A clean shop floor and a tidy back office doesn't necessarily mean your shop is running smoothly under the surface. Are you losing work orders? Does it seem like everyone on your team is on a different page about the status of a work order? Can't quickly find your customer's records from a stack of papers on your desk? Does your inventory give you nightmares? Do you sense frustration from your customers?
As an auto shop, your business success is strongly connected to how well you provide your customers and employees with the extraordinary experiences they demand. At the end of the day, a happy team, happy customers, and a thriving business are rooted in the intentional organization of your operations.
Organization helps your shop to move fast without anything falling through the cracks. Organization keeps your team in step with each other and leaves no one confused. Organization is both seen and felt by your customers. Organization sets you up for success in scaling your business. Organization allows work to go smoothly and as they say at the track: “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast!”
Let’s get you organized.
4 Ways to organize your shop for results
1) Implement end-to-end status tracking for every work order.
Create and standardize vehicle status categories so that any employee in the shop knows the status of a vehicle – even if the assigned technician or service writer is at lunch. Auto workflow management tracking should be visual and easy for any employee to understand.
Here are some sample status categories to get you started:
- Estimate creation
- Appointment scheduled
- Vehicle dropped off
- Waiting on estimate approval
- In progress
- Waiting on parts
- Ready for pickup
By setting yourself up to easily and vigilantly track work orders from creation to payment and pickup, you’ll never lose track of a work order again.
2) Help your team stay on the same page.
Outside of tracking the general status of a work order, make sure there is a way to document and easily view service-level details, such as important notes from the technician.
In addition, creating different labels/color coding can help quickly communicate to techs and service writers if there are any special considerations for that job. This type of color-coding will help your team to quickly scan for important information that keeps the team organized and able to move swiftly – while in sync.
Here’s a handful of color-coding/label ideas:
- Bay number
- “Due Today”
- “First Time Customer”
- “Friends & Family”
3) Digitally store complete customer data and vehicle service history.
Yep, we said “digitally”! Moving your customer information to a digital format may seem tedious up front, but it will save you hours down the road and will help you to service customers faster and even upsell if you can access their service history quickly. Existing customers’ information should be easy to pull up. Looking back at a customer’s vehicle service history should be fast and painless and also meticulously complete. In the unfortunate event of needing to fight a chargeback, good records and authorization/communication history are invaluable.
Records you should be keeping:
- Name and contact information
- Vehicle(s) tied to each customer profile
- Complete service history for each vehicle
- Audit trail of all estimate approvals, invoices, and payments
- List of previously deferred/declined services
4) Track your inventory in real time.
Making sure you have the parts you need in stock keeps cars moving through and keeps customers happy by limiting service delays. As we’ve all experienced recently, it can take time to get parts, so it’s critical to stay on top of your inventory in real time.
Take these important actions:
- Make sure you know which services you perform the most often. In times of shortages and delays, make sure you never run low on inventory for your top services.
- Immediately track parts used on invoices or reserve parts as soon as an estimate is approved.
- Set up alerts for when you are starting to run low on an item, and reorder before you’re out.
Real shops. Real results.
Here’s how real auto shops are getting organized with Shopmonkey's all-in-one automotive repair software:
50% Less Time Spent Running the Shop
"Organizing and managing my workflow and processes in Shopmonkey saves more than half the hassle. I can say it significantly cuts down the time needed for day-to-day tasks".
- Gurjap Sekhon, Owner and Lead Technician, Euro Garage
We Don’t Lose Profitability
"Shopmonkey helps us organize in such a way that we don't lose profitability. Before Shopmonkey, our business was a mess — our inventory, our parts department, employees' hours — everything was manual. Now everything is up-to-date and clear and saves us time."
- Richardo Desilva, Owner, First Choice Tires
If you’re looking for a fast way to get organized, you need to have the right technology in place. Shopmonkey is here to help with a single solution to get your shop organized from end to end. Let’s connect!