Running a Shop Tools and Equipment Front Office

The Return: eFileCabinet

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Westside Auto Pros in Des Moines, Iowa, has been in business for 20 years and does work on all makes and models of vehicles. The 13-bay shop averages 350 vehicles per month and employs a staff of 14. The growing company was tired of all the room and extra work that its paper filing system took up, so the staff began shopping for a system that could take the shop paperless.


Melanie Jacobs is the office manager for Westside Auto Pros and has been with the company for two years. Jacobs is in charge of a plethora of things at the shop, including answering the phone, handling new hires, and accounting.


Jacobs explains that eFileCabinet works exactly like a traditional file cabinet system, except everything is located on a computer and there’s no need to spend time rummaging through cabinets and folders trying to find information. Everything is available at the touch of a button.

The system, which is installed onto the shop’s computer for a one-time installation fee of $500, can search and pull up files within seconds, scan paper files and make them digital, and can be synced to a shop’s payroll system. eFileCabinet has a search engine feature, so shops can search a number of different categories to pull up files. Westside Auto Pros uses names to categorize everything, so all Jacobs has to do to find information about a particular job is type in the first few letters of a customer’s last name.


Westside Auto Pros had wanted to go paperless for a few years before it finally made the leap. Jacobs says that the shop looked at a variety of different tools before selecting the eFileCabinet. The reason for the selection?

“The support, the way they answered our questions,” Jacobs says. “I can call them or go online anytime and get answers within a short period of time.” When a customer walks into Westside Auto Pros, the service advisor checks that person in and performs a 38-point inspection and informs the customer of any problems. Afterward, the invoice is given to Jacobs. Jacobs then scans the invoice, the technician’s report, and any other relevant information into the system and files it under the customer’s last name. The shop currently uses the system to file all of its ROs, but Jacobs says that there is so much more that eFileCabinet can do that she wants to look into. Jacobs says that eFileCabinet can be synced up with QuickBooks and manage the payroll for the shop. The system also has a feature that can store facts about the customers that a shop might find useful for marketing, which she hopes to dive into within the next few months.


Jacobs says that the system has paid for itself over and over again. The filing system that the shop originally had was a collection of different cabinets, which Jacobs says were each at least a few hundred dollars. The setup fee of $500 was less than what it would cost for a store to purchase quality, physical file cabinets, and the $65 dollars per month subscription fee is less expensive than the estimated $100 worth of paid hours that Jacobs estimates she previously spent on folders, papers and tabs each month.

Jacobs says that she used to collect all of the invoices and dedicate an entire day to filing. Now, the entire process takes her roughly 10 minutes each week.

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