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How Frank Solves Problems with Shop Management Software

The service advisors at Frank’s European Service know what techs need when they do an engine mount on a Mercedes-Benz. So, they don’t want to look up every part every time they build an estimate within shop management software. Instead, they turn to canned jobs and past services, then get on with their day.

That type of problem solving led the shop’s owner, Frank Scandura, to $3.25 million in sales volume last year. As a result, he shares his success with countless other shops as a mentor, a coach and a tour guide. He often welcomes visitors to see the shop where he and his wife Deborah work with:

  • 15 bays

  • 18 staff

  • in 12,000 square feet.

“I have been so blessed in my life so I am generous,” Frank says, while sitting in his office in Las Vegas. “I like sharing my knowledge and helping others. My job is to make people better and I get a charge out of it. It leaves me floating on air.”

He began as a tech long before automotive repair software could line up the parts he needed for each repair. To that end, he has seen the business from under the hoist right up to charting the course for the future. Along the way, he has learned so much that drives his love for auto repair.

He boils his success down to three factors: process, people and products, expecting high standards for all three.

Headshot of auto shop owner Frank Scandura in front of license plate map

Frank Scandura

The process – before and after shop management software

As Frank explains, every shop can fix cars so you need to find a way to stand out. He started out pumping gas at age 15 in Orange County, New York. When he worked as a tech, his world revolved around a single car until he got it working. Fueled with satisfaction, he would move onto the next one.

However, he suffered a back injury and had to give up the job he had held since quitting high school. Now then? In 1988, his family moved to Vegas where he convinced a Mercedes dealership to hire him as a service advisor. A self-described ‘sponge,’ he offered to learn anything needed to get the job done.

From there, he opened his own two-lift shop in 2001 and brought in his own tools. Soon, without a shop management software, he found himself buried in paperwork up to 10 o’clock most nights. Then, a light went on in his head.

“You’re always trying to grow so you can hire for the next position,” Frank says. “But you’re not doing your business any good if you’re the $15 an hour shuttle driver.”

Now, he sees the goal as creating a business that provides a living for him and his family. However, it took the insights of a coach hired in 2005 to start him on that journey. Next, he joined a 20 Group where he devoured even more knowledge from his peers.

Soon, he became a coach and finally a Mastermind group leader within the Transformers Institute. As a result, Frank’s European Service has exploded in recent years. His sales volume grew from $2.4 million in 2016 to $3.25 million today.

Franks front cropped

Solving people problems for auto repair customers

How did he do it? Over the years, his ability to solve problems has served Frank well. For example, at a shop within a strip mall, he noticed customers had to search for their cars on the lot. Instead, he created dedicated parking so they didn’t have to face that hassle. To see these problems, he had to get out of a technician mentality.

He sees that outlook in many burned-out shop owners when they go to sell in hopes of retiring. They want $1 million for their shops but haven’t developed the shop management software to make the value easy to transfer. If a shop is tied to an owner’s personality, what is the new operator really buying?

“You have to give up the idea that no one can do it as well as me,” Frank says. “Taking my tools home was my best decision.”

Unless owners do this, they get pulled into helping with day-to-day tasks and are constantly in demand to give advice. He jokes that they walk in and “look for a place to start a fire” so they feel needed.

“I separated myself so my staff became the experts and they prefer that,” Frank says. “Now, I can see bottlenecks or a better way to do things, no matter where my location is.”

Thanks to his 20 Group, he learned new ways to adopt ideas then to build on them. For example, if he notices a dent or a scratch, he uses Shop-Ware’s auto repair estimating software to provide a quick estimate to fix it. Sure, he could point out the damage and argue about what caused it, but that’s not a solution.

The product – shop management software

Three years ago, Frank’s shop was hit by a ransomware attack. Luckily, his IT expert caught it early, protecting the shop from losing any key data. However, it did shut down the shop management software for a day, costing Frank time and money.

He swore to get his auto repair software off its servers. Then, he discovered he would have to upgrade his hardware, software and licenses to do so. That’s when he made the leap to cloud-based storage, thinking it would deliver the shop management software he needed. Yet, when he tried to log into the automotive repair software from his MacBook at home, it didn’t work. So, he went back to the marketplace and signed up with Shop-Ware’s shop management software.

Also, his push for Shop-Ware to partner with AutoVitals sweetened the deal when he signed on with the shop management software. Frank acts as a spokesperson for the digital solutions provider.

“Being able to have a voice is important for me,” Frank says.

Now, he has “mind-blowingly important” canned jobs and past services within his auto shop management software, but so much more. For example, he is able to share his ideas to improve Shop-Ware’s shop management software by talking with Sales Manager Monique Mondragon. Thanks to his input, Shop-Ware made its ‘open job’ page searchable and quickly sorted by service advisor. He also influenced how the ‘canned jobs’ page works within the auto repair shop management software.

“It keeps me engaged,” Frank says. “And it lets me tell people what Shop-Ware is working on next.”

He loves the easy-to-use reporting system to keep track of what’s happening in his busy shop. Earlier this week, he had 96 open ROs for cars so there’s a lot going on in the shop and in his shop management software.

auto repair shop equipment

How can you follow Frank’s lead?

When shop owners invest in change – a shop management software or a coach – they take steps toward a brighter future. That’s when he knows they will follow a different path.

He believes he can grow his shop to $5 million in sales by building his team slowly and with care. For example, he pays candidates for working interviews where they team up with his staff for a day. That way, he gets a feel for what they will do if hired.

Frank’s forward outlook aligns with Shop-Ware’s focus of showing customers what is at stake and how to fix it.

“I’ve always had an element of transparency,” Frank says. “We’d already been paperless for more than five years and we were already texting with photos. Shop-Ware just made it easy to manage.”

By taking that approach, Frank nurtures better customers who value better service – and who will pay for it. Likewise, Frank wrote the book How To Take Care Of Your Vehicle So It Will Take Care Of You and has penned countless magazine articles over the years.

He also believes in having a strong mission statement. He has posted his version on a large poster in his waiting room:

“Our mission is to provide the best automotive service and repair experience possible by serving our customers with unparalleled honesty, integrity and quality.”

Frank feels strongly that a shop management software helps customers make choices based on facts. His model has inspired a standard of ethics in automotive repair. As a result, he has influenced countless automotive service centers to adopt the “Frank’s Way.”

“People don’t buy auto parts,” he adds. “They buy trust so we focus on building that trust and rapport.”

He continues to learn and read every day. And he invites others to do the same.

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