How Auto Repair Programs Pulled Tere to a Safe Harbor
Growing up on a ranch, Tere Hardin learned to fix any machine or animal within his reach. Next, he picked up computer skills in the U.S. Marine Corps that he later shared with his sales clients. He even set up his friend’s auto repair programs before switching to a career in shop management systems.
With all this experience, Tere has proven he can help shops get the most out of their shop management software. Thankfully, he has joined our compay to run one of our sales teams at Shop-Ware.
From the sea to automotive shop software
Over the years, Tere has had a variety of jobs:
- Rebuilding cars with his grandfather on the family ranch in Texas
- Writing binary code as a tactical air navigation with the Marine Corps on the radar program in the Atlantic Theater
- Selling wholesale goods in a mobile retail operation (pre-Amazon!) in two counties of south Texas
- Setting up computer programs when customers bought Apple computers
Along the way, he helped a friend and his wife install auto repair programs in their auto shop. His friend’s wife had only just mastered the business’s finances when she fell ill and died.
With two small children to raise, the shop owner handed the keys to Tere for a month. In the end, he stayed on staff for eight years, growing the shop from three to 12 bays.
During that time, Tere embraced new auto shop management software and taught others how to use it. When his friend remarried and took on his new wife as his business partner, Tere moved on to:
- Sales, training and support of business management software for Genuine Parts Company
- Senior Account Manager and National Accounts for Progressive Automotive Systems (R.O. Writer) in South Texas
- Account Executive and Product Specialist with Protractor’s Automotive Management Solutions
Landing with Shop-Ware’s auto repair programs
Tere joined the Shop-Ware team in March 2022 and quickly moved to the Sales Team Manager role in July. He takes over from Monique Mondragon, who moved to a new role of translating customers’ needs to the engineering team.
He admires many features of Shop-Ware’s automotive shop software. First, he finds the user interface very effective for tech-minded owners and service advisors.
“When you’re coming from a repair shop setting, you expect certain things on the screen,” he says. “It is all self-explanatory in about 30 seconds. It pretty much sells itself.”
Second, he likes working for a tenacious business owner after seeing other software companies selling off to venture capitalists. After those sales, he has seen their company cultures become less competitive.
“The industry is changing,” Tere notes. “It makes sense to move to a quality product with quality leadership.”
In particular, he likes seeing Shop-Ware hiring dynamic new engineers while other companies lose some of their best talent. Those technical skills help scale the auto repair programs to motivate Tere and his team. As a result, they make the best shop management software and its shops more competitive.
“Helping customers is the job,” Tere cites as one of his slogans.
The true power of auto shop management software
Tere notes you could use any software to run a shop, even with Excel spreadsheets or QuickBooks. However, it’s far more convenient for auto shop management software to take care of the labor, taxes, subtotals and so much more.
He remembers when he had to type in VINs and touch every part of every ticket in his buddy’s shop. In today’s market, the onus has changed to the car owner.
These days, customers pump their own gas, bag their own groceries and book their own auto repair appointments. As a result, they learn to rely on live chats or texts within auto repair software.
“That ties them permanently to that repair shop,” Tere says. “The ownership moved to the customers and it works better than any other marketing.”
Of course, the shop has the role of responding to text and live chat messages within its mobile mechanic software. If they do it right, shops will capture more market share, increase their car counts and earn more return customers. Shop-Ware helps with every step along the way.
“There are two types of shop owners: the guy who gives you the shirt off his back or the guy who takes the shirt off your back,” Tere says.
Looking ahead, Tere is excited about filling out his career with the industry-leading auto shop management software.
“There are people who embrace change and those who resist it until they are pushed to the edge,” he says. “I tend to run to the front of it. That approach has worked out well for me.”
When he’s not working…
Outside of work, Tere and his wife Bev like to take their Harley Road Glides out for day trips each Saturday. Never traveling in a straight line, they visit restaurants, museums or breweries then meander home.
They have four children and 12 grandchildren, plus two rescue dogs that Tere says have trained him well.
He easily remembers the best career advice he ever heard: LISTEN to people and be nice.
“Responsible customer service is a lost art in our modern e-commerce world,” Tere says. “Taking the time to listen and getting to know your customer is an essential step in helping with satisfactory solutions.”
“Sometimes the solution is ‘I cannot help, but I know someone who can.’ Be useful during your time on our planet.”
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