Atlas Trucking arrived on the scene as a fleet company. Their trucks hauled steel all over the country; as you might imagine, that kind of burden is hard on trucks. The Atlas management initially relied on outside vendors and dealerships for maintenance, but found the wait times were damaging their bottom line – sometimes waiting over two weeks to get their vehicles in for service.
Atlas responded to this in a particularly inventive way: they took repairs in-house, creating an independent shop for their fleets. Hey, sometimes you’ve just got to do something yourself, right?
In January 2019, they took another exciting step, opening up the repair side of their business to the public. Today they do everything from fabrication to heavy engine repair and full rebuilds.
WHAT DID ATLAS NEED?
Atlas Trucking turned to Fullbay in the hopes that it could solve some particular problems for them.
“With our previous system... we couldn’t project how well we were doing; if we were improving or we were worsening and where the problems were at.”
CHALLENGE #1 MURKY, INFLEXIBLE SYSTEM
Atlas adopted shop software early on, but they weren’t thrilled with it. It was designed for repair shops that performed a handful of identical tasks day in and day out; it worked fine for a small shop that only performed a handful of services, but Atlas solved a variety of problems on a daily basis.
Navigating their shop software proved tricky at the best of times. Drilling down into the metrics particularly took some doing; they either had to dig around through clunky menus until they found the metric they wanted, or create a way for the software to track the metric on their own. Not the easiest thing if you aren’t a programmer by trade!
Their software also did not let them see their repair shop’s overall performance, such as technician and invoicing efficiency, as well as other elements. Were they improving? Were they dropping the ball?
CHALLENGE #2 CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION
Customers want updates. It’s just a fact of life. Atlas’s old system made it difficult to ensure all data was entered for every service performed. A customer might call wanting to know the status of something; if information was missing, the conversation – as you might imagine – went steadily downhill.
In this business, good relationships with your customers are everything. It only takes one poor interaction to break trust and ruin what might be an otherwise excellent partnership. Thus, doing everything you can to maintain a good relationship is key.
Atlas hoped there was software to help them do that.
Atlas was ready to give new software a try. They already knew Fullbay would bring transparency and better communication to the table, but they didn’t realize how much it would help them improve.
Fullbay provides full transparency into everything Atlas does. When they make a change in the shop, they can see the metric in real-time – is it working? Is it tanking? – via a report and make adjustments as necessary.
Beyond that, Fullbay allowed Atlas to actually project what impact particular changes might lead to – without making the changes. If they put more money into one element, or more time into another, they can see the ripple effect those shifts will have on the shop. They can gauge whether a big change is worth it or not. Gone are the days of blindly experimenting.
HAPPY CUSTOMERS, HAPPY SHOP
Like we said above, customer communication is absolutely key to maintaining and growing any repair shop. Fullbay’s customer portal has absolutely changed everything about the way Atlas runs their repair business.
“My favorite part is the dashboards... charts with the profit by dollars and profit by percentage and sales. When you put in the proper information, you can use that as your go/no-go gauge as to whether I spend on this, do I improve on that, or do I go out and get more business.”
The portal cuts out much of the excessive communication (and communication efforts) that can bog down a shop’s work. If a customer has a question, they can hop into the portal and ask it. The question will go to the right person and they will answer it in a timely fashion. No more games of phone tag or trying to interpret the writing of five different people; no more time spent hunting for a tech who might not have scribbled something down correctly. Since the Atlas crew isn’t constantly trying to chase down and relay information, they have time to actually focus on doing good work for their customers.
Atlas’s customers have embraced the portal, too – 80% of them use it! – and they love their newfound ability to monitor what’s going on and specify which vehicles are the priority.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Fullbay helped Atlas better understand its own inner workings. Now that its staff can see what’s going on and maintain steady contact with much happier customers, the sky is truly the limit.