SmartFlow News and Announcements

Latest news and updates from the SmartFlow Product Group including Announcement Release Notes and New Releases

AutoVitals V3.0 Overview

Our technology is constantly improving to help your shop stay up to date and keep our products easy to use. In this huddle, Uwe Kleinschmidt discusses the new features in the 3.0 release, as well as the different ways to get help through our Facebook page, as well as the help.autovitals.com page.

Best Results Require a Process Change

A process change is a vital component to bringing your shop into the 21st century. With our guest panelists, we discuss AutoVital’s role in that process change and use Ben Nielsen’s shop as an example of a success story with incredible results.

Retention Campaign Manager 2.0

For our first Service Advisor Huddle of 2017, our product manager Bianca Torres speaks about the new Retention Campaign Manager and all the features it adds to the retention suite and to the communication with the customer.

From Whiteboard to Digital Control Center

Many benefits come with implementing The Digital Shop®. When Matt Purselle, owner of Revolution in Decatur, GA, started, his first goal was to replace the whiteboard used for tech dispatching and eliminate the running back and forth of service advisor and techs. Two years later Matt is enjoying consistent shop operation, an overall boost in morale, transparency in inspections and educational information for motorists, and unparalleled customer satisfaction.

A Look Back on 2016

2016 was a successful year for AutoVitals and its customers. Uwe Kleinschmidt and Frank Scandura look back on this year’s accomplishments and improvements, as well as speak on how AutoVitals will continue to improve the shop’s process in 2017.

Combine Coaching with Productivity Tools to Win

To understand what the true benefits of AutoVitals are, it is important to see real life success stories. With ATI trainers Bryan Stasch and Michael Bennett, Uwe Kleinschmidt discusses how particular shops became more profitable by applying coaching and using SmartFlow.

Digital Supervisor Training

This month our guest speakers were our digital supervisor trainers who explained what digital supervisor training is and how it will benefit the shop. Customers who have attended the training also speak on how much it has changed their process.

The Digital Shop® Tablet Subscription

After we discontinued the iPad Mini 1 support, we realized that a new service to maintain the productivity of technicians was needed. We called our partner Apple and came up jointly with a solution we are now ready to offer to all shops. Introducing the Technician Productivity Warranty Plus!

The Winning Formula: SmartFlow + Coaching

Although AutoVitals has tremendous experience in training shops on best practices for The Digital Shop, we are not a business-coaching company nor is that our intention in strategy. Our formula is instead, to combine the best-in-class experience the business coaches in the industry have to offer with our product expertise.

Keep Your Team On Track with SmartFlow Trends

SmartFlow allows to track key performance indicators (KPI), which are hard to come by using the traditional paper way. For example the inspection rate and the number of recommended actions the technicians adds for each inspection are highly important. Are those KPIs graphed as trends over time, the shop owner, manager and the whole team have a clear picture of how the shop is improving and can document the measures needed for the team to take the shop to the next level.

Reliability and New Benefits with Shop Approval

We have been releasing software at a high pace with user interfaces for new features and benefits based on our research and your feedback. In this process we need to adjust the measures for reliability and usability. The immediate focus is on a stable TVP2.0 and the Google Drive based application for viewing inspection results on devices of any size and storing the results in a gmail or Google for work account of your choosing.

Instructions to Improve your SmartFlow Fitness Results

How do I interpret my SmartFlow Fitness results? First let’s review your overall score, then the score at the router.   Overall Score Perfect You’re good to go! You have great WiFi coverage and internet speed, every area completed the Fitness test in 10 seconds or less and you can use your tablets reliably in all areas of the shop. Not Perfect Most shops will fall into this category. This means one or more areas where you ran your test took more than 10 seconds to complete which is typically caused by a lack of WiFi coverage, WiFi interference or insufficient bandwidth on your internet connection. The next step is to analyze your results at the router. Needs Work Stop! Do not pass go! Tablets will run slowly or not at all so there’s some work to be done before your shop can move into the digital age. Most likely there’s either a very poor WiFi connection, faulty equipment or a slow internet connection. Keep reading to learn how to improve! Router Score Perfect If you see Perfect results near the router, but Not Perfect or Needs Work in other areas of the shop this is typical of insufficient WiFi range or WiFi interference. This means that tablets will work great in some areas of the shop but may be slow or lose connection in areas farther from the router like the parking lot which will slow down your technicians. The good news is that a perfect score at the router means that the internet connection to the shop is fast and there are no apparent issues with the router...

Quick Wins with SmartFlow

Our SmartFlow product has many features that can be implemented quickly and improve your shop flow immediately. With the help of one of our trainers, Lindsay, we have put together some of the best ways to make quick changes in your shop.

