In 2020, the most successful PDR businesses use PDR software in their shops. It makes your back-office paperwork easier to manage. It also gives you complete visibility of your entire operation. That being said, there are both pros and cons to PDR software, and we’ve created a list of them, below.
- Fast and accurate data input: If your shop doesn’t have a management system in place, there’s a good possibility that you still rely on spreadsheets, paperwork, and filing cabinets. It can take hours to sift through information stored in those ways; however, with PDR software, you can upload and view all data in real-time from your desktop or mobile device.
- Databases full of competitive pricing: You can look up the conventional repair costs of certain repairs and vehicles. Access R&I labor times, parts, and a host of other vehicle-specific information.
- Real-time reporting: You can check all of your business’ information anywhere, anytime, in real-time. You have direct access to data and exact numbers.
- Employee Accountability: Every single aspect of your business is monitored, including the technicians, the work they are doing, and who is responsible for potential mistakes as well as who’s performing the work the most efficiently.
- Communication: Because all of your employees have access to PDR software on their desktop or mobile devices, it means all information that is put in can be accessed instantly by anyone with the appropriate rights– all with notifications that can inform you when the data is uploaded by another employee. All these interactions can be performed remotely on a computer or mobile device.
- Improves visibility and tackles constraints: With the click of a button, you can analyze all of your current operational statistics as well as inefficiencies. You can look at how your PDR business is currently performing and make strategic changes to improve your workflow.
- It has easy-to-use PDR and hail matrix estimation: It provides you with estimate calculations based on a massive database of information.
- It can be difficult to standardize its use by employees: PDR software is extremely helpful, but you will have to go through a transitional process where your technicians get used to putting the information into the app.
- The system only works well if the data is put in: It can take a long time to shift all of that information into an app.
- Steep learning curve for some people: If your employees haven’t used PDR software before, there can be a steep learning curve. However, better PDR software companies provide tutorials and have representatives immediately available to help with any questions you may have.
If you were to have a conversation with other PDR businesses about using software, three of the most common things you’d hear about would be businesses who are unwilling to graduate from spreadsheets, people not wanting to admit they’re having problems, and those who have already tried using management systems.
PDR workflow management software can do much more than a spreadsheet. Because information can be uploaded and reviewed in real-time, your PDR business can efficiently monitor vehicle statuses and anticipate potential bottlenecks that may arise.
When it comes down to it, management systems tend to work the best for the operational managers. The person in your business (outside of yourself), who will end up reviewing all of the work and information the most tends to be the operational manager. So, if you have a day or two where it’s very busy and the operational manager doesn’t have time to sign off on jobs, management software can eliminate that by providing them with all of the information on the fly and the ability to approve anything with a few clicks on their mobile device.
Management software provides all of your technicians with information in real-time. But your operational manager could have the software set up for them to receive text message notifications so that they are constantly up to date. Beyond that, management software can provide information on repair recommendations, estimates, and other potential costs.
In the PDR world, you don’t want your business bogged down by bottlenecks and waiting on approvals. There’s no reason to delay services over things that could easily be changed to increase your business’ effectiveness.
In a matter of seconds, you can review vehicle statuses, estimates, the technicians working, and any other bits of information regarding a specific vehicle. You can automate just about everything in your PDR business operations– including the back-office and the repair side of things.
The best way to get your PDR shop running as efficiently as possible is by having all of your people working together as a team. It should be a cooperative effort between your operational manager, technicians, and back-office operations. With management software, every department can access information immediately in real-time. If a problem pops up, everyone is notified and can work together to solve it as quickly as possible.
The software can alert you to potential problems in order to maintain proper workflow momentum, keeping little issues in check so they don’t become show-stoppers. It can also track estimates, approvals, commissions, salaries, hourly wages, payroll, invoices, and more all in one place.
When it comes to PDR, speed and efficiency are the two areas that impact your profits. It’s not only important to make your shop more productive, but also to implement a system that every employee adapts to, uses to keep your business operating at its best. The best management software is extremely flexible for all of your individual needs and offers a variety of customization options for your PDR business.
Do you use workflow management software in your PDR operation? Leave us a comment about which and why…
Paintless Dent Repair professionals can be among the most effective and undervalued players in the auto repair industry. Using specialized tools and techniques honed through both training and an active community of peer professionals, The PDR technician can restore crumpled metal to original undamaged look and value, frequently at a fraction of the price a traditional body shop or dealership might ask. From door dings to fender-benders to hail storm damage, the PDR practitioner is a low-cost, high-quality answer to many a car owner’s cosmetic problems. As awareness of PDR and Smart Repair alternatives to traditional body shops has grown over the years, the PDR industry has expanded both in the number of companies in business, and the average number of employees in these companies.
Many in the business have mobile operations, allowing them to go to where the work requires their skills, whether that be visiting retail customer locations, Dealerships, Fleet Operators, or chasing hail storms across the country. As the specialty has grown, there have also been hybrid business that may have one or more fixed locations in addition to crews of PDR techs servicing customers in specific regions.
One of the competitive advantages of PDR is speed of repair. A well equipped PDR tech can affect repairs on a vehicle within minutes or hours of starting a job. The ultimate goal for PDR operations, therefore, is maximizing the number of revenue-producing jobs completed in a given day. Efficiency is the name of the game. Anything that distracts or separates a technician from hands-on repair work is delaying the opportunity to make money. Many of these distractions are necessary, or even crucial to the business – inspections, condition reports, estimates, approvals and invoicing are all connected to the actual work, but are not billable to the customer. Time tracking, payroll, record-keeping, and accounting are also necessary elements for a thriving business. All of these important tasks are part of the company’s overhead, and doing them correctly and error-free will result in more time spent making money, more satisfied customers, happier employees, and good business reputation.
Nearly all PDR operations rely of some kind of technology solution to help them run their business. Everyone has a mobile phone, and many have tablet or laptop computers for using spreadsheets to keep track of jobs, employees, and finances. Many use QuickBooks or similar programs to help with business accounting. All of these technologies increase efficiency by reducing the need for paper, ledger books, post-it notes, etc., and all are generic solutions for most businesses. In addition to the generic tools mentioned above, there are a few specialized software solutions designed especially for PDR and Smart Repair professionals. It is these software solutions to which this site is dedicated.
The goal for managing business operations is efficiency – getting it right the first time, storing accurate information for future reference, and dispensing with administrative tasks in as little time as necessary. PDR Software solutions are all designed, to a greater or lesser degree, to enable efficiencies in your PDR operations. These include:
- VIN Scanning
- Damage Inspection
- Lot Walk (multiple vehicle) Estimates
- R&I Labor Times
- Pricing Structures and Discounting
- Work Order creation
- Supplement Management
- Parts Lookup and Selection
- On-device and Email Approvals
- Payment Processing
- Accounting Integrations
- Dealer Software Integrations
- Body Shop Software Integrations
- Time and Attendance
- Team and Area Management
- Vendor Management
- Commission Models
- Custom Forms
- Service Requests and Scheduling
- Hail Damage Matrixes
- Print and Email Templates
- Custom Events and Notifications
- Customer Portal
- Service Contract Management
- Wheel Repair Management
Leading PDR Software Providers