Avoid Dupes and Have a Nicer Day

Avoid Dupes and Have a Nicer Day

One of the most popular questions we get about the Manager software is “how do I fix duplicate customers & vehicles?” Perhaps it is the Groucho Marx in me that the first part of my response is “stop creating them.” After the brief laughter subsides, I explain there are two main causes of duplicate records: the first is not using the F6/New screen to validate customers are already on file and the other is not using Find Customer to activate the same window to verify the same within the Schedule window.

We have a Knowledgebase article here that describes the process of consolidating customer & vehicle records: https://www.mitchell1.com/knowledgebase/article.php?id=56

Excerpt from the Knowledgebase article.

While reviewing and archiving some shop management user forum comments last week, I came across this related gem. It points out that it also matters HOW names and license plates are entered! Take a last name like McFarlin; it could be entered as McFarlin, Mc Farlin, Mcfarlin and this would result in three different records instead of just one as expected. As for license plates, the issues result from the use (or non-use) of spaces and/or dashes. This can result in several variations depending on who is inputting this information and how they think it should be formatted.

Several veteran forum members answered along these lines:

“Policy needs to be set to entry ALL names and license plates in the same way.”

“You need a policy and it needs to be followed. One other thing you can do to help prevent duplicates is this. Before you enter all the customer info, hit the start button and type in a few numbers of the plate. You will see that customer come up if they had been in before and just didn’t realize it. The dash wouldn’t matter when you only type a few numbers/letters. If nothing comes up in that window, you can then just hit the ‘New Customer’ button and enter the info. Of course, you would have to do that with all new customers to be 100% accurate. If you had a feeling that they were in before, this is one way to prevent a duplicates. It’s not perfect, but will work.”

 “It comes down to making everybody work the same way. We have decided NO dashes ( ) and no spaces in names UNLESS the wife has two last name (Traci Jones Davis) NO dashes. Now that the owner and I enter things the same most all of the troubles are gone. It came down to making a system, and when we stick to the system things flow well.”

It is possible to consolidate posted invoiced in History – correct current open orders and make the Customer/Vehicle records right. It’s just a nicer day when you don’t have to.




About the Author

Tim McDonnell

Tim McDonnell first joined Mitchell 1 in 1985 and is a senior product marketing manager for Manager SE. He has experience with various Mitchell 1 products and is the company’s primary media developer for product training assets and a subject matter expert in shop management software and other Mitchell 1 products. He also served as the Vice-Chair of the AMI Board of Trustees from 2009-2015. He is also the “voice of Mitchell 1” – you’ll hear him on the recorded message when you call the Mitchell 1 office.