3 Tools to Provide Better Estimates

auto shop estimating for auto shop management software - Manager SE, Mitchell 1When it comes to repairing vehicles, there’s a lot of room for error throughout the entire process. One of the most critical elements of the automotive repair process, even for the most experienced of repair shops, is the estimating process.

Estimates are exactly that — estimates. By their very nature they may need adjustment. That said, accurate estimates are one of the most important facets of your business and finding ways to increase accuracy can have a positive impact on your bottom line.

The Top 3 Tools for Better Estimating

To help you provide the best level of service to your customers, here are our top three Mitchell 1 tools for providing better automotive repair estimates.

1. Extensive Auto Repair Information

When it comes to helpful tools for estimating automotive repairs, you must have reliable parts and labor information. ProDemand is packed full of tools for diagnostics and repair, and estimating tools that have been used and trusted by generations of professional auto service professionals.

When it comes to calculating accurate repair estimates, ProDemand’s powerful car repair estimator helps make writing estimates fast, easy and accurate. Labor times are based on a comprehensive database that has been developed using a methodology proven over time. Other features include OEM part numbers with detailed illustrations and manufacturer suggested retail prices (MSRP), fluids information, and the ability customize the estimate by editing labor times, adding parts manually, adding or deleting lines, and moving lines in the estimate to group items together.

2. A Robust Auto Shop Management System

Having estimating integrated with your shop management system is a must have for auto repair businesses. The integration allows you to write accurate estimates and link to all the repair information needed to complete the repair from a single application. Of course, the management system also lets you track your customers’ history at your shop, manage invoices, integrate with marketing and accounting applications, and incorporate many other time-saving functions all in one place.

An example of this integration is the Manager SE auto shop management software with ProDemand Estimating, allowing you to add parts and labor to your shop management estimates and work orders faster and easier than ever before. Once the estimate becomes a repair order, you can also quickly attach OEM scheduled maintenance services, wiring diagrams and specifications to give the technician a head start on the repair

Fast and accurate estimates mean your technicians can work more efficiently, but you can also impress your customers with your professionalism. The repair estimate you present to your customer is often the first impression they have of your business. And experts say that a first impression can dictate the trajectory for all future interactions and even affect your likelihood of keeping that customer. With as much power as the first impression carries, ensuring you can provide your customers with an accurate estimate should be considered a top priority for your auto repair shop.

3. An Integrated Mobile Shop Management Tool

Having a comprehensive auto shop management system is a great way to improve efficiency and build accurate estimates, but there is another simple thing you can do to build estimates that will supercharge your productivity, sales, customer retention and overall shop image. Go mobile! Incorporating the flexibility of a mobile system will give you the ability to further streamline your processes, including estimating.

With mobile, you can meet the customer at their car, take any necessary photos and scan VINs, create quick estimates and write technician checklists. Mobile ManagerPro is the mobile version of Manager SE, and it comes with all the same features but with the added convenience of being able to take it everywhere with you. Just take your Mobile Manager Pro tablet with you, enter in the appropriate information for the repair, and the repair estimate is ready to go.

The integration of complete estimating labor times and parts pricing with your desktop and mobile shop management application puts your shop one step ahead of your competitors.

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