Finding the Right Auto Repair Shop at Just the Right Time

After texting an estimate, Pat Schnaidt waits while a customer shows the estimate and its rationale to their dad. Usually after that step, they give him the go-ahead for the repair. That low-pressure outreach is just one of the reasons this auto repair shop owner loves Shop-Ware’s shop management software.

Pat added the system at Performance Tune Auto Repair in 2019 and has never looked back.

“Shop-Ware is one of the best things we’ve done for our business,” Pat says.

Thankfully, the addition of 360 Payments’ contactless payments came just before the pandemic’s in-person restrictions. Otherwise, that could have really set back the shop.

“The ability to pay online or from a smartphone is awesome,” he adds.

Having more ways to effortlessly reach out and engage customers has helped him get the feedback he needs. And it has strengthened the loyal customer base he inherited when he bought his auto repair shop seven years ago.

The right auto repair shop at the right time

Initially, Pat Schnaidt fell in love with cars as a kid, especially 1960s muscle cars. However, when it came time to pick a career, he ended up studying and working in computer science. He and his wife Kathy raised five children then started looking for the next challenge once they were grown.

Meanwhile, Rob and Anne Cagen opened Performance Tune Auto Repair in 1991 in Fort Collins, Colorado. They built a strong customer base in a nice neighborhood over 24 years. Pat and Kathy bought the clean, sunny, well-equipped facility in 2015, merging a love of cars, business and customer service.

“It worked out great,” Pat says. “I feel like it was intended.”

Man holding two toddler grandsons and saying Shop-Ware has a dream of making the world better

Matching up with the right shop management system

Four years later, he met Monique Mondragon, Shop-Ware’s sales manager, at an ASA Colorado training session and jumped right aboard. Next, she came to his shop to help with the installation and training for a smooth introduction.

Since then, Pat has turned to the Shop-Ware support team many times to learn how to use the full potential of the shop management system.

“They are super responsive,” he says. “I had a lot of questions at the onboarding stage. Any time we would email support at Shop-Ware, we’d get a same-day response and a call the next day. They have been wonderful every time we’ve called. In that first year, it felt like we lived down the road from each other.”

Taking care of staff and their city

These days, Pat works “behind the curtain” on the business’s marketing, website and sometimes even driving its shuttle.

“I have the greatest staff ever,” Pat says, of the three techs and two service advisors in his six-bay shop.

“We do not try to be the biggest, but to do the very best we can for our customers and staff,” Pat says. “We love our jobs. We’re here on purpose and we love Shop-Ware.”

Six auto repair shop staff members in Shop-Ware T-shirts

These day, he and Kathy close the shop on evenings and weekends, so staff can spend that time with their families. In particular, they enjoy soccer, baseball, basketball, swimming, band, orchestra and track and field.

Pat learned about life-work balance from his parents who always made time for family. Outside of the shop, he is constantly working on a 1967 Chevelle and a 1971 4×4 Chevrolet pickup. He and Kathy keep busy with their eight grandchildren and hobbies ranging from motorcycling to soccer to snowshoeing.

As parents and long-time Fort Collins residents, the Schnaidts support the community through donations and personal participation in events. Likwise, he admires how Shop-Ware participates in and sponsors industry events, such as golf tournaments.

“They’re not just in it for the money,” Pat says. “They have a dream and their dream is making a better world for us.”

*Photos courtesy of Performance Tune Auto Repair

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