. Automatic Updates of Parts Cost
This includes the stocking and non-stocking parts that have been saved on the software after been generated from a vendor that uses the same services. The cost of these parts will be updated automatically. By this, the software will notify the vendor of the necessary updates required for every part. With the created estimate and update, there won’t be any money leak at the cost of the shop owner.
5. Electronic Signature Feature
Customers with sophisticated vehicles will be impressed to sign on tablets rather than paper documents. To manage the business, the software has a feature that keeps each customer’s details. Signature after every patronage is a means of record-keeping.
6. Automatic Adjustment of Inventory Stocking Levels
You are in charge of the app. According to your frequency of sales, set guidelines for stocking levels. With varying sales numbers, the software functions to help stocking levels increase or decrease automatically. Non-stocking parts are also automatically integrated into stocking parts when sales reach an expected level. Here’s how ARI handles inventory updates.
7. Search Capacity Feature
The feature enables you to quickly access essential details. This could be on inventory, customer information, service history, vehicle information, training, job kits, etc. You can also get answers through the search features once the terms you need clarification on are already in the software. This feature will help you get an accurate response without delay.
8. Make Parts Orders and Track Arrival Times
The feature helps you keep track of your activities. You get details such as order date, delivery date, etc. This also helps with setting priorities, completing assignments, planning, etc. which helps monitor and manage your shop. This feature in the software facilitates the efficiency of your service and helps you organize your business according to its demands. You can achieve that with a software like ARI by using the accounting module.
9. Mandatory Advisor Task
This helps you note the things your service advisor must do before an invoice can be completed. You can integrate this checklist into the software and unticked items will prevent invoice completion. Sometimes, there are things you want your service advisor to do but you often forget or ignore them in the long run. This software allows you to avoid this.
10. Scheduling of Appointments
This can help you easily create service appointment schedules. With the online calendar, appointments booked by your customers through your website are detected. Also, technicians can be notified of their jobs even before they get to the shop. You can also create service reminders to enable customers to know that you’ll honor their appointments with you. This reminder can be sent via text or email.
11. History of Appointments and Schedule
Otherwise deleted, all appointment information is retained. The details of a schedule are retained for reference purposes. This helps you to keep the history of the maintenance service or guarantee the certainty of the job completion.
12. Automated Future Appointments
The feature tracks the reoccurrence schedule of maintenance service and converts it automatically. The date of the service is calculated based on details such as miles, service requirements, customer information, etc.
13. Mapping and Directions
It’s easy to locate the direction of a vendor or a customer from your shop or house. On the customer or vendor’s information which you had already entered into the app, you can click on a button to access a printable driving direction. This is a great way to locate your customers. The same can be shared with your customers if they want to locate your shop. You can send the driving directions to them via email.
14. Management of Work Orders
You can easily navigate through the job for the day by assigning orders and creating canned jobs. You can also update the job status of your customers and they’ll be notified via email or text. You’ll keep track of your work and carry the customers along through this feature.
15. Comprehensive Job Kits
You can include labor notes, operations, and other details that see to the completion of a job. The update on such operation will also be effected on the software. This reflects the details and toolset for any job performed, either for a specific vehicle or a generic one.
16. Customer Support
Your vehicle repair software should include helpful technical support that can help track the needs of your customers and initiate prompt responses. The support hours provided for the software must match your schedule and attend to the needs your business requires.
17. Caller Identity
While it is not entirely strange to be called by strange phone numbers, the software helps you identify your callers. As you receive the call, the software displays the caller identity based on the management database information.
18. Customer Contact Reminders
This feature helps you notify your customers of the completion time for their work. Especially when the completion time is almost elapsing. Service advisors cannot possibly keep track of every detail, as tangible as they can be, especially in big automotive repair shops. This customer update feature allows the service advisor to notify the customers when their job is done.
19. Unique Pricing for Individual Customers
In rare cases, the pricing for customers varies based on the service rendered. Customers are often assigned their part matrices, parts discounts, labor discounts, and labor rates at the appropriate time. However, inputting this in their customer information page automatically updates the unique pricing for your customers.
