The job card or T-card board has been an essential part of the workshop for time immemorial, allowing the garage owner, technicians, the workshop manager, service manager, service advisors and receptionists to follow the progress of the car during the course of the work undertaken. This system has been automated for several years now making it much easier for everyone to keep track and also ensures a record of each stage is maintained. However, some garages still opt for the old-fashioned card and boards despite the benefits of a digital version.
The A-Z of running a modern garage
We look at how the job card system has evolved in the latest of our A-Z series of top tips of the best ways to manage a modern garage. Looking at a number of operational policies and processes which are critical to the successful operation of a service and repair business, our guide is designed to provide you with ideas to help you on the road to becoming an even more successful business or as a measure of reassurance that your business is ahead of the game.
If you are still operating a manual system, our advice is to switch to garage management software which allows you to do the same job and so much more on-screen. There are a host of providers out there with many automated job card element forming just one element of an overall workshop management system.
In just the same way as T-cards enable you to better manage the workload in your workshop on any one day, automated programmes enable you to do the same thing, but with additional functionality. The T-card systems on offer are usually customisable allowing you to record essential extra information about the car or the customer, for example, that the customer requires the car before 3pm for the school run. The major advantage is that anyone who needs information on a vehicle in the workshop can access it at any time from their own desktop, extremely helpful if your receptionist takes a call from the customer – no need to walk into the workshop to find out the stage of the work or check on the T-board, it’s on their screen at the touch of a button. Meanwhile most designs echo that of the manual T-board making for a familiar layout.
Other advantages include being able to assign jobs to technicians, in-put courtesy car information and make notes about the repairs. Of course, the information stays on the system which means it can be referred to at any time whilst also enabling you to build a database.
Most automated job card systems enable the user to record vehicle and customer information as well as parts requirements. There are usually fields for the technician who can record specific details about the job including estimated job hours.
All automated systems will ensure your business operates in a much more streamlined fashion, processes are smoother and it automatically generates an audit trail, all of which enable you to deliver a much more seamless service to your customers. As well as keeping track of the vehicle’s progress through the system, most software provides the means to keep in touch with customers by email and SMS, again, any communications are recorded which can be useful for future reference.
When the job has been completed, a good system will also enable you to transform the job card into an invoice.
Now we are operating in an increasingly cloud-based way, most systems are designed to enable users to have a simple or multi-layered system the best meet the needs of the individual business. It also means businesses are always utilising the latest version of the software and additional demands on the system are readily accommodated, all at no extra cost and without the need to download or update because it is undertaken by the provider, automatically in the cloud.
If you have yet to switch over to an automated job card system, our advice is to talk to other users and check out the providers who offer free trials, that way you will be able to gauge if the software is right for your business.
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