Technology has forever changed how we run businesses. The auto repair landscape is no different. Using spreadsheets and logbooks is a thing of the past. Most modern shops use dedicated software to manage the operations of their shops. One such example is auto repair estimating software.
So, what is auto repair estimating software? Simply put, it is a program that helps you create estimates or quotations faster. Customers often ask for estimates over the phone. What if I told you that you can create those estimates within minutes, right on the call.
This is one of the many benefits of using software for auto repair shops. To understand the role estimates play in an auto repair shop, let’s paint and consider the following scenario.
Why Do You Need a Software to do Estimates?
You arrive at your shop sharp at 8 am like every other day. Out of nowhere, your phone rings. The person on the other end cuts to the chase and asks you how much would it cost to fix a broken ball joint.
You’re probably not the first or the last shop they’re gonna call. What they’re doing is asking for prices from multiple auto repair shops. Most likely, they will choose a shop with reasonable prices.
Over the top of your head, you know it takes a little over an hour to replace a ball joint on a car. And the last time you fixed a ball joint, it cost $70 for the part. With the labor cost added, it will cost your customer around $265 to get the repairs done. However, as soon as you’re done with the arduous calculation, your customer mentions that their vehicle is a Ford truck.
Great, now you have to do the calculations all over again because the same repair on a truck is a completely different story.
Now, if you were using an auto repair estimator software, all you would have to do is search for the specific part and model, and you would have the estimate ready in 2 minutes flat. And you could get the approval for the estimate right there and then!
Why Is an Estimate Needed in Auto Repair Shops
An estimate is a quick, well, estimate of the cost needed for a particular repair. It is not a final cost in any way, shape or form. It gives your customer a general idea of what the repair might cost.
Provides an Estimated Cost
Circling back to our ball joint story, it may have been possible that repair could cost a bit over or under $265. Maybe the ball joint was damaged for quite some time and in turn, it damaged some other components as well.
TLDR; estimates help give a ballpark figure for repairs. Many people often ask for estimates even before visiting a repair shop. If they think you’re charging unreasonably higher than other shops, they will not consider you at all.
Transparency With Customers
Another benefit of estimates is transparency. Overcommitment has been plaguing the auto repair industry for years. Customers feel like they’re being overcharged for everything. A written and approved estimate is more like a signed agreement between both customer and the repair shop on an estimated cost.
Helps With Insurance Claims
Oftentimes, the estimates provided by claim adjusters are lower than what the mechanics quote. In such cases, a written estimate from a repair shop can help you negotiate better with the insurance adjusters. Whether it’s cash pay or insurance claims, a written estimate goes a long way.
So, how can we make the estimating process easier, faster and better? This is where free auto repair estimating software comes in.
Benefits of Using Auto Repair Estimating Software
Estimating software for auto repair shops is a tool that can be used by auto repair shops to reduce the work and time required for estimating repairs. This software helps them in keeping their customers satisfied by providing transparent information on what it will cost to fix their car. Here’s everything you need to know about auto repair software.
Faster Estimate Creation
The manual way of creating estimates is pretty dated and slow. Your customers want quick estimates on the spot. If you spend a lot of time looking up cost of parts and labor, it will take you ages to create an accurate estimate.
Instead of using these archaic methods, you can simply login to your auto repair estimating software dashboard and search for parts and labor times easily. In case you need to order parts from a vendor, the software has you covered! Many such programs come with integrated parts lookup and ordering with companies like Nexpart.
Quick Estimate Approvals
You can print estimates easily. However, instead of printing estimates for approval, you can use the software to send those estimates directly to your customers via email or SMS. They’ll get a link using which they can approve or decline the recommended services. This is not only a faster way to get estimate approvals, your customer stays in the loop. This helps in transparency as the customers know which repair jobs they have approved.
View Profitability Reports
On the estimate section in your auto repair software, you can see the profitability reports for a given repair job. These reports detail things like the overall profit, profit on parts and profit on labor. These reports help you gain valuable insight into the profit margins for your auto repair business so you can keep your business growing and thriving.
Convert to Job Cards
Once you have an estimate ready, you can add jobs to the work order with a single click. This is not only faster, but it also eliminates the risk of data duplication. As soon as you create work orders, your mechanics can get started on the repair jobs.
Summing It Up
Estimates are an important part of running an auto repair business. If your estimates are approved, only then can you get repair jobs in your shop. This is why you should streamline the estimate creation process in your repair business. This will also keep your customers happy!
And what better way to do that than using auto repair estimating software.