An All-Encompassing Shop Management System
Ric Morin, owner of Motorcar Alternatives in Hooksett, N.H., says that he switched from his original shop management program to Mitchell 1 in 2003 because he started to feel like his shop was being left behind when it came to capabilities.
The shop originally had three separate terminals that were linked to three different vendors. The staff would have to go to the terminal that was associated with the appropriate vendor to enter the order. Now, with Mitchell 1’s Manager SE, Motorcar Alternatives is linked with 11 online vendors through one system and the parts-ordering software is integrated right into the program.
“When we made the decision to switch, we made a list of all of the things that we liked about the program we had and what we wished it could do,” Morin says. “Mitchell 1 met all of those specific needs.”
Since using the Mitchell 1 shop management system, Morin says that he’s been able to manage his operations more effectively and that it has helped him make changes to improve his shop.
"Manager SE Scheduler shows the amount of time that we're inputting and how much time we have available in the day. You can control jobs in a way that maximizes your day."
—Ric Morin, Motorcar Alternatives, Hooksett, NH
Morin says that Mitchell 1’s Manager SE system tracks his business on every level. Through the system, he can track the progress of each individual order, the status of a job, and get information on what’s going on throughout his entire business.
“On the job level, there’s a component that’s called the Profit Wheel,” Morin says. “It’s a pie chart that breaks down the profit you will get on a particular job as it’s built out right now.”
Morin says that it factors in parts cost, technician and service advisor costs, as well as overhead costs. The profit wheel allows Morin to see right away whether a job will be good for the shop.
Another feature that Morin is particularly fond of in the Manager SE is the Enhanced Scheduler. The scheduler helps Morin manage all of the jobs in Motorcar Alternatives.
“It shows the amount of time that we’re inputting and how much time we have available in the day,” Morin says. “You can control jobs in a way that maximizes your day.”
On a macro level, Manager SE allows you to see a business summary for the month. Morin says he’s able to see factors like the number of orders made and the average RO for the month which allow him to identify areas that might need improvement.
Morin says that the SocialCRM shop marketing service is a great add-on to Manager SE because it allows shop owners to interact with customers through a program that’s already integrated into the software. There are so many different components to SocialCRM, but Morin notes that two of his favorites are the automated email service reminders that he’s able to send out to his customers and the ability to ask them to post reviews through SureCritic.
“I can’t see doing it without the SocialCRM, I love the integration,” Morin says.
Over 180 Reports
Through Manager SE, Morin says he has access to over 180 reports that track different areas of his shop. His personal favorite is the business summary report, which breaks down parts and labor. Morin says that Mitchell 1 recently released a matrix for tires that has helped him make more on these historically low-margin items.
“We used to mark up tires a flat amount,” Morin says. “By looking at the matrix, we were able to see that we weren’t making money doing this so we changed the way we raised prices based on a graduated percentage base.”
The business summary report has helped Morin track percentages to identify and address areas where he might be underperforming.
Morin says that for him, the most attractive feature of Manager SE is that they system can be used however a shop wants.
“Some shops use it to the umpteenth level and other shops like to use just the core features,” Morin says. “That’s what I like, the ability to work the way that you work and not have to change anything.”
The Manager SE system can also be used wirelessly, which was a huge selling point for Morin. His staff is now able to use the program on a mobile device wherever they need to be in the shop.