20. Customers and their Specific Info
Some customers have a specific interest in some people. This could be a preferred service advisor, preferred technician, etc. These are the people that must always handle their job. Inputting this on their information page will remind you of these details every time their job is to be done. Also, some customers and employees don’t mind being texted via email during birthdays or general anniversaries. This could help retain some customers, enhance communication while effectively promoting your brand.
21. Reserve Specific Techs
An appointment can be assigned to a technician immediately after it is entered. This feature ensures that the technician is reserved for the job. A warning alarm will be displayed if another appointment overlaps the schedule of the reserved technician. You will also be notified should a technician is off duty for the day and time that the appointment is due. This will help you organize and handle specific services without emergency stress.
22. Customer Stats during Appointment Entry
This is very helpful when you are on a tight schedule and you are uncertain which appointment request to prioritize. How? When you select a customer to start an appointment, what you’ll see is their history. This includes their total spending and average RO, their number of visits and the jobs done, etc. This helps in narrowing your priority without losing important customers.
23. Car Tracking System and Loaner Car Reservation
Sometimes you could have customers in need of a loaner car. When the appointment comes in, the system displays loaner cars available for the schedule. It regards the time and day, mileages, and fuel levels that are needed. The system also helps you to track the details of the location. When the car is returned, the software automatically retains the history and if essential, a report can be produced afterward.
24. Get Vehicle Info by Entering License Plate
When you enter the license plate number of a car, the system automatically displays the VIN, engine size, car model, and year. This helps to reduce the error that could be incurred by manually inputting the 17-digit VINs. Check more info on how ARI retrieves vehicle info by entering the license plate
25. Comprehensive Vehicle Info:
These include fields such as last serviced date, vehicle registration date, the primary use of the vehicle, fuel gauge, fuel level, fuel type, mileage at last service, etc. This can help in noting the basic functions and features of the car that can help in the repair process.
26. Quickly Fix Doubly Entered Cars
Sometimes, the same car can apply twice to your system. Two similar cars with similar service history. You can relieve stress by merging them as if they were never entered twice. This saves you the time and stress that the system could require to fix the records in the long run.
27. Key Information is Easy to Locate and Access
You can access important information with a click or two. This is to avoid going through each screen after another screen in search of some details. The details you need could be a vehicle’s service history, technical information, technician assignments, customer details, scheduling, inspections, jobs in progress, vehicle information, recommendations, etc. You can easily navigate the system to access key information without going through scores of screens.
28. Reminders for Parts Delivery
As the delivery time for orders draws near, but there is no notification of arrival, your service advisor will be reminded to look into it through a pop-up alert. After waiting for authorizations, waiting for the delivery of parts allows production delay which can affect the overall service satisfaction of a customer. All parts must be verified to be present to avoid delays. Your auto-repair software can help with this feature.
29. Voice to Text Feature
You can enter information through voice commands. That is, you can talk and have the system translate the audio information into text so far you’re in the correct field. This can save time for both employees and employers who are busy with some other business that requires urgent attention.
30. Documents and Photos
Documents and photos can be attached to the customer information to achieve an accurate referencing list. This effect is allowed by the software.
31. Emailing from the Software
You may need to email important documents or guides to a customer through the software. Just as you can email drive directions to your customers, with a click, you can do other things. They can be maintenance schedules history, invoices, appointments, quotes and estimates, statements, authorizations, etc. Since the system already has a complete database for all the information you require, you can easily email them to your customers.
32. Spreadsheet Import and Export
You can import and export all kinds of information to a spreadsheet. This will help with easy management and sorting of important data that will take your time should you opt for manual sorting. This can also grant you access to specific information for urgent requests.
33. Internal Messaging Effect
The staff members of your business can text themselves through the car repair software. The message will be delivered only to the recipient. Bulk messaging is also activated, and these messages are automatically saved in the software for future purposes.
34. Vehicle Inspections on Mobile Devices
Every technician has access to the inspection details that are integrated into the software. This will allow them to have essential details on their smartphone or tablets to further their activities.
