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Forecasting With Realtime Reports

How to Be More Strategic as a Shop Owner

Do you ever wish you could see into the future? As a business owner, being able to predict how much business you will get during a week, a month, or a year can help you make important decisions regarding marketing your services, taking on more work, hiring more employees, or even knowing when to expand your business.

Of course, there are always going to be unforeseen situations. No matter how much technology you have, there’s no surefire way to predict accidents, natural disasters, or other changes in life circumstances. Fortune telling aside, shop owners can use realtime reports to forecast the health of their business and get a sense of how much money their garage is expected to make before the end of a week, month, or year. 

Here’s how you can leverage two of Tekmetric’s realtime reports in combination to forecast your shop’s performance and test the decisions you make as a shop owner.

Tekmetric’s Realtime Shop Dashboard

Just as a dashboard in a car allows drivers to see what’s going on with their vehicle, dashboards for auto repair shops allow service writers, technicians, and shop owners to see what’s coming in, what vehicle is in the garage, and what’s ready for pick up. If you’ve been working in a garage for a while, you probably remember a time when shop employees would jot down information with paper, pen, and clipboards. Now, the dashboard in your shop has gone digital to make it easier to see what’s going on at a glance.

Tekmetric’s shop dashboard tracks and displays specific steps of the auto repair process so you know exactly what the status is: 

  • Not started

  • Requires authorization

  • Pending authorization 

  • Declined all, in-progress

  • Need to order parts

  • Waiting on parts

  • Waiting on customer 

  • Waiting on sublet 

  • Balance due

  • Ready to post 

  • Work not started 

  • Credit due

  • On hold

  • Posted

  • In A/R

Because shop owners have a granular look at the status of each job at any given moment, they have a more accurate idea of which tickets are going to yield payments and when the customer is going to pay. Service writers can also use the shop dashboard to quickly prioritize jobs in accordance with the needs of the shop and communicate those needs to technicians or otherwise plan what’s next, whether that means getting approval for work, handing a car off to a technician, ordering parts, or collecting payment.

Tekmetric also lets shop owners see the dashboard by day, week, month, and year-to-date, opening up a whole new level of forecasting. You can even set a custom start and end date to see how your shop has performed or is performing during special events or situations. For instance, several of our customers have used the custom date feature to gain better insights into how their shop performed during the first few months of COVID-19 and plan how to adapt.

Forecasting With Realtime Reports

Annual Forecasting

During the year, you can go to your shop dashboard and get a sense of where you're at and how the rest of the year is likely to play out. If you notice that month to month, business has been slowing down, maybe it’s time to adjust your marketing. Or maybe you notice that this year has been busier than ever, in which case you might consider bringing on more talent or even opening a new location. 

Weekly Forecasting

Because the shop dashboard also shows sales in progress, shop owners can combine that data with their closed sales data to get a good idea of how much profit their shop is lined up to make by the end of the week. 

Let’s say you have another 20 cars that are on your job board with approved work on them, and you know that you’re going to get that work completed by Friday. You now have a good idea of how much money you’ll have at the end of the week because that report is going to combine the data of jobs that have already been paid for with jobs that are still pending payment. 

Tek-Tip: Use Forecasting to Incentivize Your Team

Since forecasting can predict performance, it presents shop owners with the opportunity to plan ahead for bonuses for team members for a job well done. If your week is forecasted to bring in extra profit, incentivize your team to cross the finish line and reward them with a celebration. Fajitas anyone?

Realtime Service Writer Sales Report

Want to drill down even further with your forecasting? Tekmetric’s realtime service writer sales report can show you where each service writer is at in each of the jobs they’re overseeing:

  • Unchecked 

  • Pending 

  • Declined

  • In-progress, 

  • Completed 

  • Posted work 

Now you can forecast the amount of business each service writer will close by the end of the week, and look back at how each service writer has performed. Like the shop dashboard report, you can modify the service writer report to view by day, week, month, year to date, or during a custom time period. 

Tek-Tip: Leverage Trends to Lead Your Team 

When using realtime service writer reports, you might notice trends: some service writers may be better at closing repair work than others, or maybe you notice that a few service writers slow down by the end of the day or the week. Use these trends to lead your team. Everyone has room for improvement. Let high performing service writers mentor those that could use some guidance so that you can boost sales across the board. Find ways to boost morale mid-week to keep up the pace from week to week. 

Shop Management Software that Keeps You Ahead

Tekmetric is always looking for ways to give auto repair shops an edge and keep them ahead of the curve. Realtime data not only keep shop owners in tune with what’s going on in their shop from moment to moment but also give them the foresight to know how things will pan out. We encourage our users to experiment and see how their decisions affect these reports and test the success of different initiatives. We look forward to seeing how you use these reports in your shop. 

If you’re ready to forecast, test, and get ahead of the curve yourself, sign up for a free demo of Tekmetric today!

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