Whether you’re in charge of an independent repair shop or handling internal repairs as a fleet manager, going digital with the best tech and software will help you do your job with less friction and more efficiency than ever before.
Of course, that’s assuming you can find the right solution for your organization. The wrong solution might not live up to all your hopes and dreams.
There’s a lot to consider, and we’re here to break down the basics. Here are five key factors that could make or break the fleet repair solution you have your eye on.
Importance of Fleet Repair Software Solution
If you pick well, your fleet repair software can arm your team with powerful features that improve overall efficiency and profit around the shop. From shop logistics to administrative details, some tools shoulder a lot of extra work so you don’t have to.
This could include all sorts of stuff, like:
- Inventory management
- Service order workflow
- Customer communication
- Integrated accounting
- Estimates and invoices
As an end-to-end repair shop management software, Fullbay includes all these and more. Our industry-leading features are built in the cloud, too—meaning we can help you run a more efficient business from anywhere.
5 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fleet Repair Software Solution
1. Compatibility with Existing Systems
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that your repair shop is currently operating in the 21st century. So even if you’re in the market for a fleet repair solution, it probably won’t be the first piece of software in use at your shop.
High-quality fleet repair programs like Fullbay are full-service, feature-packed programs that can do it all for your shop. But these solutions shouldn’t operate in a vacuum—instead, they need to function alongside any other programs your business already uses.
We shouldn’t even have to say it, but a fleet management solution should actually be a solution. And solutions don’t create new problems for your organization.
Your fleet repair solution should be intuitive and user-friendly, with labor-saving automation features and minimal load times. It should make your life easier, not harder.
3. Integration with Other Tools
If you’re already using a few different software tools in your shop, integrations are a must. It’s crucial to ensure your new program works as smoothly as possible with your existing setup, especially in regards to fleet payments and industry-specific companies like MOTOR, FleetNet America, and Interstate Billing Service. That way, you’ll avoid headaches while keeping the learning curve to a minimum.
If the integrations you need from a fleet repair software solution aren’t available by default, some solutions like Fullbay offer an open API. With the right resources, your team could build your own.
4. Customization and Scalability
As your repair shop grows, a solid fleet repair solution will keep pace with your business’s expanding needs. In fact, by improving your processes, the right tool might make it even easier to grow your business.
While you might find generic solutions that offer similar features to dedicated fleet repair software, the flexibility of these general-purpose solutions comes at a cost. Programs like these aren’t tailored to the needs of fleet repair companies, meaning they might not have the full range of functionality you’re looking for. On the other hand, choosing software created by industry experts means you’ll get specialized solutions made specifically with heavy-duty repair shops in mind.
5. Customer Support and Training
A slick design and exciting features won’t matter if you can’t actually use your new fleet repair software. It’s critical that your program offers both tech support and training, along with reasonable support hours for both of these services.
At this point, you’re probably expecting to read something like, “Fullbay offers unmatched customer service to its valued clients.” That’s not wrong, but here’s the thing: anyone can say something like that. Your best bet is to find a company that can back its customer service claims up with positive reviews and testimonials—like Fullbay, for example!
Benefits of Using Fleet Repair Software Solution
Now that we’ve covered the gist of what to look for in your fleet repair solution, it’s time for the real questions: what’s in it for you? How does a fleet repair software solution improve your shop or make your life easier? Fortunately, today’s leading fleet repair programs can provide benefits such as:
Improved Fleet Efficiency
An efficient shop is an effective shop (and a profitable shop, for that matter). Pursuing this goal hasn’t always been easy, but with today’s advanced fleet repair software, maximizing your shop’s efficiency will be a breeze.
Some features that can boost your techs’ efficiency and the efficiency of your shop as a whole include:
- Technician efficiency reports
- Integrated accounting
- Fleet tracking/telematics
- Streamlined customer communication
- Invoice/estimate generation
Better Resource Allocation
The more workers your shop has, the more jobs it can take on…but that’s not the whole story. You’ll also need to think about how to allocate your shop’s employees (among other resources).
While smart resource allocation can improve your overall efficiency, assigning the wrong number of techs to a job could severely impact the rate of work at your shop. Fortunately, some fleet repair management software products come with tech reassignment features, allowing you to move workers from one task to another within minutes.
Any decent fleet maintenance software for small business use will require you to make an investment. But the thing about investments is that they’re meant to help you make money in the long term—and that’s definitely the case for these programs.
Boosting your shop’s efficiency and changing how you use resources won’t just increase your daily vehicle count. Taking these steps can also help you save money by reducing the number of distractions your techs have to deal with on an average day.
Enhanced Safety and Compliance
If you’re responsible for a fleet’s well-being, you need to keep up with pre-trip inspections. These inspections can ensure your drivers won’t run into any trouble with their vehicles on the road—and prevent them from inadvertently violating federal regulations.
But while taking care of repairs and maintenance before each trip is essential, it can also be time-consuming. Good fleet repair software will make this process easier for you by allowing drivers or fleet managers to submit repair requests as soon as they notice issues.
How to Choose the Best Fleet Repair Software Solution
By now, you know what makes a fleet repair solution worth your time. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose just one of these programs?
When you’re researching software for your shop, be sure to:
Evaluate Your Needs
As we mentioned earlier, specialized fleet repair programs offer features that generic solutions don’t. Because of that, looking for programs built specifically for the industry is wise—there’s a strong chance that these programs will fit your shop’s needs.
Are you trying to find software that can make your shop more efficient, offer a high level of compatibility with existing systems, or ease your techs into using a new program? Do you need truck repair invoicing, too? Create a list of your ideal features and capabilities, and use that list to guide you through the rest of this process.
Do Your Research
If you’re in charge of a heavy-duty repair shop, you can’t pick just any accounting program or business software solution. Well, you can, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get the results you’re looking for.
Knowing what your shop needs from its software is an excellent place to start. Still, you’ll need to do some research to find your ideal fleet repair program.
Compare Features and Pricing
As part of your research, closely examine the features included in each fleet repair software package you’re considering. Ideally, your program of choice will deliver features that can make your shop more efficient, help you save money, and keep your drivers safe.
Pricing is another factor to consider when shopping for shop software. While you probably shouldn’t go with free programs (as these options are unlikely to have the features you’re looking for), a robust software solution doesn’t have to break the bank, either.
Read Reviews and Ratings
The internet isn’t just a terrifying nightmare world full of bad news and angry people. It’s a terrifying nightmare world full of bad news, angry people, and helpful product reviews!
Before committing to a software package for your shop, make a point of looking for reviews, ratings, and testimonials of your top picks. This feedback could help you narrow down the field or make a final decision. And once you have the information you need, log off. Immediately.
Request a Demo
The best fleet repair software solution options out there have nothing to hide, meaning you shouldn’t find it hard to see what they offer before opening your wallet. Look for businesses that are willing to give you a tour of the software so you can peek under the hood, see the features firsthand, and decide if it’ll help operations in your shop.
If they offer demos like this, it means they’re proud of what they offer and have nothing to hide.
Get It All With Fullbay
With the sheer amount of information available online, buying anything can feel overwhelming—especially a significant, game-changing purchase like a fleet repair software solution. But if you look for something that checks all the boxes we just discussed, you’ll be off to a solid start.