Truck Repair Shop Software As An Asset — The Value Behind Automation
Software, when properly and effectively utilized, should be an asset to your business. When running a shop, there are necessary costs to keep the lights on and the doors open, and then there are additional costs that should help your shop make more money. It’s inevitable that you’re going to have necessary overhead expenses such as rent and utilities, and those are sunk costs that are necessary but are not helping you generate any revenue. On the other hand, there are investments such a purchasing parts and paying employee wages that are necessary to create revenue and profit. Software falls in this category as well — it’s a necessary investment. Below are a few key points to highlight why a good software solution is worth a look, and how the right software for the business can be worth its weight in gold.
Plenty of shops deal with a nightmare process of redundant work where the techs are handwriting notes and manually stamping job times. The manager or foreman then has to take the chicken scratched, oil-stained work orders and try to decipher that information to eventually get invoices out to the customers. Chances are the manager will still have to go back out to the shop to get clarification from the techs. Finally, the invoices get passed to the accountant and re-entered for a third time into their accounting program.
Where’s the value? Payroll can be one of the biggest expenses for any business. When wages are multiplied by redundant work, it can equal a massive expense that’s hidden as the cost of payroll. Good news is, there are solutions where information can be entered once and never need to be re-entered again.
Have you ever gone into the customer file cabinet or into the parts room and wondered when exactly the bomb went off? Anytime you have human interaction it increases the likelihood of error. Without organizational tools and some simple processes to follow, things can get messy. Having customer files and history in a software program not only gives you instant access to any previous job or invoice, but the customer will also love the instant recall for previous work performed. Plus, they will appreciate that you care enough to keep their maintenance records. There are also many software controls that can help organize your inventory and provide you with the ability to track part quantities in multiple areas of the business, so you never run out or need to guess where a part is located. Other controls can keep an accurate record of changing part numbers, obsolete parts, vendor options, and price updates.
PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE
When it boils down to the value of software, time is money. The time it takes to start a work order and have it go from the shop to the office and finally to the accountant can turn into a heaping pile of money. Since this wasted time is hidden as normal processes, plenty of owners never calculate what this wasted time actually costs them. For example, an accountant works forty hours a week making twenty dollars an hour. If they spend even ten hours a week re-entering information, that adds up to $200 in a single week. That’s a lot of time that could have been spent elsewhere around the business. We only mention the accountants time, but what about the foreman who had to run around the shop because he couldn’t read the work order or the parts manager that spent ten minutes looking for a part that was out of stock to begin with.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There is a cost for software, but comparing that to the cost of an entire business team’s inefficient processes and lost time, could pale by comparison. The right software for your business should make you more money and never actually cost a dime on the bottom line, it should be a valuable tool in your arsenal to help streamline the work and make your life easier and business more profitable. If your software isn’t adding value by eliminating redundancy and helping with organization across the entire business, you may not be using the right solution for your company.