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What to Consider When Choosing A Digital Inspection Software

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Our Shop Talk Blog shares the insider advice needed to increase profits & efficiency. Learn what's working right now for repair shops all across the country.

The paper vehicle inspection is dead.  If this is news to you, look at all of the advancements of technology around you in your everyday life. It is no different in your auto repair shop! Digital inspections are quickly taking over.

Why Are Repair Shops Choosing to Use Digital Inspections?

MMP Inspection (phone)Paper inspections were once a great way for technicians to record the state of a vehicle and communicate it to their customers, because it was the only way. Technology makes life easier and it's no different in the automotive industry. Think of all the problems a paper inspection can create, including:

  • Illegible handwriting that the service advisor cannot understand
  • Wasting time by having to copy everything from the inspection into the management system
  • Relaying the information to the customer over a phone call
  • Storing the inspection for future reference

In addition, no two inspections are created equal. By utilizing a standardized digital inspection, all technician reports will be the same, regardless of the employee or store location. Digital inspections fix these and many other issues related to the paper courtesy inspection and are proven to increase your average repair order dollars.

Which Digital Inspection Should Your Repair Shop Choose?

Choosing a digital inspection system that is right for your auto repair shop is the next step. It’s time to do some research so you make the right decision. Take your time, too. A digital inspection is a direct reflection on your shop, so make sure it represents your work and team to your expectations. With so many companies to choose from, the decision could be overwhelming. 

Ask Yourself the Following:

  1. The actual inspections: Are they provided or does your shop build your own? Can they be customized?
  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 technician to point out issues?
  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? Can the customer send back digital pictures?
  8. What other software is included with the inspection software? How can it benefit your shop?
  9. What equipment type and costs for hardware are needed to use the software?
  10. Are you locked into a contract to use the software or is it month-to-month?
  11. What type of support can you expect to have available with this software? Do you have pay for updates when they come out?

Every shop operates a bit differently, but these question give you a good frame of reference when researching digital inspection softwares. See how the software fits your methods or how your methods will need to be changed to adapt to the technology. 

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Posted by John Burkhauser

John is an Auto Repair Specialist with over 30 years of experience—with expertise ranging from A Level & ASE Certified Master Tech, Shop Advisor/Manager, to Automotive Trade School Instructor, Technical Writer, and now Director of Education at BOLT ON.