The First Stop network is promising to enhance motorists’ retail experiences whilst simultaneously managing technicians’ time more effectively, courtesy of a revolutionary new garage management system.
First Stop TechMan Pro creates greater levels of professionalism across its forecourts thanks to real-time digital reporting – including personalised camera and video analysis – as well as data on workshop efficiencies, in a win-win for customers and dealers alike.
First Stop has hailed the technology as a game-changing addition to its existing dealer package and will play an integral role in helping the network grow to 220 centres by 2024.
First Stop TechMan Pro is an intuitive digital platform which is linked to technicians’ hand-held tablet devices and offers a range of solutions at the click of a button.
It allows centre managers to track the progress of each job in a traffic light dashboard and parts can also be ordered at the click of a button. It then creates bespoke reports on each vehicle once work has been carried out, incorporating video and photo analysis, so each customer knows exactly what work has been carried out and why.
Sales campaigns can also be created via customer text messages and emails, to include MOT and service reminders. The system was designed from the ‘bottom-up’ by garage owner Terry Dorney and his Techman team.
First Stop TechMan Pro is offered to each of its partners as part of its business proposition, which the network believes will be elevated to new heights. In a further boost to its partners, if they ever did choose to leave the First Stop network after a period of time, they would be able to keep using the system, as is not always the case elsewhere.
An up-to-the-minute tyre searching tool also lets businesses know exactly what is in stock, with a range of brands flagged up when a tyre size is inputted – all of which displaying their EU tyre label results to assist technicians further at the point of sale.
And when clicking on an integrated parts supplier button, a similar ordering process presents itself, negating the need for multiple phone calls when one parts order can be done at once.
As a garage owner, TechMan founder Terry designed the online solution having become frustrated with the inefficiencies of a paper-based workshop, with too much administration creating headaches.
“I soon came to realise that the only commodity we had was time. We had hours to sell and we weren’t efficient enough. By creating TechMan, I was able to see how each job was progressing and how productive each technician was being.
“I didn’t know if the front-of-house was underselling hours, or how long individual jobs were taking to complete, so we were able to monitor this and eventually become more profitable as a result. We expect each technician, per depot, to save at least one hour in time per week through First Stop TechMan Pro, which is a huge number when extrapolated over the course of a year.”
Terry also expressed his delight at being able to support First Stop in such an exciting period of growth for the network, stating: “Mark and his team have ambitious expansion plans and the thought of our solution playing such a significant role is a rewarding one.
“The First Stop network shares many of our own values with an emphasis on workshop efficiencies and moreover, customer satisfaction.”
First Stop UK Retail Network Manager Mark Widdows said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer out First Stop TechMan Pro, which is an incredible solution; the like of which we have not come across in our many years in the automotive industry.
“It is a bespoke system and unique to First Stop, after 12 months of development and rigorous testing.
It adds a vital new element to our all-new value proposition for First Stop and adds strength to our fast-fit franchise package, which is already best-in-class.”
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