Dave is looking to improve the running of his business and is looking at installing a computer based system to help him do this. The following shows the pros and cons of installing a computer based system within his business. A) Reasons for introducing a computer based systems. Your receptionist is finding it increasing difficult to stay on top of the various internal forms that need managing and filing as well doing her day to day tasks. If you were to move to a computer based system it would reduce the amount of internal forms used which would in turn make the receptionist job a lot easier.
As all the customers details would be held on a simple database system this would mean that both you and your receptionist could easily access them. You can easily incorporate this data in to accounting package which would mean the accountant would not need to visit as often as you could send all data to them. As you are not up to date with new legislations in place, you can use the internet facility to learn more about this, therefore you will no longer dread the visit from the council inspector.
As you are also worried about the competition in the area you could set up some sort of reward system for your existing customers, such as a discount system. If other potential customers in the area were aware of this, they would more than likely choose your company over another. With your new database in place you can easily see the returning customers. Your sales manager could also benefit from the computer system, as he would be able to put the details of the customers he has sold cars to on the database.
He could also offer each new customer a discount on there first service, therefore you will be bringing in more new customers. The process that you have in place to manage a customer car through a routine service visit, is very straightforward however is very timely. The time taken and the amount of paperwork involved could dramatically reduced by implementing the computer system. When a customer makes a booking your receptionist enters the data into a large diary, rather than doing this she could use the calendar facility on the computer this would then bring up any duplicate entries, you can then not take on to much work.
A lot of paperwork is involved when a booking is made; you currently use a three page form which is then passed to and fro from one department to the next. Your receptionist could simply put the details on to the computer package which the service bay manager could access, he could then print off one copy of the job and pass it to the mechanic, once the job has been completed the mechanic can pass the paperwork back to the service bay manager who would enter the data on to the computer with what work had been carried out and then a message is automatically sent back to the receptionist.
The service bay manager can then file this information away in case any discrepancy occurs. From the information provided the receptionist can produce an invoice which is posted to the customers. The job can then be moved to the pending folder within the computer package, until the account is settled. Upon settlement a copy of the job can be printed out and filled away. This is also an easy way to chase payment, as you do not seem to have any thing in place for this. An alarm would appear in the calendar section of the package letting the receptionist know the payment is pending.