Release Notes

CONNECT - Use Cases

Posted by Manuel Soto Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Service Writers


Solution: Tracking Promise Times

Submitted by: Matt Falke
Dealership: Various
Dealerships can use Shop Flag 3 to record promise times so all employees can better manage their work flow. It helps make everyone aware of this commitment to the customer and increase repair turn-around times.

  • Can use "Waiter” description to note as high-priority
  • Color-coded numeric icons can represent whole or half hour designations (8 am/8:30 am)
  • Accountability in name/time stamping by user.

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Solution: Tracking, Updating Customer Contact Times

Submitted by: Matt Falke
Dealership: Various
Service Advisors can use My Flag to record their contact or status update times with their customers and record any specific interactions in Notes or My Notes. This ensures that they stay up on their customer communications and their customers are never left not knowing the status of their vehicle repair.

  • Times could be based on the old rule "10-2-4”

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Solution: Service Advisor to send a Request for Parts Price for a Vehicle that is not in the Dealership; Messaging Repair Orders

Submitted by: Richard Carpenter
Dealership: Caruso Ford; Various
Messaging ROs are "Training” repair orders built in EDGE and are used to attach in the Notes, any communications between users that are not related to an existing open RO. The user wanting to send a message writes their note in Shop Notes and then changes Shop Flag 1 to "Attention Parts” or "Attention Advisor” as appropriate.In this case, the advisor can send a request for parts price to Parts when there is no open RO. An example would be the advisor receives a call from a customer asking for a price and or availability on a part. Another similar example would be when a customer is finally ready to have a previously discussed repair completed and calls ahead knowing that the part would need to be ordered in advance. In this case, the Advisor could instruct Parts to order the part and have it ready for when the customer drops off their vehicle.


Solution: Tracking the Work of Parts Counter Staff for Commissions

Submitted by: Brad Bossen
Dealership: Peninsula Infiniti
The dealership has a pay plan for the Back Parts Counter staff that is computed at a percentage of their ‘individual’ parts sales. So it is important to each of them to track the ROs and recommendations that they have worked up price quotes on. While it is possible to check in Shop Notes for the name, the dealership wanted this information on the RO screen.To accomplish this, the store inserted the NAME column heading on the SA RO screen for each of the computers in Parts. The counter staff then adds their name when they initially began "Working in Parts.” When work is sold and the Flag is changed to "Recs Approved” the original Parts person is quickly able to see that it is their job to complete which ensures that they receive the commission.
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Solution: Delay in Shop Flag 1 Updating with 'Working in Parts' that Prevents Other Parts Staff to see that Someone else is Working on the Estimate

Submitted by: Skip Christensen
Dealership: TBD
There are times when the Parts staff are not close to each other and/or can’t see each other while they are working. When this occurs, there have been times when the staff has complained that Shop Flag 1 doesn’t keep up with their activities and more than one counter person starts working on the same estimate. Skip has them open Notes and add a quick character then close (to add time and name). Then the others can see that the RO is already being worked. They can also see a time difference between Shop Notes and the Flag and know that some3one else has this estimate.

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Solution: Parts not able to Inform Advisors that a Special Order Part has Arrived on ROs no Longer Open in EDGE; Messaging Repair Orders

Submitted by: Richard Carpenter
Dealership: Penske Honda of Ontario; Various
Messaging ROs are "Training” repair orders build in EDGE and are used to attach in the Notes, any communications between users that are not related to an existing open RO. The user wanting to send a message writes their note in Shop Notes and then changes Shop Flag 1 to "Attention Parts” or "Attention Advisor” as appropriate.In this case, Parts can send a note to the advisor when a special order part that was requested for a vehicle that has left, and the RO closed, and has now arrived. This allows the advisor to know when to contact the customer and schedule a time to have the part installed.


Solution: Alerting a Technician when an Alignment is to be Performed (or other specific work)

Submitted by: Mark Shannon
Dealership: Autofair Ford
The dealership has a single technician that performs alignments. In the past it was hard to notify him when one of the 4 advisors had sold an alignment. We created a flag for "Alignment Pending” and set a Notifier for the alignment technician that is sent when the flag is set. The individual tech then is able to respond quickly and perform the alignment; they also change the flag to "Working on Vehicle.”The tech loves it as well as the advisors.

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Solution: Notifying Shop Foreman of Needed Warranty Review

Submitted by: Darrell Steele
Dealership: BMW of San Francisco, MINI of San Francisco
The dealership has an established policy that no warranty work can be started by a technician until the repair has been approved by a Shop Foreman. This dealership is spread between three separate buildings on two different lots with limited access between them. Locating a Shop Foreman had previously been very difficult.To reduce the time technicians needed to wait for a Shop Foreman to come to their bay and review the repair, we built a flag in Shop Flag 2 and set a notification to be triggered off of the setting of the flag. Now, as soon as a technician realizes that they need a Foreman to review they set the flag. The Foremen are sent the notification with all of the pertinent information they need. Shop productivity has gone up significantly.

