Technology Tools and Equipment Shop Floor Front Office

The Digital Pay Off

Order Reprints

For 10 years, John Burkhauser taught students how to be technicians. One day, BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY came into his class to demonstrate Mobile Manager Pro, a digital inspection tool. Burkhauser has been hooked ever since.

“I saw it as the magic key for the industry,” Burkhauser says.

Mobile Manager Pro allows shops to send inspection reports via text message or email with tech notes, recommendations and images.

For the past two years, Burkhauser has served as BOLT ON’s Director of Education. Burkhauser admits he’s no good at sales, but his genuine enthusiasm for the software and its capabilities sells the value. Just ask David Askwith, director of operations for the five-location Maryland-based AutoStream Car Care.

“It’s what you need to move forward in your business,” Askwith says. “A shop that’s still doing handwritten estimates is behind the times. In my opinion, BOLT ON is the best digital option.”

Askwith has used Mobile Manager Pro for four years and loves working with BOLT ON.

“Their support is amazing,” Askwith says. “They keep growing their products and they’re constantly tweaking based on the information that they get.”


Get buy-in from your staff.

Askwith knew that technology was the way of the future and that it was also a way to differentiate his shop to customers, but he had to get his entire staff on board. Before making the switch to BOLT ON, AutoStream Car Care used another digital inspection tool.

“It was hard to get buy-in from the staff because the integration was lacking,” Askwith says. “When we made the switch, the integration with Mitchell 1 was hand-in-glove. It was phenomenal.”

In addition to Mitchell 1, Mobile Manager Pro also integrates with ShopKey, ALLDATA, NAPA TRACS, R.O. Writer and more, making the switch easy for staff.

Not only is it an easy update, it will also help technicians sell more work and produce more hours. Because service advisors and technicians can use mobile devices to access Mobile Manager Pro, they no longer have to go back and forth to communicate with the customer or look up information—it’s all right there.

As a former flat-rate tech, Burkhauser understands the importance of making every second count.

“We understand how important it is to have a process with no wasted movements,” Burkhauser says. “Using tablets, you no longer have to move all around the shop to communicate.”

Going digital saves precious time during the day, which will result in higher profits for the shop.


Use it to sell to your customers.

“It’s the new show-and-tell of the business,” Askwith says. “If a customer is waiting, you can show them things on their vehicle. They’re really wowed by the technology.”

Visual aids are a powerful tool in establishing trust with customers and being able to show them exactly what’s wrong rather than just telling them, which can often come off as just a sales pitch.

Askwith recalls an occasion where he sent a text to a customer with the estimate and all of the photos included. The man said that he needed to talk it over with his wife, so he forwarded her the text.

“The man said she responded right away and said, ‘They sent that to you? Wow!’ She was really impressed that we were able to provide all of that information,” Askwith says.

Since he started using Mobile Manager Pro four years ago, Askwith has raised his ARO from $325 to $443.


Make the investment in your shop’s future.

“Is your shop doing business the way it did 10, 20, 30 years ago?” Burkhauser asks. “Will you stay in business this way? If you want your shop to continue to move forward, it needs to become a part of today.”

The way Burkhauser looks at it, shops are constantly investing thousands of dollars in equipment for the shop floor, but software used at the front desk is just as important. Investing $300 per month can have a huge impact on the bottom line.

Learn more

Related Articles

Ask the Expert: Master Digital Inspections

The Digital Advantage

The Ins and Outs of Digital Inspections

You must login or register in order to post a comment.