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How to get correct and precise story from tech to invoice?
Posted to Shop Management Forum on 10/13/2013 70 Replies

I am anxious to see how other shop owners/managers handle this.

A chronic problem I have witnessed from the day I started working in dealers and then onto my own shop is a disconnect from the service bay to the invoice booker. How do other shops get a clear, well written, precise story from the technician typed onto the invoice that the customer understands. When i was at the dealer it was written on the back of the RO by the tech and usually was a mess, incomplete and meant little to the office booking the invoice through. This was a problem with all the dealers I worked at and I recently talked to a good friend at a Chevrolet dealer that stated it is still a mess even though everything is much more computerized. The obvious problems are, as I see them: Poor typing skills by many, poor spelling etc, lack of detail by techs(specific trouble codes listed) and a lack of knowledge of specific repairs in the office. I ran into this for years with a very smart and great office guy in the office. He was great with the customer's but had limited auto knowledge. I forever had to go and type in stories etc. My solution came to me after some head scratching: We have a rear computer and a front computer both internet ready. I set up a gmail account where I can type out the estimate as it is made up to begin with. I set up a list of operation codes indicating to the office person when a new labor line is needed. I get it typed, sell the work, note the authorization times etc and then hit send. The email is sent to our own email addy. She can access it up front and copies and pastes to Alldata. She can do this quickly. She can also verify the totals jive. This seems to work well. I have to do an estimate anyway, why not type it? If we need to revise, we just open a second email labled REVISION. The customer last name, year, make and model are listed in the subject. With gmail, you can leave them in draft form if you are waiting on approval or feel a change may need to be made quickly. I have also found that it is handy when you have a vehicle come back in for a previous estimated repair. A quick gmail search with the name or vehicle brings it back up. And no paper laying around.

This is what I have found and it works good but I am wondering how others handle getting all the info from tech to invoice. Always like hearing good ideas and perhaps handing a good idea of mine on.



Ronald from California

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