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The automotive insurance industry saw a marked increase in claims and collisions, directly impacting automotive repair businesses. The continued strain on businesses has forced the industry to rethink how to satisfy the growing demand for efficient auto repair services.
Drivers are always hesitant to schedule an auto repair due to perceived miscommunications, inconvenience, and significant repair costs due to increased shop labor and limited availability of vehicle parts. Still, experienced software developers may design software solutions to empower the automotive repair industry and exceed driver expectations.
Automotive repair shops continue seeing a significant increase in service demand due to insurance companies authorizing repair orders, beginning once the workforce returned to on-site work schedules. The increased demand for repair labor coupled with supply chain logistics impacting the timely delivery of vehicle parts created a new set of challenges for the automotive repair industry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported a 4% decrease in the auto technician sector, further exacerbating issues for the automotive repair industry as businesses look to optimize workflow despite staff shortages.
Technology solution providers have worked to enable the automotive repair industry to successfully address the overbooking of appointments, avoid duplication of repair orders, and improve communication between shop personnel and customers with the recent developments of automotive CRM software.
One common issue stifling workflow is the different operating systems for each shop department. For instance, parts will feature their resource management system, with limited to no interoperability with the repair shop team. Software solutions featuring cloud data access and storage enable seamless cross-functionality between departments, eliminating delays in workflow.
Facilitating a positive customer experience is paramount to creating repeat clientele. Miscommunication between repair personnel and customers remains a common issue, but software enhancements have enabled real-time communication between customers and staff. Customers who are privy to repair progress can receive updates via a connected smart device. Customers can now see how a repair order is being completed and gain insight as the work is being done, eliminating additional questions or potential conflicts once the repair is completed.
Parts access and availability can hinder any repair shop seeking to efficiently complete customer work orders. This often resulted in delays and strained relationships with customers. Still, software developers have streamlined the ability to search and source OEM parts by creating Cloud-based connectivity to manufacturer’s catalogs, reducing time spent researching, sourcing, and ordering parts required to complete critical repairs.
Automotive CRM software providers looking to create or enhance an existing platform to assist auto repair businesses should note the following top features needed to create a robust software solution to optimize an auto repair business fully.
Self-service customer appointments
Easy access customer repair quotes and estimates. This eliminates any miscommunication between repair technicians, shop managers, and customers. Additionally, customers would not be required to make on-site visits to obtain estimates.
Workshop repair assignments. Cloud-based work repair assignments enable all business personnel to assign and view who is working on what repair, and in real-time. This eliminates bottlenecks and duplication of services.
Connectivity with OEM catalogs. This feature will reduce efforts spent on researching, sourcing, and ordering vehicle parts for critical repairs.
Automated repair progress notifications. Via connected devices, customers gain insight to the repair progress and project completion, in real-time. This eliminates miscommunications and time spent by repair staff fielding customer calls.
Updated, cutting-edge repair tools. A repair shop’s major expense is ‘re-tooling’, which refers to the process of updating the tool inventory to match the significant increase in tech-infused vehicles. Software-based diagnostic tools enable staff to monitor and assess vehicle conditions accurately and precisely and carry out and complete work orders. Enhanced diagnostic tools may reduce the need for costly tool purchases.
Significant increases in vehicles equipped with costly technology features have stifled auto repair shops due to expensive tools required to complete repairs, the continued labor shortage in auto repair sectors, and the increased person-hours required to diagnose and efficiently repair challenging tech-infused vehicles successfully.
Software-infused vehicles require a software-based repair solution, and enhancements to repair equipment include more intuitive diagnostic systems and high-tech tools with finite calibration adjustments reducing human error. Repair industry trade representatives report that tech-infused vehicles continue to stifle independent repair shops, unfortunately exacerbating the ongoing reduction of independent repair shops.
Software designers can mitigate this challenge with ongoing efforts to create user-friendly diagnostics that efficiently diagnose, identify, and report recommendations on how to complete tech-based repairs on modern vehicles.
Utilizing AI to scan vehicles and optimize the entire repair process, auto repair shops can embrace AI as another valuable resource to streamline their business by providing efficient service. Sensors for vehicle safety enhancement are no longer brand-new technology, as many are featured in OEM vehicle option packages but replacement parts still need to be sourced and properly installed and finally, maintained.
Major auto manufacturers are now incorporating AI within their dealerships to examine and monitor key vehicle components for wear and tear and proactively alert technicians and owners of vehicle sensor conditions with high-speed, machine-learning cameras. The cameras are especially valuable when used to monitor a vehicle’s undercarriage and identify minute cracks in suspension, exhaust, and other critical and expensive components.
Software companies have an excellent opportunity to refine AI and machine learning to capitalize on the growing market of dealerships and the auto repair industry seeking to leverage software-based solutions to optimize their workflow.
Software solutions designed to optimize auto repair businesses provide a great return on investment; thanks to their versatility, the technology can be applied to all business aspects. Multiple departments can operate cross-functionally while technicians can efficiently complete repair orders, facilitating an improved customer experience.
Expert-level software developers should be consulted to develop solutions to enhance and fully optimize auto repair businesses looking to embrace invaluable technology to maximize return on investment while modernizing their business.
Chetu does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of a specific software, company or individual does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.
Founded in 2000, Chetu is a global provider of application coders, technical solutions and support services. Chetu's specialized technology and industry experts serve startups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies with an unparalleled software delivery model suited to the needs of the client. Chetu's one-stop-shop model spans the entire software technology spectrum. Headquartered in Plantation, Florida, Chetu has fourteen locations throughout the U.S. and abroad.
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