Nowadays in repair, there’s an increasing drive towards using data to make decisions. A trend mediated by the novelty of repair management software. The same is true for almost all business verticals. And the reasoning behind this preference is not hard to fathom.
Data provides certainty. A welcome respite from the traditional, more instinctive, ways of conducting commerce. A series of abstractive recourses where success is a matter of luck. Something not quantifiable – and, hence, immune to repetition.
‘Analytics’ is the new-age means for making complete sense of this data. It enables the analyst to size up a true picture of the ground situation. Further, it pinpoints growth opportunities for confident pursuits.
At the same time, it also provides an early warning against any incumbent loss situations. Timely course correction, after all, is key to a good recovery.
How Repair Businesses Work their Data
For analytics tracking in commercial repair settings, you have one of two options:
1. Using the dashboards built into point of sale software
2. Using third-party web analytics integrations (like Google Analytics)
The first route is simple. It only entails software installation in the shops’ going systems. Along with, of course, a passage over the selected interface’s learning curve. This latter (onboarding) stage can prove a little challenging for business workers. Especially for those employees who don’t hail from a technical background.
There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, though. 👇👇
Web analytics applications, on the other hand, are easier to deploy. These normally only require front-end (HTML) unique tracking code inserts in business webpages. They can also be used to collate data from the full range of internet-connected sources.
This information is algorithmically categorized against a range of benchmarks called ‘dimensions’. These, further, are broken down using individual metrics; presented in reports. Custom dashboards and reports, isolating several non-default metrics, can also be created.
Helpful Report Variants
Some analytics reports are more helpful than others. Take the ‘Net Revenue‘ graph curve, for e.g. A common data chart available in most repair part tracking software.
This particular report allows for snap business status assessments. Net profits, after all, comprise the definitive metric for any commercial organization.
Another useful report pair is the ‘Total Revenue‘ and ‘Total Sales‘ duo. These make for a diagnostic gauge of your business’s running performance. Further, they allow repair shop owners to detect any divergence anomalies.
Uncharacteristic gaps here could indicate either:
- Suspicious accounting behavior (leaking funds)
- Incorrect accounting
Correcting these issues early can help repair businesses take charge of their situation. They can know, for instance, their actual rates of progress. A careful further analysis can reveal which managerial/workflow strategies are working. The opportunity for course correction can save these enterprises a lot of wasted resources.
Analytics top 10 lists are a strategy goldmine. At a glance, they can reveal your repair business’s:
- Top Sells (parts and accessories)
- Top Repair Categories (of devices requiring salvages)
- Top Inventory Stats
This information can make resource allocations a breeze.
As a shop owner, you can divert limited business funds towards more profitable avenues. Maybe channel more currency towards a certain high-demand part acquisition. Or fix investments in repair equipment used to rehabilitate high-yield repair device types.
Gaining Analytics Literacy
As per the testimony of many repair field vets, only establishing analytics frameworks isn’t enough. Business owners also need to become data literate. They should, in other words, be equipped to draw strategic pointers from raw information sets.
Now, this ability to read data doesn’t come easy. It requires a heady familiarization with a range of lenses. Interpretive formulations that allow for dots connection. The weaving of a complete story with actionable prescriptions.
One easy way of attaining this proficiency is to go the course certifications route.
The internet nowadays comes rife with several accredited e-learning platforms that impart this knowledge. Sites where users can sign-up for free in many instances; gain expert instruction.
Data analytics, following this immersion, can become a vital, progress-perpetuating, asset.
Some repair shop software applications attempt to further ‘soften’ this advance. They do this by offering dedicated tutorials and ‘knowledge base resources‘ to users. These learning tools are geared to get subscribers in the ‘hit the ground running’ mode.
A Word of Caution
Analytics assessments, valuable though there are, come with a glaring caveat:
They are only as good as their feeding data pools.
There is also the risk of erroneous platform setups and integrations. These can severely limit the modules’ ability to track all-source, holistic information. The reports rendered through this faulty arrangement can actually yield damaging pointers.
So, it’s important to ensure that the data feeds are set up properly. Ideally, the task should be undertaken by a qualified IT expert. Or a company technician from the issuing software company.
In my experience, I’ve seen way too many examples of hasty analytics executions to keep me cautious on this front.
Now, if there’s one actionable nugget I want you – my worthy reader – to take away from this account, it’s this:
If you’re not already fastened to the analytics bandwagon, now’s the best time to do so.
Because trust me when I say – the threat of trailing behind the competition is real!