Automotive technicians are an integral part of your repair shop team. They undoubtedly handle a large number of tasks and (hopefully) keep things running smoothly.
But too often, they’re stuck in front of the computer handling time-consuming administrative tasks, such as estimating, searching for parts, scheduling, and handling payments, when they should be out on the floor running inspections and assisting your mechanics.
So, how can you help your technicians get back to doing the work that really keeps your shop doors open? In this post, we’re going to give you four ways your auto technicians can untether from their desktops and get back out on the shop floor.
But first, what exactly do auto technicians do?
What Do Auto Technicians Do?
In short — a lot!
Reliable and skilled auto technicians ensure your shop runs smoothly and cars keep coming in and out of the bays. Kind of essential to your business, right?
But as for your technicians’ exact responsibilities, that will largely depend on your particular shop and circumstances, but to help us break things down, here’s a sample job description from Monster.com:
Automobile Technician Mechanic Job Duties:
- Keeps equipment available for use by inspecting and testing vehicles; completing preventive maintenance such as, engine tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotation and changes, wheel balancing, replacing filters.
- Maintains vehicle functional condition by listening to operator complaints; conducting inspections; repairing engine failures; repairing mechanical and electrical systems malfunctions; replacing parts and components; repairing body damage.
- Verifies vehicle serviceability by conducting test drives; adjusting controls and systems.
- Complies with state vehicle requirements by testing engine, safety, and combustion control standards.
- Maintains vehicle appearance by cleaning, washing, and painting.
- Maintains vehicle records by recording service and repairs.
- Keeps shop equipment operating by following operating instructions; troubleshooting breakdowns; maintaining supplies; performing preventive maintenance; calling for repairs.
- Contains costs by using warranty; evaluating service and parts options.
- Keeps supplies ready by inventorying stock; placing orders; verifying receipt.
- Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading technical publications.
- Accomplishes maintenance and organization mission by completing related results as needed.
As you can see, auto technicians handle quite a bit! And those many responsibilities that should be keeping them quite busy (and also drive revenue for your shop, especially when they work efficiently).
While auto technicians do indeed work with computers and related equipment often throughout the day to discover the problems with a car, they often get bogged down by time-consuming admin tasks that keep them stuck in front of the computer all day.
From creating an estimate to searching for and ordering parts, to inspecting the vehicles and handling payments, there’s plenty of admin work that your auto technicians end up spending too much day-to-day on when they should be focusing on helping your mechanics with the cars.
So how can you get them off the computer and back out into the garage? Simple. Install an auto shop management solution to help streamline your workflow and let your techs get back to the real work.
1. Make Accurate Estimates Fast
Unfortunately, creating an estimate isn’t a simple eyeball guessing game. You have to be pretty darn close to the final invoice or your customers are going to be pretty ticked off.
It can take a while to pull up all the parts and labor required for the job and do the math to create your estimate. When you have an Auto Repair Labor Guide built into your shop management solution, your techs can provide accurate estimates fast.
The Auto Repair Labor Guide gives techs the information they need to get the estimate — and the job — done right. Estimating software gives your techs valuable insight on repair labor times to manage your team’s workload and accurately represent what repairs will cost so you can provide precise estimates and invoices.
This keeps your team ahead of the curve, eliminates surprises on customer invoices that can harm your reputation, and allows you to plan and manage your team more efficiently.
2. Find & Order Parts Faster (Plus, Manage Your Inventory)
Another mega time suck for your techs is scanning the web, pouring through catalogs, or dialing up shop after shop searching for parts, but when you have a smart tool like an Automotive Electronic Parts Ordering (known here as QuickParts), it helps your techs easily find and source the parts they need.
The built-in software does the hard work for you. It can manage your inventory and recommend the ideal stocks for your shop based on your sales history. The ordering system saves parts you frequently use, sets the minimum and maximum stock levels, and helps you select and save parts for specific repair jobs, getting you closer to standardized pricing. This all helps to avoid selling a job with too low a margin or losing a client because of too high of a price!
Not only that, but you’ll ensure parts aren’t collecting dust or wasting money sitting on your shelves. Automotive Inventory Management means your techs don’t need to waste time searching, counting, and restocking.
You can optimize your inventory to eliminate money wasted on unused parts. You’ll only stock parts you need and the software helps you determine the appropriate quantities so you never run out and hit a snag in your workflow. The result is higher margins for your business! That’s a big win.
3. Streamline the Inspection
Traditionally, your tech needs to handle customer intake, take the car into the bay, run the inspection, then walk back out to report the inspection to the customer or pick up the phone and call if they’ve left.
But with Digital Vehicle Inspection Software, your techs can save loads of time by just reporting straight from the car. You can send a report straight to the customers that tell them what has been inspected and where any problems were encountered.
The DVI keeps your customer informed, helps them understand the importance of the repairs, and streamlines your shop’s daily operations. This improves communication, builds trust, and cuts a big chunk of computer reporting/logging out of the workflow for your techs!
Trust us, they’ll thank you, and so will your bottom line.
4. Contactless Payments
Another time-consuming process for your techs is invoicing and taking payments, but you can optimize it with Contactless Payment Software.
When the work is done and it’s time for payment, your tech doesn’t need to return to the computer, punch everything in, print up an invoice, present it to the customer, and then process payment. Now, you can simply use the Invite to Pay contactless payment feature to collect your payments quickly and remotely.
Your customers will love the convenience, and your techs will appreciate that they no longer have to process payments. When you collect payments remotely, your techs are no longer chained to the checkout counter. They’re freed up to handle other more important work!
As you can see, a Shop Management Solution can help optimize your office through smart features that handle time-consuming administrative tasks, allowing your techs to work on cars instead of computers.
The best part? All four of the features mentioned here are available in one place — through Omnique Automotive Shop Management Software. If you’re interested in giving Omnique a try to see how it can streamline operations in your shop, get in touch with Omnique today to request a free demo.