One of the key elements of a shop’s follow-up procedure depends on the vehicle inspection process. When the customer brings in his vehicle for service, a technician takes note of items that need service down the road. But are all of these items followed up? Could shop owners be missing out on lucrative repair and maintenance opportunities?
What if there was a CRM software that didn’t let anything fall between the cracks?
That’s exactly what Rui Martins is proposing with his Vehicle Integrity Manager software. We began by digitizing the inspection form, and then programmed a considerable amount of intelligence into the system, says Martins, Executive Vice President at Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre (AAEC). We’ve added pieces that allow shops to contact the client back by email or text message on work that hasn’t been completed.
Inspection forms that are completed on paper have shortcomings. Service advisors may not have the opportunity to input all the items into a POS system. However, with Vehicle Integrity Manager, the electronic inspection form captures all the information, and identifies all the work that’s required.
Also, since the inspection is live, the technician can feed the information to a service advisor. It’s live information, so the service advisor on the front counter can actually be picking up the inspection as it’s happening, says Martins. The estimate process can be done almost instantaneously, as the inspection’s being done. The customer doesn’t have to wait around.
The system also requires technicians list the deficiency as well as the necessary repair. This way, the customer isn’t just advised of the problem or the cause, but also what’s required to correct it, notes Martins.
Additionally, the Vehicle Integration Manager is fully customizable in any way, shape or form. And it can work with different POS systems. The CRM piece allows us to take the deferred work and send the client an email, trying to get the vehicle back into the shop to have that work completed, says Martins.
The system is mileage based, so that clients are advised of the service they need according to how much they use their vehicles. When each inspection is completed, we record the mileage , and record the amount of time from the previous inspection, explains Martins. Then we apply a formula to calculate how many kilometres a day the vehicle is actually being driven. That’s applied against the intervals, so you can actually monitor what service is required.
For example, if someone is driving 500 kilometres a month as opposed to 6,000 kilometres a month, a shop may still be reminding that person of their oil change every three months. But with the Vehicle Integrity Manager, once the inspection information is processed, it will automatically move up the mileage so the client will be notified of the need for service earlier. It fits very cleanly into what’s coming down the line with telematics, says Martins.
In the telematics world, through GPS and satellite, mileage information is communicated back to the shop management system.
Vehicle Integrity Manager is designed with the future in mind, so that when we move into the telematics world, we’ll actually be able to monitor the mileage on an ongoing basis, to service on demand.
BY KRYSTYNA LAGOWSKI, CarCare Business. February 2014. www.autosphere.ca