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Paul Lannon of Paul's Automotive, Baltimore, MD

 

Paul Lannon, owner of Paul’s Automotive in Baltimore, Md., has been a loyal Mitchell 1 customer for 22 years. When he first opened his business, he used the printed repair manuals religiously until a Mitchell representative came in and convinced him to go digital as it was the wave of the future.

“He showed me what the system could do and I was very impressed,” Lannon says. “He ended up selling me the whole system; I love it.”

Mitchell 1 created Manager SE, a package that fits the needs of thousands of shops, allowing users to pick and choose the features they need most to run their businesses. Since every shop does things a little differently, Manager SE offers a wide variety of features to meet the needs of everyone in the industry.

“There are so many features packed into the software, I can’t even use it all” Lannon says.

 

A Time Saving Solution

Mitchell 1’s Manager SE shop management system is a comprehensive solution for shops to simplify and organize management tasks. Everything—from writing accurate estimates to ordering parts to analyzing reports—is available in one place.

“Before, everything was handwritten and we had to source out parts and call this guy and that guy,” Lannon says. “Putting an estimate together could take 30–45 minutes. Now, I can do everything electronically in 10 [minutes]. It’s a huge time saver.”

Another time saver in the shop is the new 1Search Plus feature in ProDemand that delivers repair and diagnostics information in a user-friendly card format. The system quickly targets the exact information needed and organizes it the way a technician thinks about diagnosis and repair.

Since Lannon’s shop services all makes and models, it’s almost impossible for his technicians to be aware of common problems specific to each vehicle that comes through the shop. The 1Search Plus search engine allows users to pull up technical service bulletins that are most relevant to the job at hand and find a solution quicker, saving time and keeping the customer happy.

“My techs don’t have to start from scratch,” Lannon says. “Sometimes, there are things they wouldn’t have necessarily thought of right away. It really speeds up the process.”

 

Sell Jobs with Confidence

Lannon’s favorite feature of Mitchell 1 is the parts markup matrix.

“Every time I order parts electronically, the system puts in the margins that it needs to be at for me to make a profit,” Lannon says. “Now, I can run a report and see if I’m below where I need to be at, make adjustments if needed and sell that job with confidence.”

With Manager SE, Lannon has quick access to vehicle repair history, which allows him to pull up the information on the car quickly and see what work has been done in the past and for what services the customer is due.

“We can see if it’s too soon to recommend a service,” Lannon says. “It keeps me from selling stuff the customer doesn’t need but also recommend the things they do. It allows me to protect the customer from overspending and helps build trust.”

Lannon says that he’s seen his ARO, which is currently at $550, gradually rise since he started using Mitchell 1. A big contributor to this has been the Recommendations and Revisions within Manager SE. These features allow recommended work not performed during the current visit to be stored for follow-up. Lannon says if a customer comes in with $3,000 of recommended service and is only able to do $1,500 of it at that time, Lannon can follow up with reminders in a couple of months for what still needs to be done.

“Typically, they’ll come back and slowly check things off of that list, which brings in more work,” Lannon says.

 

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Manage Workflow - The Order screen in Manager SE provides the shop owner with visibility to all details of the current customer work, along with many options and quick access to past and future work.

 

Business Solution

Lannon says that with the reports generated through Manager SE, he’s been able to solve problems in his shop. For example, when his ARO started to fall, he knew he had a problem. By looking at the data, he realized that he needed to hire a service writer because there was just too much work for one person and, because of that, he wasn’t able to sell as effectively as he could have.

 

Continual Support and Advancement

One of the reasons that Lannon has stuck with Mitchell 1 for over two decades is because the company continues to make advancements and incorporates the latest technology. What started as printed shop manuals, evolved to CDs, DVDs and then to today’s web-based information system integrated with Manager SE that has greatly reduced the time to write an estimate and complete a repair.

Not only that, but Lannon says that Mitchell 1 is also one of the most responsive companies with which he’s ever worked. Through its support line and interactive community forum, Mitchell offers solutions for its users’ problems—from technical issues to questions on repair procedures.

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