David Marston is the MTA Chairman of the Auto Mechanical Repairers Division. Until recently, he also ran the Sutherland Shire Automotive Centre for many years. So he got an overall view of the industry as well as from under the bonnet.
“I often assist Members with information on dispute resolution. What amazes me is the number of workshop owners who still keep incomplete records on paper. Accurate record keeping for your workshop has always been important, and these days even more so as legal action increases. If you are the victim of a legal action get prepared for a day in court or at a tribunal, especially if you cannot prove you did the right thing. It’s expensive in time, compensation payments and even more expensive legal fees. As an example, the water pump you changed three months ago just failed. Do you know when and where you got it? Can you look at the invoice and click on purchase history and find the supplier, invoice number, costs etc? Can you do it in a couple of seconds or does it take a long while to find the information?
Whether for Bookings, Invoices and Accounts, follow-up with customers, vehicle details, technician performance or maintenance histories, The Leading Hand tells a workshop all it needs to know, and even stores pictures of customers’ vehicles.”
Other vital benefits with using The Leading Hand are sales and outstanding customer reports.
“Most customers will happily pay for work done especially on a clear itemised invoice. Unfortunately, there are also those who are not honest and will do all they can to avoid their obligations. They try to make untruthful claims about the work done (or not done) and blame the mechanic for any problems their vehicle may have. We have all experienced people like that and in many cases it can cost us plenty. By using The Leading Hand we can avoid such hassles.”
The Leading Hand means businesses can keep accurate records of work done. They can look up jobs performed back to the first day they use it. They can store photos and documents concerning particular vehicles to enable us to get a full history of work done and the vehicle condition. This, combined with accurate job cards signed by the Customer, means they can be prepared to handle unscrupulous people or complicated jobs.”
David believes the long-term benefits of using a computerised management system are quickly obvious. Even time saving alone! When an invoice is created it can be made in to a template and next time that job is done again (example remove and replace cylinder head, subcontracting and all the parts used) I just use the template. It saves time but also means parts used like sealant and workshop materials are charge for. They are the things easy to forget which add the profit to the Bottom Line.
David believe the Leading Hand is the most vital tool for any workshop.