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Solution: Dispatching work to Technicians in a Team Environment

Submitted by: Tim Dooley
Dealership: Cabe Toyota
The dealership uses Shop Flag 2 to dispatch work to their service teams. The Parts Department was not using Shop Flag 2 since they input all location details in shop notes. So the store created a flag and color for each team. This allows the team leader to dispatch to individual techs while still keeping track of his teams RO; they set the team leader up with dual job classification so they could see all the ROs then use the filter/sort box to filter to just their team ROs, see screenshot #2. This allows the team leader to track the ROs assigned to their team while also using the name column to track a specific RO assigned to a certain tech.

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Solution: Selling Extended Service Warranty Contracts

Submitted by: Dan Carter
Dealership: Fowler Dodge
The dealership has their Business Development Center person, Sandra Taylor, use EDGE to monitor vehicle age and mileage to identify prospects for presenting extended warranty plans. She identifies those that are in a qualifying range and contacts them while the vehicle is being serviced to offer the plans.

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Solution: Tracking Advisor Presentations using the Action Plan

Submitted by: Ronald R. Rzewnicki
Dealership: Berman Infiniti
Management at the dealership wanted to better manage their advisors use of the Action Plan in presenting and selling found recommendations. To do this we separated the standard Shop Flag 1 "Customer Contacted, Pending Decision” into two flags, "Customers contacted by Email – pending decision” and "Customers contacted by Phone – pending decision.”The managers use these flags to quickly ensure that their advisors are using the Action Plan whenever there is an email address available for the customer. It also reminds the advisors that they are to use the Action Plan for their presentations.

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Solution: Tracking Sales Opportunities not Realized by the Advisors

Submitted by: Sean Greene
Dealership: TBD
Creating customized flags accompanied with a specific Notifier to alert manager if recs. have been declined,allowing the SM to present the repairs again overcoming objections while the vehicle is still at the dealership.

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Solution: Using "Peer Attention,” to Significantly Reduce the Number of Higher Mileage Vehicles with No Recs.

Submitted by: Ryan Chop
Dealership: Penske Toyota of Rancho Santa Margarita
There was a huge missed opportunity on vehicle with an average mileage was well over 50K, receiving inspections yet did not have any recommendations. We found that most of these were coming from the express lube rack. The Service Manager asked how he could help him manage in real time to eliminate these lost opportunities.We added the Beta widget Notifier to all of the technician’s computers and created another shop flag that was specific for "Zero Recommendations.” We also set up a separate Notification for the manager when a vehicle with the mileage and age criteria yet no recs found. The manager then flags this specific vehicle as "No Recommendations” which in turn activates the widget Notifier for all of the technicians to see.This is the "tough love” approach but has been proved to be successful at this dealership because it has resulted in the number of vehicles with no recs to been cut in half.

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Solution: Tracking Parts Availability; Inventory Management

Submitted by: Matt Falke
Dealership: TBD
Dealership management can use EDGE and Connect to quickly scan the RO screen to see indications of parts not available in stock. This will allow the Parts manager simple way to estimate Fill Rates to better identify inventory issues in real time.

  • Can note the number of times/RO’s/Parts that were not in stock
  • Assist Parts Management on fast-moving parts
  • Reduce parts obsolescence by tracking the models the store is servicing
  • Parts pricing assistance with comparisons to National/Regional averages (COLA)

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Solution: Identifying Service Advisor Training Opportunities

Submitted by: Matt Falke
Dealership: TBD
Advisor Training
Notifier subscription to monitor estimates at certain dollar amounts to inform mgmt. before presentations are made. Mgmt. may offer suggestions on presentation styles, review client history, etc. in order to capture as much of the opportunity as possible while staying within the moral/ethical standards.

Vehicle Sales

Solution: Incorporating Used Vehicles into EDGE inspection process

Submitted by: Sean Greene
Dealership: TBD
Incorporate used car department into the EDGE process by creating the review and approval process for all used vehicles building value into the communication aspect but also clearly defining all repairs needed per used vehicles in a timelier manner.

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Solution: Providing Used Vehicle Prospects with a full Disclosure of all Needed Services

Submitted by: Dan Carter
Dealership: Al Serra Chevrolet North and South
Dealership management wanted to share the cost of EDGE across all departments and to better provide their customers with a clear understanding of the condition of all used vehicles. They decided to use EDHE to perform a complete inspection on every used vehicle that the dealership places on their Used Lot. The Used Vehicle managers use EDGE, Shop Notes and the TP screen to Approve or Decline work identified by the techs during the inspection.At the end of the UVI, they produce and leave in each vehicle a complete Know Your Vehicle report so they have complete disclosure as to what was done and not done for every prospect looking at the vehicle. They also give the buying customer the option of having any declined work performed on the vehicle and including the price into the sales contract.

