Software updates: Computer companies launch programs offering more speed, less effort
Software companies designing programs specifically for the tire industry have a handle on the unique aspects of your business and know what you need -- user-friendly programs that give you the information you need quickly. A number of them recently have introduced programs that make tire sales even easier and faster.
ASA Tire Systems
ASA Tire Systems' Version 7.4.0 of its TireMaster software offers increased functionality, the company says.
"Along with the many benefits that TireMaster users already receive at the point-of-sale, Version 7.4.0 offers a 'promised time' indicator, global comments for quotes, and a tire casings/parts core tracking system."
Many of the updates available for Version 7.4.0 are also available in the latest TireMaster POS release, version 3.7.0, the company says.
The latest version of TireMaster allows users to not only track casings sent to a retreader, and record information about recap costs, defects and more, but also find improved accounting functions. In addition, it gives users the ability to preview pending price changes and gain access to an upgraded quoting module.
"The promised time indicator will be a great tool to manage a shop's busy workload," says Mark Goin, director of sales and marketing for TireMaster. "This feature allows tire dealers to set a 'promised time' for each job. If the job takes longer than expected, they will know to contact the customer immediately. This new element improves customer service, while helping to manage a tire dealer's daily workload."
For more information, see www.tiremaster.com.
MaddenCo has added more than 150 enhancements to its software program since last August, says Greg Madden, company president. The latest include:
* scan billing. This is the company's process of scanning and billing items onto a ticket by simply scanning bar codes with a handheld bar code scanner. Scan billing also allows the company's software users to receive inventory and take physical counts via scanning bar codes. "We have recently added new features that utilize the scan billing function that is already in place. For instance, not only can our users take a physical inventory of all of their products, but they can also now take a physical inventory of only products in their warehouse belonging to one of their customers or selected customers," says Madden. "This is important in the retread industry, because retreaders often 'bank' tires for their customers."
* more scanning. The company's software now has the ability to start a work order by merely scanning the vehicle's VIN while the vehicle is still in the parking lot. Also, technicians can punch in and out of work orders by using scanners, thus allowing users to track direct labor costs down to the work order ticket level.
* signature capture. The process overlays a signature over transaction data (such as an invoice) so that it is held in a single image file, Madden says.
* delivery receipts. "We can process Goodyear, Bridgestone, Bandag, Yokohama and Michelin delivery receipts via our point-of-sale system," notes Madden. The company also updates its software to keep up with new manufacturer programs.
* Universal Vehicle Database. "We now have the ability to utilize a common vehicle database among a group of companies. We call this our Universal Vehicle Database. A parent company and its franchisees, or any association of dealers wanting to present a common front, could utilize this new feature. The dealers in the group share only the history associated with vehicles that come to their locations. All other data for the associated companies is separate."
* lost sales tracking. Users can track lost sales, both of products they stock and products they do not stock. This gives management more of the information it needs to manage inventory and to decide whether or not to take on new vendors.
MaddenCo can be found on the Web at www.maddenco.com.
Tire Company Solutions
Tire Company Solutions (TCS) has launched Tire Power 7.0 in partnership with Microsoft Corp.
It has switched to Microsoft's SQL database (a relational database management system.) This will allow TCS to grow faster and easier, the company says, while providing more features for the tire and automotive industry.
"Now dealers of any size can reap the benefits of a stable and secure Windows-based business management solution," the company says.
Barry Reese, director of sales and marketing for TCS, notes the enhanced accounting features in 7.0 offer customers a "front-to-back, single-source system."
"Your front counter salesperson needs quick knowledge to gain trust and provide the utmost in customer service. Your back office needs real time information and streamlined accounting functions."
Tire Power 7.0 offers a fully integrated POS, inventory management and accounting package in a simple and easy-to-use application, the company reports.
The software also has a layaway consignment function for customers who want to pay on time, and "customer and vendor terms as long as you want, with as many discounts as you want," says Reese.
The screens also have been revamped to be more user-friendly.
The company's Web site is www.tcstirepower.com.
Jim Yelverton, president of Freedomsoft, www.tireshop.info, says his company is offering new high-efficiency point-of-sale functions in its TireShop software that help bring in traffic with e-mail or direct mail offers geared directly to the individual consumer.
Offers can be customized to say things such as, "Our records indicate your Honda Accord has more than 60,000 miles on it, so it's time for belt changes" or other services.
A single keystroke will display a list of every activity performed on the selected vehicle with the lapsed miles and number of months since a service was performed. This is compared against the vehicle's maintenance schedule for easy add-on sales, says Yelverton. Both the history and vehicle maintenance schedule can be printed and given to the customer for a quick reference.
The new software also has a quick lube function built in to help dealers make money on oil changes. The program automatically lists the number of quarts any vehicle needs and the correct oil filter to make the service a breeze, he adds.
Also new is a tire pressure monitoring system program that alerts the technicians if the vehicle has a sensor, explains what the reset and relearn procedures are for that model, and includes diagrams for component replacement.
Andreoli & Associates
Andreoli & Associates Inc. has added tire fitments to www.TPMSguide.com, its subscription-based, on-line resource for tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) data.
MOTOR Information Systems is providing the tire fitment data to the Web site.
"We found that independent tire and auto service professionals were using TPMSguide.com to determine the TPMS status of a vehicle and other means for determining tire fitment prior to quoting new tires or before performing tire service on existing vehicles," says President Mike Andreoli.
"It only seemed logical to add tire fitment so that dealers could save time and avoid costly mistakes."
To evaluate the service, the company says a free five-day trial is available.
TireWare Inc. has available a subscription-based, on-line point-of-sale and inventory solution for retail, wholesale and commercial business operations.
The concept allows dealers of any size to access TireWare as a pay-as-you-go Web-based solution, the company says.
The program is accessed through a standard Web browser, "enabling dealers to substantially reduce many of the traditional expenses and complexities of traditional POS software. There are no downloads, no software to install or uninstall, no updates, no upgrades and no maintenance fees," the company says. Dealers are required to pay a monthly subscription fee per inventory location for the on-line, Web-based POS solution.
American Car Care Centers Inc. (ACCC) recently selected TireWare as an approved supplier for its On-Demand point-of-sale solution.
TireWare's Web site is www.tireware.com.
United Software and Design
United Software and Design Inc. has enhanced its customer vehicle data management system for Tirewiz v31. The section now can contain information on each vehicle that comes to a dealer's shop, including the VIN, year, make, model, color and anything else you may want included. When a customer comes into your shop, the information is instantly available, says Len Schneider, president. The vehicle's service history is stored also, so you can call up all front-end work, all brake work, etc., performed on that vehicle.
"We try to keep the programs user-friendly," says Schneider. "They're like icebergs. The most important features float to the top, and there's a lot under the surface if the customer wants it."
The company specializes in customizing its software to fit dealers' needs, says Schneider. It also is changing the appearance of its screen images to be more "pleasing to the eye" and easy to follow. And the company is emphasizing its improved "pit stop speed."
A new toll-free number also has been added for sales and technical support, (888) 825-9639.
The company's Web site is www.aaow.com/usd.