ABOUT INLAND EMPIRE FLEET MAINTENANCE
Inland Empire Fleet Maintenance roared onto the scene in 2019. Located in Forest Falls, California, this dealership is all about small fleets. Their customers have 50 vehicles or less, and Inland Empire Fleet Maintenance provides roughly 85% of necessary maintenance and repairs on-site. The rest they handle in their shop. We spoke to co-owner and shop foreman Jennifer Callaway about her “all-encompassing shop for the little guy,” and how Fullbay helped it out.
WHAT INLAND EMPIRE FLEET MAINTENANCE NEEDED
When it comes down to it, Jennifer says, it was all about the software.
Inland Empire Fleet Maintenance ran on an archaic application that took a lot of work to master. Even worse? It didn’t track PMs. The various components of the software “didn’t talk to each other,” requiring a lot of complicated workarounds that ate into time they spent on actual jobs. They set out to find a program that could save them time and money.
CHALLENGE #1 TRACKING PMS
When you’re dealing with pen and paper, everything takes longer. It’s just a fact of life.
“I was writing [PMs] down on paper and putting reminders in my phone,” Jennifer recalls. Even while trying to shift the burden of notes to phones, she says, they went through an alarming amount of paper. Getting parts was also a challenge, requiring tons of emails with vendors and endless phone calls with customers to get the necessary authorizations.
Everything still got done, but it took a lot of time.
“From estimate to invoice it took me 2-3x longer than I am now [with Fullbay]."
CHALLENGE #2 PRICE
Their old shop software came with a hefty price tag. “You had to be an IT person to understand it,” Jennifer reports. To get it to integrate with accounting software or other modules required more money upfront and contracts with additional service providers. When they were ready to create an invoice, they had to manually shove everything into QuickBooks.
As time (and money) rolled on, Jennifer wondered if they weren’t spending too much for a system that was, in a word, “overcomplicated.”
CHALLENGE #3 NOT WEB-BASED
Their software only ran on a computer with an internet link. No tablet, no phone; if you wanted to use it, you had to physically be in the office, using the computer it was installed on. “I was stuck behind my desk all the time!” Jennifer recalls.She had to write all the work orders, assembling them in the application from the paper notes her techs provided.
In an increasingly mobile world, they knew they had to get software that was not going to limit them to an office.
“[Before Fullbay] we had to literally be plugged into a desktop computer. [With Fullbay] as long as I have the internet, Wi-Fi, or cell signal, I can run my business.”
The fact that Fullbay was accessible from anywhere and provided a way to track maintenance was instantly appealing. “I got a couple demos of Fullbay, and it was like a light bulb went off,” Jennifer says.
This software might just solve their problems.
TRACK MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS
Fullbay’s ability to keep track of all the maintenance and repairs a vehicle received was an instant game-changer for Inland Empire Fleet Maintenance. Everything happens inside the app, so there’s no need to scribble on paper and hope it gets entered into a computer later on. Techs can see exactly what service a truck has received in the past, as well as what PM work that truck needs coming up.
The electronic approval process through the customer portal has also flipped the script. About 80% of their customers have embraced the customer portal, cutting way, way down on the amount of phone calls Jennifer has to make. She can get more work done, and her customers can see updates within the portal as they happen. It’s a win-win!
“Immediately, right off the bat [with Fullbay] I saw a 50% increase in revenue just because I was able to pump it out faster.”
No more paying for a ponderous piece of software that requires high-level tech skills to master. Fullbay comes with several integrations a user can opt into within their subscription; even after obtaining labor guides and other integrations they needed, Inland Empire Fleet Maintenance has shaved 30% off their monthly bill.
Best of all, when they did need help with something, Fullbay’s support staff was right there, free of charge.
“Your tech support is top-notch! They are right there on the spot to answer any questions I have. I have made a few suggestions and some of them have actually been implemented. I can’t say enough great stuff about how you guys are evolving as a company. Every improvement that I’ve seen has benefited me for the most part in some way.”
LIFE IN THE CLOUD
Fullbay is a web-based app, which means you can use it from any web-enabled device. If a tech has a phone or tablet, they’re golden. Jennifer can access the app and check in from absolutely anywhere; she ends up spending less time in the office, but is more available to her customers than ever. “I can walk away from my desk, I can work from home, I can go to lunch. I don’t feel the necessity to be chained to my desk.”
The shop has benefited immensely from the ease of use and access. A tech can open a work order and get it all the way to an invoicing stage. There’s no need for Jennifer to step in and push things along; Fullbay just helps them get the job done quicker, which has definitely impacted their bottom line in a positive way.
KEEP ON TRUCKING
Better tracking of work, money saved, and a cloud-based existence made Fullbay the perfect fit for Inland Empire Fleet Maintenance. They’re thrilled by what they’ve accomplished after implementing the app, and so are we! We’re looking forward to helping them run a more efficient shop for many years to come.
“My customers like the fact that they can see the process at any given time. They can approve it and pay for it all right there in their own portal.”