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Solution: Speeding up and Documenting Approvals on Used Vehicles Inspections

Submitted by: Ryan Chop
Dealership: Mercedes Benz of San Diego
There was an initial need to communicate to the Used Car Manager the work that was needed on vehicles that required recon work.We developed a process where the used vehicle manager now has access to EDGE and the used vehicle advisor emails the Action Plan from the specific used vehicle inspection and then sets a specific flag that announces used car inspection complete. The used vehicle manager then approves work in the Estimate and sends the repair order back to the used vehicle advisor by changing Shop Flag 1 to "Ready for Advisor.” This has resulted in a huge reduction in phone call communications, delays in approvals for recon work and sped up the time it take to get a vehicle onto the lot.

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Solution: Identifying Potential New or Used Vehicle Sales from Servicing Owners

Submitted by: Matt Falke
Dealership: TBD
Potential New/Pre-owned car Buyers (Notifier required) Above average repair estimates can trigger alert to vehicle sales mgmt. or service mgmt. in order to provide customer with options on maintaining their vehicles or opting for a new/pre-owned option.


Solution: Alerting the Shuttle Driver when Customers need to be Shuttled

Submitted by: Gerald Gregory
Dealership: TBD
One interesting use for Shop Flag 3 is to notify the dealership’s shuttle drivers. The store sets up a Shop Flag 3 for "Shuttle Ride” and then adds the driver as a user in Edge and sets up a notification. Drivers are sent a text when a customer needs a shuttle ride. Some set up two flags, "Shuttle Out” and "Shuttle Return” to indicate customers needing a ride out vs. being picked up after repairs are completed.

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Solution: Tracking Loaner Vehicles - Example 1

Submitted by: Mark Shannon
Dealership: R & H Motorcars, a Mercedes Benz dealer
There was a woman in the loaner department that is in charge of 85 + loaners. She had to look at 3 programs in order to compile her report for management. We spoke about what she needed and it was determined that Edge contained all of the information required if used properly. Together we created 4 additional versions of shop flag 3, these are worded so that she can narrow her screen to only see what she needs to for her reports. She was thrilled and now can leave much closer to her scheduled quitting time. She had been taking long enough to require 1.5 hours overtime to complete this report. According to Tim Sauter, the Service Director, they have been able to move their average time out with a loaner from 9 days to 4 days within the first two weeks of tracking them through connect.I have attached the process that we developed and screen shots of the current flag 3. It appears that they have modified theprocess after working it for a couple of months. The FOD also hired a dispatcher and shut off R&R dispatching and they are solely using Edge for dispatch. They are almost living completely in Edge.
They are using both sides. The shot on the right is their additions and the one on the left is the original. It was too big for one screen shot so I had to take 2 of them.




Process steps that dealership uses to track loaners…

  1. Service Advisor escorts customer to transportation desk
  2. Transportation Advisor(TA) handles customers’ needs and completes paperwork
  3. TA notes the status of customers loaner vehicle in Edge shop flag 3 column
  4. All personal can see the status of loaners and keep information current in Edge. (I.E.) Shop Notes, shop flags 1 and 2, etc.
  5. TA can narrow the view on the screen by filtering with the ‘loaner’ in the filter box.
  6. TA completes necessary paperwork for the FOD and accounting department using edge to gather the required information.
  7. TA updates the shop flag 3 whenever there is a change in status of the customers’ loaner vehicle.



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Solution: Tracking Loaner Vehicles - Example 2

Submitted by: Rob Peart
Dealership: Northside Lexus, Westside Lexus
Accurately tracking loaner vehicles is a very large issue for highline dealerships because of their large loaner fleets and customerexpectations. These two dealerships used a different solution from the one above to achieve the same results, better management of their fleet.

  • Shop Flag 2
    • Decide on icon for loaner out (L – typical )
    • Decide on icon for loaner return (optional) (L-check)
    • Repeatedly use the same icon
    • Assign the loaner vehicle number to the icons
    • Repeat until all loaner vehicles are installed
    • Train person responsible for loaner fleet how to set up Shop Flag 2
      • They will need to maintain list of loaner fleet
  • The SA must assign the proper loaner icon
    • This now illustrated time flag was set or time loaner was provided (hover over icon)
  • The SA must change icon when loaner is returned (optional)
    • This will now illustrate time flag was changed to this status or time loaner was returned
  • Add Flag 2 elapsed time to the RO screen in order to track loaner out times

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