Pickett Automotive wasn’t even up and running before it’s owner brought in webSAM to manage the shop. Read on to find out how the new workshop is going.

The time savings far outweighs the cost of the system.

Q: A lot of new business owners wait a year or two before implementing workshop management software, why did you implement SAM right away?

I’ve worked in dealerships with good systems for processing their jobs for most of my career so I knew getting management software in place was important to keeping things moving efficiently, rather than using a manual , paper-based system.

I weighed up the amount of money I would spend each month and then how much time software would save me. I could spend hours entering in the job cards manually and reconciliations, the time savings far outweighs the cost of the system.

The system would also help me grow the business eventually. I was thinking I about how to do that with paper records, or even how I go back and check on a past job – there would just be too much paper. Without the data you can’t scale the business easily.

Q: What processes were important to you?

Good vehicle record keeping is essential for good customer service and communication.

People want a good job done, they don’t want to get hit with a huge bill suddenly. I’ve built our systems around doing checks on every car, writing notes on what needs to be done now or next time, and communicating that to the customer.

The detailed notes helps to educate the customer about taking care of their car, you’re teaching them fixing this now will cost $300 but waiting until it’s a problem will cost you $800.

You’re not only showing the customer you’re looking at the car, but you’re also preparing them future bills by warning what needs to be done next time and how much that will cost. Without this in place you miss out on another stream of revenue.

Q: How has webSAM helped you implement these processes?

Easily keeping customers informed and educated

Our systems are built around doing checks on every car coming through, writing notes on what needs to be done now and next time, and communicating that to the customer.

By passing this information on through invoices, we’re letting them know what the immediate and upcoming areas of concern are so they’ve got a warning that there’s going to be a big repair bill coming next service. It indicates that you’re looking at their car by going that extra mile and making the notes.

It also helps us to upsell.

Making record keeping quick and easy for the team

We enter the vehicle and customer details when the customer makes a booking. Then when a car arrives I print out the job card for the tech. The techs just need to add the information about what’s been done.

We’ve just started using estimates in webSAM to get customer approval for work. I like it because it’s all transparent, the customers can see exactly what you’re doing and what it will cost. We get an alert as soon as the customer approves it, we convert the estimate to a job, and then can print the job card out straight away.

“SAM is the oil that keeps things running, without it, jobs would take a lot longer”

Overseeing on what’s selling and the profit margins.

I didn’t use the stock management right away, we’re just getting into this now. I was just entering everything in as procured parts. I have my admin person entering this in more and it’s becoming a bit tidier.

All that data collection Is really good for the business side of things. I can see how much I’ve sold something for, or charged out. I’ve been looking at it at least once a week to see what I’m selling and checking that I’m making money – if I’m not then I can adjust things.

Keeping a finger on the pulse of the real-time business performance

I already had Xero as my accounting software so it was absolutely necessary to have that incorporated. The beauty with the Xero and webSAM integration is it auto reconciles things. Without it, I would’ve been doing this manually.

Having an easy-to-use tool like Xero means I’m doing a majority of the accounting grunt work. Partly to keep cost down, but more to keep my finger on the pulse.