Rewards & Referrals

Easy-to-use rewards program with a built-in innovative referral tool

How Auto Repair Estimate Software Transforms Your Shop (800 × 600 px)

How Auto Repair Estimate Software Transforms Your Shop

August 14, 2023
Surely, you’ve heard all the buzz about adopting auto repair estimate software. And you know it’s time to leave your comfort zone of old habits. If you’re still on the fence, we’ll summarize how much this can change the game for you and your profit level.

In short, auto repair software takes every mundane and repeated task and automates it for you and your team. If you repaired 15 Dodge Caravans last month, why start from scratch on the next repair order for one?

By taking the intel from previous repairs, you start out with a template that fills in vital information. Not only does it speed up the check-in process, it makes it far more accurate. As a result, customers get their estimates sooner and your techs get to work minutes sooner.

All this adds up to more transparent and efficient operations. And those minutes you save, they add up into dollars.

To be clear, Autoflow doesn’t offer auto repair estimate software. However, our software platform works hand in hand with it as an add-on, plugin. So, we’ve seen how it makes the entire process go smoother and generate more profits. And we want all this for you!

Tell Me More About Auto Repair Estimate Software

Until you use this type of software, you cannot really tell how much time repetitive tasks eat up during an average day. Over and over, you fill in forms with the same info and look up prices again and again.

With estimate software, any task you’ve done before can get captured and leveraged for the next similar repair:

  • generating every line within estimates
  • ordering and managing parts inventory
  • estimating labor costs

This way, you streamline the estimation process and minimize errors. And save even more time.

While your staff will produce estimates more quickly, the big pluses come through for your customers. When they get more accurate estimates sooner, it inspires them to approve the work right away. As a result, you get:

  • Quicker turnarounds
  • Fewer instances of undercharging or underquoting
  • More trust, which translates into greater loyalty

So, this pays off with customers raving about you to their friends and family members. In turn, you earn more repeat business and word-of-mouth buzz. Who wouldn’t want a reputation as THE shop that follows through on its promises?

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, you tap into key features in the best auto repair estimate software. When you shop around, ask for:

  • templates you can customize to suit your shop’s workflows and client base
  • integration with parts databases to order more quickly and to track inventory
  • reporting capabilities so you can see how your business grows or to identify roadblocks

Why Integrate Auto Repair Estimate Software with DVIs

When you combine auto repair estimate software with digital vehicle inspections (DVI), it simplifies the inspection process by producing a digital checklist that aligns with other functions.

After all, technicians have the following information right at their fingertips:

  • vehicle details and repair history
  • parts availability
  • accurate labor times based on past jobs

This makes it easier for technicians to identify issues accurately, make recommendations then share them with customers easily. All this communication unfolds in real time via text or email, depending on what the customer wants.

Every discovery during the inspection shows up in the estimate. Nothing gets missed so no one has to come back and report an overlooked problem.

Now, your customers will delight at how they feel looped in and appreciated. They can receive the inspection report alongside the estimate – on their smartphone, when they have time to review it. You’ve now tapped into the ultimate way to make their day easier.

Autoflow Integrates With It All

We designed our software with all these processes in mind. That way, Autoflow can seamlessly integrate with auto repair estimate software. In other words, it feels like you’re using one program as you build estimates based on DVIs. Once we set it up, you never look back. 

Our DVIs make it easy to capture photos and videos of broken and worn parts so drivers can easily see the need for replacements. They also keep a record of suggested repairs for the next visit. All this information lives within the easily accessible digital record for each vehicle that also offers:

  • Easy-to-use visual inspection tools
  • Integration with shop management systems
  • Templates that align with the KPIs within your business reports

Even better, Autoflow meshes with industry-leading auto repair software platforms:

  • ALLDATA – an online source of OEM’s’ diagnostic and repair information
  • Automotive Systems TireMaster – a blend of point-of-sale, inventory management and accounts-receivable tools 
  • HITS – a shop management software built for startups through to enterprises
  • Lankar – a shop management software with online marketing, accounting and payroll
  • Mitchell1 – automotive repair software and repair shop solutions to simplify everyday tasks 
  • NAPA Tracs – a shop management system focused on  profitability, efficiency and productivity
  • Protractor – a cloud-based shop management system to monitor all aspects of your shop’s operations
  • Shop-Ware – a cloud-based shop management software designed by a shop owner
  • ShopKey – OEM repair, estimating and maintenance information including vintage data back to 1974

We also integrate with ShopBoss, R.O. Writer, Scott Systems’ MaxxTraxx, Winworks, Repair Writer, Madden Co., Yes Management System, Omnique, TekMetric, Tire Shop and TireSmart.

