Hi-Tech Tools Make the Shop
"The tech world is incredible,” says Randy Waitman, owner of RAE and Automotive Service Co. Inc. (Ramona, Calif.).
Waitman would know. He used to be on the cutting edge of some of the most advanced vehicles in the world—high-speed drag boats. According to Waitman, there are three kinds of boat racers: dead ones, paralyzed ones and retired ones. After finishing first in the drag boat racing world championship in 1989 and 1990, he chose the third option and has stuck with automotive and boat repair ever since.
As for tech, he gets all he needs at the shop.
The Most Critical Tools
Waitman has been a Mitchell 1 customer since 1996 and has seen the industry go from paper to digital as the cars have evolved into computers on wheels. Through it all, he’s stuck with Mitchell 1.
“ProDemand with SureTrack? It’s imperative we have that!” Waitman says, referring to some of Mitchell 1’s most powerful shop technology and tools.
“We’re 200 percent more efficient and effective with Mitchell being there for us. We’re just human beings and we can’t go 110 percent every day.”
ProDemand and SureTrack can, however, and Waitman reports they help him prepare for each and every vehicle that comes through his shop.
“I can’t even imagine being without them; it’d be impossible,” he says. “It would be like shutting the lights off and working in the dark."
ProDemand provides complete OEM repair information, while SureTrack harnesses the power of the Mitchell 1 repair community to help troubleshoot unknown or unseen repair problems when all else seems to be working. Waitman is adamant that the combined OEM and technical repair information available is critical to his business and to his clients’ cars and safety.
Waitman uses the Mitchell 1 Manager SE shop management software to seamlessly connect to his computer network and shop management tools, simplifying and organizing everything from estimating and VIN decoding to instantly accessing parts catalogs. It even provides marketing data and eases parts purchasing while integrating with ProDemand to inform estimating and repair.
Wire to Wire
One of the most useful aspects of the ProDemand software is the advanced colored wiring diagrams.
“Mitchell’s interactive wiring diagrams are fantastic—you click on one wire, and it will show you the path through other actuators and sensors, and the info is all there on one page,” Waitman says. “Our efficiency and effectiveness of repairing cars goes through the roof.”
Most cars today have miles of wires and circuits snaking throughout them. Being able to make sense of it all is not only sensible but increasingly necessary. ProDemand offers comprehensive—and simple—interactive color diagrams that highlight specific component locations, connector views, replacement procedures and much more. Toggle individual wires on and off to highlight their paths and see how and where they work within the overall system. Components within the diagram link to complete component information, while zoom and view orientation is adjustable for maximum clarity.
“Being able to accurately read and interpret the wiring just makes our jobs so much easier,” he adds.
SocialCRM and Local Search
The marketing aspect of Mitchell 1’s software suite is extremely impressive.
“If I had had this information 10 years ago, we’d be so much further ahead. You can practically forecast what to do as far as marketing and advertising. It’s absolutely a five-star system,” Waitman says.
In an instant-review, one-click world, Waitman is thankful his clients have a place to offer their praise and do the work of advertising for him.
“You have to constantly market to your demographic,” he says. “The people you want to do business with are out there, and we want the customers who want to take care of their vehicles, who want to keep them in good shape.”
With SocialCRM, he can ensure his shop is front and center to the people who need—and value—his services most.
As for navigating social media, Mitchell 1 has that covered, too, putting the power of social media at your finger- tips every morning. Integrated Google Ads target the vehicle owners most likely to frequent the shop, and comprehen- sive data tracking and reporting allows Waitman to adjust his budget, marketing needs and platforms as often as needed.
“We can respond to reviews and questions through texts and emails,” Waitman says. “It’s actually a little ahead of its time and customers are sometimes hesitant to use it, though the majority grasp it and understand.”
As for the overall experience with the full suite of Mitchell 1 products, Waitman is more than satisfied.
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he notes.
To learn more, visit mitchell1.com.