Creating repair estimates can be complicated since materials, parts and even technician labor hours can fluctuate. Being able to create accurate and competitive cost estimates is important for not only profitability but maintaining customer confidence in your pricing strategy.
So, what does a well-prepared modern shop do? Unless you have already completed a dozen similar jobs on the same model, then it is worth exploring cost estimation tools such as auto repair labor guides.
What Is an Auto Repair Labor Guide?
An auto repair or mechanic labor guide is essentially the master database for your entire repair quote system. They are designed to provide you with an average estimated job time for the vehicle and service you’re quoting. In addition to any outside parts purchases, this will provide your customers with solid parts and service quotes you and your technicians can stand behind.
Auto repair labor guides started as lengthy tables which required users to manually enter and add data and have evolved into automated mobile tools. There are now many mechanic labor rate apps and automated calculators that can make the cost estimating process easier.
Do You Really Need One?
Absolutely! While experienced front counter associates and mechanics may be able to accurately estimate the cost for projects they’ve worked on for similar models or repairs, there are various factors that can throw that original estimate off. These labor hours also might not match the standard that other local shops are offering. And depending on whether your quote is too high or low, you could be leaving money on the table or forcing your customers to look elsewhere for service.
What Are Some of the Best Auto Repair Labor Guides Available Now?
If you are ready to make the jump into the automated estimation world, the online market now has dozens of auto repair labor guide software available. Many of these offer desktop, web-based, and mobile options that will allow you to calculate labor rate and materials cost quickly.
Here are our favorites:
Mitchell1 - ProDemand
ProDemand is an auto repair guide with great features. In addition to providing factory service hour estimates required to complete a job, it can also assist your technicians in diagnosing common errors for the exact vehicles they are working on. Once a year/make/model are entered into the system, your technicians will get a list of the top ten most common repairs, the top 10 Diagnostic Trouble Codes, most common symptoms, and most common symptoms from other auto repair techs.
ProDemand will also provide you with factory part numbers to help your techs order the right part for the right vehicle. ProDemand is mobile friendly which allows your techs to carry it into the service bay to compare actual parts and wiring diagrams with what’s up on the lift.
AllData Automotive Intelligence
AllData offers instant access to the industry’s most complete and up-to-date repair information. It provides repair and maintenance procedures, diagnostic information, technical service bulletins (TSB) direct from the manufacturers, DTCs, and more. It has more than 300,000 interactive diagrams and provides probable causes as well as suggested/verified repairs from its community of members.
AllData also offers a unique and affordable scan tool alternative. It will automatically connect via Bluetooth to your tablet device, perform the scan, and provide the DTCs and solutions instantly.
The mechanic and auto repair business is evolving, but so are the tools that help you adapt. Accurately estimating your costs will help you build a reliable and consistent company that customers can trust. Once you have an auto repair labor guide that fits your needs, consider an automated marketing platform like BayIQ to help you increase customer retention and build brand loyalty!