Published On: August 12, 2021
Industry: Auto Repair
Company Size: Small
Location: Lafayette, California
Frank Powell started his journey years ago as an auto shop entrepreneur in Walnut Creek, California with Frank and Paul's Auto Repair. With a real passion for cars, Frank has since gone on to found Top Shop Auto in Lafayette along with his co-owner, Michael McKee. Their shop has been growing at a seriously rapid pace ever since they made the switch to Shopmonkey.
An Outdated System | Too Much Paper | Employee Inefficiency
Before Shopmonkey, Top Shop Auto used a server-based program and printed paper for each and every job. "My mechanics lost so much time running to the front office to get clarity on a job, and the service writers were always running into the shop to get a status update on jobs. They would write notes all over the printed work orders, and I was buying reams and reams of paper," says Frank. Another downside to this outdated system: there was always a real risk of losing valuable information. That particular program did offer a paperless option, but it was spreadsheet-based and wasn't user-friendly for the mechanics.
On top of that, Frank’s co-owner, Michael, lives in Oregon. Any time Michael wanted an update on the shop, Frank had to screenshare with Michael so he could see into the system. And when screen sharing didn’t work, he would literally have to screenshot and email pages to Michael.
Ultimately, Frank and Michael knew they needed something new, “We wanted to go paperless, we wanted something with integrated payment, and we wanted something that the mechanics could use on a daily basis that makes sense to them."
Mechanic-Friendly Software | Efficiency Across the Board | Modern Customer Communication
Frank saw the benefits of Shopmonkey as early as the trial period, when he was quickly drawn to the user interface. No paper, no confusing layouts and totally "mechanic-friendly," he says. Clicking and dragging in Shopmonkey felt like moving papers around on a desk, except quicker. "I'm done before I can even think about it,” says Frank.
Shopmonkey’s tactile user experience feels natural to mechanics. Frank couldn’t believe it took just two weeks to roll out Shopmonkey and get his entire team trained, "which is unheard of." After seeing the results, he says he doesn't know what he'd do without it.
Ultimately, Frank says that "everything has been sped up with Shopmonkey." With parts orders, approvals, mechanics, and more, Frank has seen an amazing 25% boost in efficiency.
One surprising game-changer was the way Shopmonkey allowed them to modernize communication with their customers. “We are calling our customers only 10% of the amount of time than we were before Shopmonkey,” says Frank, “and they can see when I text them what we are talking about right on their phone. If they are in a meeting, they can still approve the work right away, so our mechanics can keep working without losing momentum.”
Online payments was also a game changer that has sped up their pickup process. Top Shop Auto services a lot of fleet accounts who prefer to pay online which allows the driver to pick up quickly or even after hours. Plus, with the COVID-19 pandemic, touchless payments was a quick sell to all of their customers.
With these massive changes in efficiency, Top Shop Auto was able to expand and hire new employees during COVID-19 to continue to grow the shop. And his business partner Michael is now happily logging into Shopmonkey from Oregon whenever he wants, to see exactly what everyone else in the shop can see.
Frank says about the auto repair software, "I highly recommend Shopmonkey because of ease of use." He adds, "There's nothing like it with that kind of platform."
Since they made the switch to Shopmonkey, Top Shop Auto has grown their gross monthly sales by 20%.
With the ability to instantly text and email customers, Frank’s team is only picking up the phone to call customers 10% of the amount they used to. Plus, customers love it!
With automated appointment reminders, Frank has a quarter of the no-shows he used to have before Shopmonkey. Plus, he’s saving on time and effort.
Top Shop Auto in Lafayette, California serves the entire Bay Area, keeping all kinds of popular vehicle brands in tip-top shape. They specialize in both domestic and Asian manufacturers from Corvette and Jeep to Subaru and Toyota. Cars, trucks, and hot rods are all a part of their diverse portfolio.
"With Shopmonkey, we have been able to grow the shop by 20% in gross sales since implementing it in the shop”