Celebrating the 10th AutoVitals Partner Workshop

When we started the workshop idea 10 months ago, we tried a new concept and we are happy to report that it is working!
Shop Owners, Service Advisors and Technicians have visited the workshop, some even twice, and your feedback encourages us to keep going. The AutoVitals Partner Workshop is designed to gather SmartFlow veterans, new clients and shops, who want to know more about SmartFlow in one place.

Inspection Revision Manager

Sometimes Service advisors and technicians edit an inspection sheet during the same time and create conflicts. This can now resolved by comparing the versions and select the correct one.

Uploading Indicator for Inspection Images

Images and voice recordings are now uploaded separately from the other activities on the tablet. that means you can keep doing other stuff on the work order or inspection while the image is uploading. If the internet is slow or the number of images is high or both, then the images arrive later on the TVP, this will be marked with the image below on the work order or inspection result.

Inspection Metrics Re-Visited

100% inspection rate is a recommend procedure, but often the question is raised “Why should we re-inspect a vehicle, which is coming in within 2 weeks of the previous visit?”.

Monitor and Protect Profitability

With the latest SmartFlow version, the service advisor can see tech efficiency in real-time on his control panel. Lets look how this new feature helps you to protect your profitability.

KeyTag and Selling at Vehicle Drop-Off

Selling Declined Jobs and Inspection Results Made Easy In this release we added a few enhancements, which help the service advisor selling more jobs, help the tech identifying the vehicle faster and email and text with customers whose vehicle is not in the shop. In addition we offer trend graphs on your most important KPIs. This allows a quick check whether everybody is on track while introducing best practices in your shop.   Know your Sales Potential We have added more information at one glance to the vehicle tile in the workflow view. You will be able to immediately identify, what your selling potential is. Check whether there are inspection results from recent visits available. If there is no inspection result available, the following image is visible. Often selling trends on inspection results is the most effective way of educating motorists about wear and tear impact on their vehicle. We will show how many current recommended actions are on the inspection result and how many of those have data from a previous or past visit. In the image below 11 recommended actions are from the current inspection (clock icon) and 3 of them have matching data from previous or past visits. How many recommended actions were on the most recent inspection result. These have the potential to be added to today’s work order, if your or our service advisor identified them as welcome information to educate the motorist at vehicle drop-off. The image below shows the amount of 6 recommended action from an inspection in the past (red history icon) In addition you can see whether the images have been edited using the image editor...

Smart Markers at Work

Are you running a fast lane and a mechanical lane in your shop and appreciate every second saved for technician and service advisor?

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The Teamwork Meter in SmartFlow Good Teamwork is the main ingredient for high profitability and low attrition in your shop. Technicians, who can rely on service advisors to sell work for them based on inspections results are happy campers. Service advisors, who receive thorough inspections from Technicians with recommended actions  backed up by images of the problem areas,  will happily make the sale. Vice versa, if a tech (who is unpaid for inspections like the majority of technicians today)  sees that only a fraction of their recommended actions are sold by the service advisor as jobs,  their motivation to uncover and recommend real vehicle problems goes out the window and  pencil whipping or over-recommending  and all of the consequences that come with doing so become a daily routine. In return the service advisor stops putting any recommendations on the estimate afraid that they might blow up in their face right in front of the customer, and eventually the only jobs that will be approved are the ones the customer came in for.   Shop Owners, who continue looking for ways to turn their teams into well oiled machines with high performance techs and service advisors ask the question: “How can I measure and adjust teamwork for better performance?”     Since so much is dependent on mutual confidence and trust between technicians and service advisors, we developed the industry’s first  report assessing how well techs and service advisors work together. You can find the link to it on the Inspection Metrics Report page (see image above) called Shop Efficiency Reports Graph. The first chart you will see is a...

SmartFlow Special Markers Addition

Workflow and TechView Simplified In the latest SmartFlow edition we have added a third special marker for more flexibility when describing vehicle specifics for service advisors and technicians and simplified the communication with motorists. The envelope button has been eliminated and turned into a simple link with three different meanings for communication with the motorist: The motorist can be emailed (name and link are solid black) The motorist can’t be electronically reached (name is grey and link dotted) The motorist has texted back and is awaiting an answer (name and link are in red and flashing) This is unified for both the workflow and technician view. A third special marker has been added and we will introduce more features around them. Stay tuned. For now it allows to add a third important attribute of the vehicle visible to the service advisor and staff. Note that only two markers are visible on the tablet for the time being.  ...

