The independent Saab specialist, founded in 2008, is run by Tom and Kayleigh Butler. Turnover at the four-person garage grew by £113,000 in their first year with Garage Hive.
After an apprenticeship with Renault, Tom had joined Yeovil’s SAAB dealership before starting up at the relatively tender age of 22. Prior to Garage Hive, TR Autos had always relied on a basic computer accounts package supplemented with paper diaries.
“We now have the ability to invoice all work our technicians do thanks to the electronic diary,” said Kayleigh Butler, Owner at TR Autos. “We don’t lose track of anything.”
Kayleigh highlights the reporting capabilities in tracking technician efficiency and daily gross profits as vital: “Garage Hive really enables us to plan and steer the business in the direction we want.”
TR Autos say the first 6 months moving onto Garage Hive did present challenges. Stored parts had to be stock-controlled whilst staff had to adapt to new ways of working. The flexible support and training from Garage Hive’s team were essential during this period.
“No matter what you need, there’s always help – on phone, Facebook or WhatsApp,” said Kayleigh. “It gives us confidence.
“Allocating work with the electronic diary is incredibly efficient, front-of-house can now see in real-time how jobs are progressing.
“Technicians’ tablets give them all the information at their fingertips, so they don’t need to come out and ask, they can just crack on.”
Customer online authorisations, vehicle health checks and job checklists have also helped drive business growth – and improved the customer experience too – by offering total transparency on what’s needed.
Digital customer contact by SMS and email has also saved time and boosted retention.
“Our old system only really gave us business turnover but in our first 10 months with Garage Hive, it was £113,305 higher than in the last full year before,” said Kayleigh.
TR Autos has reinvested the proceeds of this extra business, moving from a two-bay workshop to one that is three times the size, adding an MOT bay for the first time too.
“Without Garage Hive’s reports, it would have felt daunting but the numbers gave us confidence that we could afford to expand,” said Kayleigh. “We’d recommend Garage Hive in a heartbeat and wonder how we ever coped without it!”