Multishop Owner Trusts Most Complete, Affordable SMS
When Shawn Sarbaum started his second auto repair shop, he knew it would come with extra expenses. However, he didn’t predict the price of adding a multishop option to his auto repair software costing $5,000 more.
Then he found Shop-Ware, a more reasonable option that delivered so much more than he expected.
Shawn started working at Woody’s Automotive as a high school student, so he’s seen the shop go through decades of changes. He bought the business 13 years ago and added a second location 18 months later. After using two other systems, he switched to Shop-Ware in July 2020.
“It’s probably the most complete package at an affordable price, especially for multishop locations,” he says. “It just flows. It’s seamless from setting up appointments right through a repair.”
As he waits for the chance to expand again, Shawn keeps busy at both his shops in Wichita, Kansas.
Growing to a multishop operation
Shawn found his passion for automotive repair while tinkering on cars with his grandfather. Next, he trained as a mechanic with Woody’s previous owner, Bill Baker and his son Scott.
More than a decade later, he went in a new direction when his son Jacob was born. He took a district manager job with AT&T but, after another decade, he missed the job he loved. After weighing his options, he decided to return where it all started, Woody’s Automotive, as its owner.
Meanwhile, his mother Pam Southers moved back to Wichita to be closer to her family after her husband’s death. She had worked as district manager for Ryan’s Steak House in the Kansas City Market for 23 years. However, Pam chose to change careers and tried car sales for a while.
After learning the value of vehicle maintenance, she combined her skills and car knowledge to go into business with Shawn. When their shop ran out of space due to demand, they added a three-bay shop, which Shawn managed.
The business went from two bays to five, plus outdoor bays at both locations. “The biggest learning curve was duplicating everything and making it seamless,” Shawn recalls.
Shop-Ware has the only multipshop automotive shop software that offers seamless customer information across all locations. No matter which shop Shawn’s customers choose, they get the same experience.
Next, he hired the right staff. Since Pam retired last year, Shawn trusts managers Ashley Tabor and Kyle McColm to keep the multishop operation on track. While the shops still hit bottlenecks some days, they still see room to grow.
Running an efficient multishop operation
Shawn counts on Shop-Ware’s auto repair software to also show him exactly how his business runs. He relies on the multishop auto repair analytics to see the big picture of his operation, then drill down into the details.
His techs also give it good marks, in particular since they find the inspections easy to read. They have customized their inspections since not every shop looks at the same things, Shawn notes.
Even after giving up Mitchell as their shop management system, they still use Mitchell ProDemand as a Shop-Ware integration. He and his techs say it’s easy to import data and put it on a ticket while using both systems.
Right from the start, Shawn and Pam had one main goal. They wanted every customer who came into their shop to leave knowing they could trust Woody’s Automotive. As his website states: We want to get you back on the road and not back in our shop!
Educating their customers
“At Woody’s Automotive, we’re not selling,” Shawn states. “We’re educating you so that you may make a well-informed decision about your car maintenance, tire and repair needs.”
Having a transparent shop management system helps that process. Customers like how Shawn and his staff share estimates and inspections with full sets of notes and images.
“The number-one thing we do is build trust with customers for people who have been burned,” Shawn says. “Anything we can show them – a part or a component – that builds that trust. It’s seamless and easy even if they are not tech savvy.”
Since switching to Shop-Ware, his ARO has jumped by 10 to 12%, reflecting that customer loyalty.
“I was sold on everything,” he says of the reasons he adopted Shop-Ware. “Now, we kind of take it for granted.”
He notes these factors affirm that he made the right choice:
- The high level of service when he signed on
- The ease of use, especially when training new staff
- The ability to customize reports
“I like how it’s remote,” Shawn adds. “It’s super easy to log in while I’m on vacation without any hassle. And the price is great.”
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