All Vehicle Actions at ONE Glance

Often the Today’s Vehicles Page (TVP) is populated with lots of vehicle tiles. Shops with lots of tiles need quick access to all actions, which are not immediately available on the work order.

Your Daily SmartFlow Inspiration

Do you remember how you learned to tie your shoelaces, drive a car, or play your favorite team sport? You went through the 4 phases of competence every single time. Why are they important? Ask a policeman, firefighter, athlete on the field, pilot, SWAT team member, operator of a complex machine, etc.

Immediate Benefits from the Inspection Metrics Report

The Inspection Metrics Report is probably the most valuable report in your business to gain insight in how service advisors and technicians work together. With the addition of the Word Order Composition Details trainers, owners and manager have now an invaluable tool to identify changes in tech and service advisor behavior.

Sales Tool for Service Advisors – Built Into SmartFlow

Every touchpoint with motorists is an opportunity to educate. You knew that already. For some service advisors the vehicle drop-off touchpoint is a time to rush because too many things have to be done to get the motorist back home or work and let the technicians get to work.

You Wanted More Than Inspection Results. Here it is!

Configure the Email to Your Customers on the Work Order Part 2 of the TVP update includes the ability to configure the information to be emailed to the customers right at the work order. 1. Select the Information In the image below the possible selections are illustrated. Check the Checkbox to add all jobs to the inspection results report Select the OEM recommendations to be added to the report Explore and select the TSBs/Recalls to be added to the report Send the current status of the inspection report to the SmartFlow Add-On integrated with your POS 2. Preview the Information before you hit “Send Message” Once you are in the communication pop-up (launched from the ‘envelope’ icon on the workflow view or from the customer name link on the tech view) you can now preview what information will be sent to the customer. The following images below show you the corresponding tabs open as they were selected in the work order pop up. Respectively OEM Recs and TSBs and Recalls are visible.   Last but not least the creation of the pdf to print is possible from the communication pop up as well (5 in the image...

Images Sell – When do YOU start Digital?

Edit Images in a Heartbeat The latest change on the Today’s Vehicles Page (TVP) makes the service advisor’s life even easier. Browsing the work order is now possible in a big floating window on the TVP. No close -reopen – close – open another WO anymore. The WO window stays open as long as you wish. You can do actions now in parallel. I predict that you won’t close the WO window anymore: just click on another vehicle title and the WO content refreshes in a heartbeat. Sending an email in parallel to an open work order? No Problem.   Browse and Edit Images In addition we have incorporate the image browser and editor into the WO Window, no matter whether images are on the work order and the inspection sheet. See the image below for an example using the inspection results report (Click on the image for more details). Clicking or tapping the work order button (1 in the image) opens the WO window with all information about the vehicle (2). You can see that all inspection topics are editable. Just click the pencil icon and modify the content.   Clicking on any vehicle image opens the image browser and editor. Clicking/tapping on the arrows will allow you to browse the images per topic/job.   Using red arrow and circle elements as well as the dimming effect turns a great image into an educational masterpiece. Check out in the image below how using the dim effect turns the attention to the detail within the red circle. Note that editing an image will create automatically a copy. Changed your...

Communication with your Customer from the Tech View

Sending Inspection Results with Two Clicks Your feedback has been implemented. Now you can communicate with your customer electronically directly from the TechView. Inspection reports are ready to be sent and land only two clicks later in your customers inbox. Please see the image below for more details       Click on the Customer Name the communication pop up selects automatically the notify tab and the inspection results are automatically selected and all it takes is check the inspection preview and press the ‘Send Message’ button Done  ...

How To Take Screenshots Fast

High Speed Screenshots – Shared By Link I have been asked how take screenshots and share with other folks easily. There are dozens of solutions out there. We have standardized on two services, which work very well. Google Drive to store the images and SnagIt to capture and edit the images fast Google Drive is a free service, which comes with every gmail account or Google Apps for Work. It also is available as executable for Mac and PC as well as mobile. So every device can be used to store and share any type of document. SnagIt is integrated with many available storage service, such as DropBox or Google Drive. Once Snagit is installed, configure the Google Drive account using your email address by clicking on settings,… and then configure the default folder on your google drive where all captured images or videos can go (Yes, SnagIt supports video capturing as well). Make sure the google folder is available for access from anybody outside your gmail account. Once finished, the Google Drive icon can be pressed to store any picture or video captured with SnagIt. Once you have SnagIt installed it puts a red capture button into the upper right corner of your screen. So. once you are on a page you want to capture a picture or video of you press the capture button select the window you want to capture press the Google Drive button, which stores it in your account, and puts the link to it on your clipboard paste (Ctrl V) a link to the image/video into an email or document....
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