Two seasons for adopting technology in your shop
The end of the year is already coming up; another year has almost flown by. As a shop owner and someone who believes in Kaizen (always moving forward), I’m constantly making changes to my shop and its processes. When is a good time for your shop to adopt technology? I believe there are two seasons when you make changes in an auto repair shop, the off-season and summer. (Let me state that this applies to most shops in the Mid and Southern US, and DOES NOT apply to shops in Canada).
The off-season, which is anytime but summer, is a good time to make major operational changes with software. For instance, if you’re going to move from a paper inspection to a digital inspection or switch shop management systems (both are big changes), I would schedule those type of changes for end of year adoption, with execution right at the beginning of the new year. This gives your team plenty of time to curse you (this they will do) and change their habits to accept this new way of doing business. And, if your technicians don’t have tablets in the bays yet, I say shop early for Christmas presents, and buy them tablets now.
I believe you can make changes to your business over the summer, and, you should, but these would be changes that don’t affect day-to-day operations. Many marketing changes and adoptions can be done over the summer and should be. You want to make sure you’re spending your marketing dollars in the busy time as well as in the slow. Picking up DemandForce or using MyShopManager can be adopted in the summer. Signing up for RepairPal to become a certified shop can be done in the summer. Building a new website by either doing it yourself or using Kukui or Autoshop Solutions can also be done with minimal pain to your day-to-day operations.
I understand some shops are busy year-round (good for you). I just want to present the idea that a shop owner needs to look at his cycles and understand when they can get the most out of change and with minimal cursing from their people!
Architect/President at autotext.me
As an auto repair shop owner of Golden Rule Auto Care, Chris Cloutier realized the need for a better way to communicate with his customers as he observed how communication gaps created bottleneck situations and wasted valuable rack time. With 20+ years experience as a software developer including employment stints at Southwest Airlines and Wyndham International, Chris had seen the benefits of the marriage of software and customer service. With the entrepreneurial passion to create an innovative solution to solve a common industry problem, Chris designed autotext.me, a tool that dually functions as a visual workflow management system and as a means for keeping customers engaged and informed by providing status updates throughout the stages of the vehicle repair process. Click here to read more...