35. Automatic Inventory Creation
This applies to parts that are not in your current inventory record. The part is added to an estimate and it becomes a non-stocking inventory part automatically. This doesn’t require any manual input by you. All the information related to the estimate is retained; the information could be a brand, vendor, category, description, and the number of parts required, etc. all of which will be automatically updated.
36. Pricing Updates for Previously Sold Parts
Either from the earlier estimate, previous recommendation, or service history, when a job or part is specified, the price tags they had will be automatically updated into the current pricing details. You’ll receive a warning that notifies you that your inventory record doesn’t have a record of one of the required parts. Without this absence of a definite part, the automatic update on pricing relieves you of the stress of rechecking.
37. Time Clock Functions
Time clock-punching function is performed within the software. It consists of the time spent at work and time spent working on vehicles. This can help in calculating the labor operation period and help in tracking the time spent on each job.
38. Log In or Log Out Technician’s Hours
This feature can be very helpful to understand the time each technician spends while working. With a click, you can see the sequential arrangement of your technicians’ time entry for any day. This also includes the time for labor operations or time spent on specific vehicles.
39. Instant Technician Pay Calculation
This is a feature that allows you to know the gross pay for individual technicians or all technicians based on the date and time range for the punched in hours.
40. Recommendations Made
This feature helps you to gain more insights into why a recommendation is made. It also helps in assigning jobs to your employees. Your software features the automatic recording and retaining of service advisor’s and technician’s details who had made some recommendations for a customer in the past.
41. An optional Display of Labor Rates, Prices, and Times
You can choose to display the labor rates, prices, and times for the labor operations of each customer on the customer’s information. This feature allows you to see the entirety of efforts spent on a customer without opening another screen for his/her service history.
42. Colored Text Options
For better understanding, and to aid information accessibility, you can color some texts. That is, you can designate a red color to labor texts, green color to invoices, blue color to review estimates, etc. These will make your customers navigate through a report document easily.
43. Alphabetical Arrangement of Information
The function of this feature in your vehicle repair software is obvious. It helps with the index listings of names, titles, or headings. You don’t need to scroll back and forth or up and down in search of some icon or detail. When you know the first alphabet for what you’re looking for, you can easily get results.
44. Private Custom Parts Catalog
The software enables you to know which vehicle used a certain part. It forms a catalog of internal parts for your shop based on the history of parts sales. That is, immediately a part is sold for a vehicle, the system alerts you to enable you to start an estimate.
45. Segmented Presenting
Recommendations can be properly grouped through the estimated services offered to each customer. The categories that the recommendations fall into could be maintenance service, recommended repair services, concern/complaints, etc. This can be shared with customers and printed for reference purposes.
46. Payment Options
The software provider could have already installed a payment option for your customers. However, you can also use your preferred payment processor to receive payment for your services. That is, while you accept payment through credit cards via your point of sales (POS), you can also get paid through a payment processor in the software.
47. Simultaneous Displays
You may want to view different screens at a time. The screens could be the maintenance schedule details, previous recommendations, vehicle history, customer information, etc. without having to switch back and forth between different pages and screens. The software supports this feature for accessibility.
48. One Screen Contains All Key Information
When you need to create an estimate, the basic information you need is linked or displayed on the estimate screen. This means that you don’t need to go through the service history, the build date or drive recommendations, frequently needed information or drive type that could help in creating the estimates. All these are already linked on the estimate screen.
49. 100% Mobile Capability
You shouldn’t compulsorily need a laptop or computer to access the operations of the software. You should be able to access the software on your smartphone or tablet. Your technicians will also be able to navigate the system and customers can check out, pay and sign anywhere the transaction could take place.
50. Link your Credit Card
Through the management software, you can link your signature pad and credit card device together. You don’t need to select the invoice method, nor have multiple signatures or different credit card receipts. In addition to this, information can be emailed to the customer once the invoice is paid. This facilitates quality and efficient service.
Auto repair software are designed to make life better for auto shop owners and mechanics with their great ease of use, and high tech capabilities, and optimal efficiency. However, all of these cannot be achieved without the right features in place, and the 50 features listed above are must-haves for the software you settle for in order to enjoy optimal performance and a great user experience. If you want to get access to all the features above, then visit ARI features page for more details.
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