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What to Consider When Choosing a DI Tool

Shop Management

By John Burkhauser of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY

The paper vehicle inspection is dead. If this is news to you, maybe you should consider this and find out for yourself because digital inspections are quickly taking over.

Why? Well think of all the problems a paper inspection creates, including getting them filled out in a way that can be read or even understood. Having to copy everything from the inspection into the management system. Relaying the information to the customer over the phone. Having to store the inspection for future reference and so on.

Digital Inspections fix these and many other issues related to the paper courtesy inspection, and are proven to increase your average repair order dollars.

Choosing the digital inspection system is the next step. It’s time to do some research so you make the right decision. Take your time too, do not let anyone push you into something that will not work for you.

First thing to do is find all the companies that have the digital inspections and make a list. Look at how long the company has been in business since there are lots of newcomers lately.

Then I suggest you look at the following items to make an educated decision;

1. The actual inspections – Are they provided, can they be customized, can you build your own?
2. How does the actual inspection work? Are they easy to learn and follow?
3. Do the inspections support photos that can be marked up by the tech to point out the issue in the picture?
4. What are the methods of editing the inspection before sending to the customer?
5. Does all the information from the inspection automatically integrate with the management system, or is there a process of cutting and pasting the complete inspection involved?
6. How can the inspection be shared with the customer? Paper? (Yes, some customers will still prefer this.) Email or text? Displayed on the tablet or PC for waiting customers?
7. Can the software send and receive digital pictures without an inspection being used? Can the customer send back digital pictures?
8. What other software is included with the inspection software? How can it benefit your shop?
9. Equipment type and costs for hardware needed to use the software need to be factored in.
10. Do you have to lock into a contract to use the software, or is it month to month?
11. How is support for the software handled? Do you have pay for updates when they come out?
12. And more……

This is no means a comprehensive list of questions, but it is a good place to start your research. Every shop operates a bit differently, so see how the software fits your methods or how your methods will need to be changed to adapt.

Most importantly, spend the time doing your research, find a local shop that uses the software to see it in action. Doing all of these things will help you make the right decision the first time as you enter the digital inspection age and a better future for your shop and customers.

This article was contributed by John Burkhauser, Director of Educational Programs for BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY. For more great tips to help you build a more successful shop, visit the BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY Blog at www.blog.boltontechnology.com.

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