Ok I need to tell someone about this, it may be as useful to you as it is to me.
As alot of you are already aware, i went from being just mobile back in Aug 2010 to also opening up a retail shop.
I'm still doing callouts but I also have my wife and colleague full time in the shop now. Its going far better than we could of imagined and getting busier by the day. I've been a mobile engineer for over 12 years now on the road, but late last year i doubled my highest ever turnover in a month so its making a considerable difference.
Now i'm obviuosly set in my ways due to the years of running solo, but when theres 3 of you things get a little more chaotic, not always knowing what the otehr persons done etc, they worked on a pc, customer comes in and you don't even know about it.
This caused me to look into more detail re: all this and this is where my good friend Dave came in.Ok PC REPAIR TRACKER
Its like TsMan and all the other types of software that are out there.
Ive tried many of them and most are two basic or way over the top.
Monthly updates emailed directly.
The first really useful thing is its web based so not only can you log into it from
any pc in the shop but also from your home or on your travels.
Ok why do I like it.
Well firstly, any pc that comes to the shop I can book them in on the screen, Name phone no, comp make model etc.
The you take tick boxes re: whether they left any items etc with you like laptop psu's or system cds etc.
Enter any passwords needed, description of problems inc the std ones that you can tick as you work your way down.
Then the customer source, ie yellow pages, google - word of mouth and the like.
When a customer comes in it takes 30 seconds to run through quick.
When this is done you can automatically print a receipt for the pc with a unique code and barcode and also with your terms and conditions on. They can also track the status of the repair at anytime by logging in to the tracker with their unique barcode and code. If you own a dymo printer, then you can print a small label that you stick under the laptop or on the side of the pc which makes tracking every pc easy, we also use it for sticking on laptop psu's in case of any mixups.
So now the pc is logged in, any pc logged in is automatically marked as WAITING FOR THE BENCH.
As the pc is ready to be worked on you can change the status to ON THE BENCH.
So now you can work away on the pc and customers who login will see its now on the bench, also whilst working you can add alsorts
of other things, like malwarebytes scan 56 found, ccleaner 43 reg entries amongst a load of other ones. all with quick entry or ticking.
theres also a customer notes and a technician notes, anything entered into the customer notes will be printed at the end on a customer repair sheet that looks like a professional report re: work and inspections carried out. The technician notes are stuff that will not be printed out and the customer will not see, for instance, any issues or details that might be useful if the customer comes back at all.
ok now when the job is done you scroll to the bottom and there are some different types of labour charges amongst a couple ive added myself. Labour charge, o/s Reload, data backup, clean up. component install.
Makes entering the charges a 2 second mouse click.
The jobs done. Mark the status as READY FOR COLLECTION. It moves the customer to the ready for collection box, with the charges inc on the side and also a telephone icon, (RED not called) (Green Called) (Yellow No Answer)etc, so makes life real easy keeping track of whether customers have all been contacted. Many a time I will peer over to see if theres any red icons, just in case i missed making a call. Especially when theres more than one of us working.
Ok here it gets more interesting as well.
Theres the pc repair side of it BUT theres also a Point Of Sale part as well.
Basically you can enter any stock you have into the program with costing price and retail, also images next to it so its like looking at an online shopping cart, for example, customer comes in, wants a bigger hard drive, so we book them in, add labour to the invoice re: Hard Drive Clone, so theres an invoice for £*** for work carried out, but we need to add the cost of a part as well, click point of sale, choose the part, its auto added to the customers invoice, and it minus's it away from your stock.
Now also you can use the software to print price tags for all your products, inc a barcode, makes items look better with your logo etc on them.
Today we have had a massive turnaround, eventually my Hong Kong cheap usb barcode scanner has arrived.
I love this item. i walked around the shop scanning all my customers pc's to see whether it brought up the right details everytime.
Its great. So another way to do this, scan the pc/laptop, click the labour as required, grab the stock you need to add, scan it in via the barcodes, all added to the customers invoice. Its so quick, easy.
Now the down side to all of this is every item of stock has to be entered into the point of sale and stickers have to be printed and stuck to all items. Now i'm lucky, my full time assistant, (my wife) loves doing all these things so i can honestly say, entering the stock was a doddle seeing as i never done any of it.
Theres a ton of other stuff it does and im amazed but if i carry on like this its going to be an instruction guide not a summary.
Ok the software's available from http://www.pcrepairtracker.com/
Cost is $200, but you can get a discount if you go to http://www.acrbo.com
and subscribe for free, i then paid much less than expected.
Now my main issue was i needed to set this all up using mysql datababases and all that. Now i froze, sorry but ive never played with them before so i didnt have a clue.
This is Where Dave Mason from the podnutz forums jumped in and saved me.
Not only did he recomend the software to me and demo'd it for me as well to see how good it was. he also helped me to set it all up and basically get me up and running straight away. Any small amendments i needed he was ontop of straight away and has been a godsend. Now to be honest, I paid him for this, he done a great job, i couldn't of done it without doing some homework on mysql etc.
So if youre feeling frightened at all then all i can say is give Dave a shout, he'll sort you out.
Now im going to plug his site as well, he's actually got a hosting company as well so guess where my sites moving when renewals due. least I can do.
I LOVE THE SOFTWARE. I mean that. It has made life at the shop so more organised and when customers turn around and say wow this looks profesional when youre entering computer details and printing stickers and invoices thats exactly what we want them to think.
Anyway if you need help please speak to Dave, you'll be impressed> mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
His website is http://www.hostingclick.co.uk
Lastly All I can say is thankyou Dave