4 Ways to Enhance Shop Operations 

With auto repair estimate software, you improve your business in four key ways. Let’s walk through each one on its own.

Efficient Labor and Inventory Management

Stop agonizing over scheduling who gets which repair order next. Estimate software tells you how long each job will take so you use every technician’s time optimally. 

Meanwhile, you stay on top of inventory, ordering parts when you need them and before you run too low.

Reduce Overhead Costs

Every day, shops waste time writing the same estimates over and over again. They leave customers waiting as they fill in forms that estimate software can automatically populate. Instead, free up your team to tasks that build your business to new heights. 

By using templates, you avoid costly mistakes that rob your business of its profits. When you combine time savings with fewer do-overs, you cut costs and make more money.

Streamlined Invoicing and Bill Processing

Rather than manually inputting auto repair billing details, pull in the numbers from an approved estimate generated by auto repair programs. Your accounting staff will love having this repetitive exacting task simplified and cleared of human error. 

With more accurate billing, your customers will trust you more and spread the word. As this MoneySense article proves, customers pay attention to how you charge for a technicians’ time. Now, that’s value added!

Customer Management and Retention

Imagine having every piece of customer data available within seconds. Auto repair estimate software tells you the history of every visit, recommendation, service and repair. When a client calls with a question, you look like a rock star by having the information right in front of you.

As a result, your customers feel valued. When you follow up to remind them about that service they wanted to delay, they know you care. And they respond with loyal business.

Success Stories from Repair Shop Owners

While we’ve seen software change the trajectory of many shops, you can also ask people who work in shops every day.

In Blowing Rock, North Carolina, shop owner Lucas Underwood sees drastic time savings by combining Autoflow with Shop-Ware. They accelerate his workflow, saving his staff 20 to 30 minutes per repair. This happens by sending the DVI then seeking an approval so customers make informed decisions.

Meanwhile, pairing two pieces of software also helps S&S Tire and Auto Service in Phoenix, Arizona. 

“Autoflow has been an amazing tool for us in so many ways,” says manager Brad Slagle. “It saves our team time when our technicians send the pictures and videos directly to the service advisor’s computer so they can then send it to our customer.”

He says it has landed more sales thanks to the transparency it creates between staff and customers. 

“Our customers love the picture and video recommendations and state that in our social media reviews,” he adds. “It does not stop there, the Autoflow team is amazing to work with. They are very responsive to questions and suggestions. The Autoflow team really has a great program but yet they are always looking to improve upon it. The integration with Tire Shop by Freedom Soft makes it that much easier for our team to use.

Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Repair Estimate Software

So, which software package would work best in your shop? There are four steps to finding the right fit for your team and its workflows.

  1. Analyze your shop’s needs – Consider your car counts, number of bays and staff levels. Do you specialize or offer a range of services? You’ll want to select software that aligns with those requirements.
  2. Plan to integrate with Autoflow – Check the list above to see if your first choice works seamlessly with Autoflow’s digital vehicle inspection software. Why not make it easier all around? 
  3. Check customer reviews and testimonials – Learn from other shop owners who have made the switch. Their comments can help guide your selection based on their daily use of programs.
  4. Book demos – Take a test drive to see which auto repair estimate software feels most intuitive to you. This firsthand experience will also help you win over your staff as well. We also welcome the chance to demonstrate how Autoflow works with any program you consider.

Let’s recap

You know it’s time to embrace the latest technology, but make sure you get it right. By choosing the right estimate software, your shop’s records will be more accurate, you’ll work more efficiently and your customers will be happier.

By integrating with Autoflow digital vehicle inspections, you set yourself up for even greater success. Together, these ingredients make the most of your shop management capabilities. To stay competitive in today’s marketplace, tap into both types of software to enhance shop operations and provide exceptional customer experiences.

Lois Tuffin

Lois Tuffin

Automotive freelancer

Lois Tuffin