Independents ‘risk getting left behind by main dealers’

Independents ‘risk getting left behind by main dealers’

ALMOST 80 per cent of independents have been using the same garage management system for more than three years and risk ‘getting left behind by the dealer networks’, according to TechMan.

The findings, which were revealed in a survey of independent garages, also show that a staggering 40 per cent have had the same management system for more than five years, with just 13 per cent having switched in the last 12 months.

Garage management system TechMan – which was developed by an independent garage – say workshops are missing ‘massive opportunities’.

National sales manager Leo Freebairn said: ‘Everyone’s always talking about the pace of change in this industry and it’s no different with garage management systems.

‘In the past year alone, we have overseen 357 updates to TechMan including web bookings, integrated video health check (iVHC), OEM repair times and parts look-up with pricing. Many garages don’t know what they are missing.

‘It’s not unusual for workshops to improvise with manual work-around spreadsheets and paper notes to compensate for an inefficient management system.’

Freebairn estimates that as many as 80 per cent of garages undertake manual tasks that are now automated on TechMan.

‘This is where we find the biggest time savings and see upward trends for invoiced technician time,’ he added.

The survey findings also show a growth in the gathering of photo and video evidence of vehicle faults, with 68 per cent now showing their customers digital evidence.

Freebairn said: ‘This is a really positive move forward for independents.’

Another growing trend is the importance of online booking facilities, with 56 per cent of independents acknowledging the value of online booking functionality, such as that offered by TechMan.

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