Service manager Neil Harriman attributes the increased productivity to Auto/Mate’s integrated front-end appointment system and its ability to grow technicians’ proficiency in his service department from an average of 115% to an average of 135%.
“One of the reasons we chose to switch to Auto/Mate was because the scheduling program was a good match with our process,” Harriman said. “We don’t simply schedule appointments, we schedule the time available for each technician every day.” His goal on a daily basis is to fill 80% of the 15-minute increment blocks that the scheduling system displays, virtually eliminating technician downtime.
All of Stanley Subaru’s employees strive to provide friendly and personal customer service. And because of its commitment to excellence the dealership has doubled its revenue in the last seven years.
“We are really a very large dealership without the large facility,” said Harriman. For the service department, this means that to accommodate their growing base of customers, every available bay and every minute of technicians’ time must be maximized.
Harriman and the owner of Stanley Subaru attended the NADA convention in February of 2012 to demo new dealership management systems. “One of the big things that stood out with Auto/Mate was the simplicity of the program,” he said. “That was a big deal, because our employees have used the old system for 14 years, so we wanted to make sure the change was good for them.”
What Harriman most appreciates about the scheduling system is the fact that when he wants to do something, like create a repair order, all he has to do is click on a button that reads “create repair order.” He also likes the fact that multiple things can be done from within one screen; i.e. from within the appointment screen he can check shop capacity, look at the service history of a vehicle, and check to see if there are any manufacturer recalls.
Harriman also finds the appointment system visually appealing, as it allows users to color code various functions. At a single glance, Harriman can see who’s here, who’s not here, which car is being worked on, and who needs a courtesy ride.
A surprising benefit to Harriman was the level of customer service that he has received from Auto/Mate. “I know they get a lot of reviews on this, but I admit I was a skeptic,” he said. But since the install, Harriman has become a believer. Every time he calls Auto/Mate, he gets a live person on the phone and typically receives the answer to his question within a few minutes. Once he even called on a Saturday and received a call back almost instantly.
“It’s nice because we have the same philosophy; we want our customers to get a live person on the phone. We couldn’t run our business any other way,” said Harriman.
Stanley Subaru is a flat rate shop so the more productive they are, the more money they make. Increasing service department proficiency 20% has resulted in more money for the technicians and more money to the shop’s bottom line.
“The techs time is really what it’s all about,” said Harriman. “If you’ve got a big blank space with no jobs in there and the techs aren’t working, that’s not good. It’s all about keeping people working.”
Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to retail automotive dealerships. Its Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS) is a user-friendly, feature-rich dealership management software in use by more than 800 auto dealers nationwide. Auto/Mate offers the best customer service in the industry, with live people answering the phone and minimal hold times for technical support. Auto/Mate’s employees have more than 300 years of combined experience working in auto dealerships – the foundation of its “designed by car people, for car people” slogan. For more information, visit www.automate.com and follow us on Twitter @AutoMateDMS