It may sound simple enough, but having one view of your business that includes diverse information such as performance, work in progress, suppliers’ status, deliveries and payments, makes working life more straightforward and is vital for growth.
For a garage, there are multiple layers of logistics which mesh together to keep the business functioning and at its most basic level could be something like the right part delivered on time in order to complete a job for the customer. Meanwhile, other factors are vital if your garage is to function smoothly, such as understanding a vehicle’s progress through the workshop, work a mechanic may have identified which is required in the future, marketing campaigns and invoicing. For many garage owners, it is impossible to gain an overview of the business without cross referencing several different spreadsheets which is so time consuming that it is unlikely to be undertaken.
So why is it important for the garage owner to be able to have ‘one view’ of the business be it on a given day or over a period of time?
- Business growth
Crucial in understanding strengths and weaknesses and being able to exploit the former as much as possible and make changes to improve the latter thereby creating the environment necessary for the business to grow.
- Understand your customer
Having one view of your business also means you can better understand your customer on an individual basis by tracking the work completed and keeping an eye on work due as well as reminding them of their forthcoming MOT and service dates.
- Everyday processes
For the daily smooth running of your business, it is imperative that tasks are handled efficiently, not only are you likely to improve your productivity, but you are also more likely to deliver a better service to your customer who will not only return again and again but tell friends and family to do the same.
Understanding the most profitable jobs and those which may need to be priced differently is essential for your business to grow. Meanwhile, identifying trends be they seasonal or peculiar to your make up of customers means you can better cope with the busy times and put plans in place for quieter periods.
As the garage owner, one view makes a whole host of information about your business accessible from the hours of productive labour of your mechanics to the cost of parts and delivery times of your different suppliers. Such detail means you can make informed business decisions to increase your profitability.
- Audit trail
When it comes to that time of year when your accountant tots up your revenue compared to your expenditure and determines your profits and therefore, the tax your business owes, having everything in one place means you can access this information at any one time without having to wait for someone else to do the maths. Should an official inspector come to call, you are able to quickly access your audit trail. If you find yourself in the position of having to provide information to a customer, likewise, it is all at hand including any communications you have undertaken during the course of the work.
- Frees up time
Instead of constantly amassing information from a variety of sources and pulling them together to provide the snapshot required, a system which provides one view of a business thereby frees up the time of the garage owner to grow the business further and from an informed position.
- Connects multiple sites
If you have more than one site, for example, a bodyshop down the road or a split site showroom and service centre, a system which connects the business means employees are able to access the information they need and the garage owner can understand the workload, performance and identify any issues at all his locations. For example, the service receptionist could be based at one location and is dealing with a customer whose vehicle is having work undertaken at the bodyshop off-site or a sales executive wants to give a customer a date and time to collect their new vehicle and needs to check if any work required has been completed. Connectivity makes everyone’s lives easier.
- Keep in touch
Customers want to hear from you if you have something meaningful to say. By having one view of the business, you can also drill down to specific information about a customer and act accordingly, making a service offer, for example, if they haven’t visited you for a while or suggesting an air conditioning service for older vehicles as spring approaches.
- Suits you
Above all, any management system which enables you to gain an overview of your business will help you develop a strategy for growth, but it must be tailored to suit your needs. You should be able to incorporate as many steps as you require and ‘switch off’ the tools which are unsuitable or irrelevant. In short, you should be able to customise a system to meet your requirements and if you can influence changes for a tailor-made solution, even better.
CarVue is a revolutionary cloud-based application for independent workshops, garages and mechanics. It’s a simple and smart app that removes the need for expensive servers, software upgrades or training to run an automotive business. With a simple web browser a workshop can be managed from any device, any time and from anywhere. Find out much more and sign up for an obligation free trial today at www.carvue.com