The last decade has seen an exponential increase in the established number of retail and B2B businesses. Be it in America or elsewhere, the internet has played a major role in this ‘accelerated’ success story. These outfits, for one, no longer have to rely on expensive offline solutions to see to their work. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscriptions offer an end-to-end, affordable alternative.
But before we explore repair shop management software in further detail, a short primer on SaaS (a beguiling acronym) is in order!
Understanding the B2B SaaS Terrain
Simply put, SaaS is:
An online, generally cloud-based, ‘ready to play’ software delivery model that does not require local disk installations. Subscribers, in exchange for a fee, are granted access to the interface for instant work processing.
RepairDesk, which is a B2B SaaS-oriented repair shop POS software, operates on the same principle. Under its user-friendly hood, the program combines comprehensive:
- Point-of-Sales (POS)
- Ticket Management
- Inventory Management
- Human Resource Management (HRM)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Customer (Marketing/Support/Loyalty) Outreach
- Accounts Management
modules, among other features, for a complete repair business management experience.
The interface’s primary aim is simple – to not leave repair shop owners wanting for a third-party utility. And based on the wealth of customer testimonials (with many listed on this site), the company seems to have made good on the said commitment.
But this elaboration was not, by any means, a vanity stroke; just an example to demystify the terrain.
Let’s move on to the three things you should generally keep in mind before taking up any shop management software subscription.
We’re also happy to be judged on these ‘benchmarks’, for lack of a better word. Because at RepairDesk, we believe that instructive customer feedback is the key to our design success. It’s what enables incremental repair shop sales for our clients spread across every continent.
3 Reasons to Subscribe…Or Not
Now, whether you’re looking for a computer repair shop or employee management software subscription, one thing is certain:
It has to facilitate your end business goal of driving more sales – the harbingers of profit.
For this reason, the paid utility has to be:
- Impartial review-backed
- Value for money
These pointers might seem obvious, but it would be a mistake to dismiss them. Because as a consistent SaaS-field appraiser, I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen repair shop owners become complacent on these fronts. And yes – even the ones operating on a tight budget.
Perhaps the deluge of subscription options available online is to blame here. But in any case, it’s the storeowners’ bottom line that suffers should the ‘leniency bug’ strike.
Software isn’t helpful much if its users have difficulty operating it.
Clunky, overly technical interfaces, even when they’re comprehensive in terms of functionality, aren’t much good over the long haul. Their learning curve requirements are both steep and cumbersome. In many cases, users are required to take extensive training to become even borderline proficient in their application.
All this, of course, takes time – a resource that most businesses can’t spare with much laxity. And even after usage becomes practical (a daily thing), constant customer support may be needed.
This need might arise on the back of novel workflow situations faced by the subscribing business. Sometimes, the software developers themselves have to instruct the users to correctly utilize a function.
As a prospective user, one of the best ways to safeguard precious subscription dollars from unfriendly software (contracts) is to check up on ratings.
Reviews, in our new-age online sphere, are the de facto barometers of product/service quality. They can either be rendered by professional (technically discriminating) critics or by purchasing customers. The platforms that host them for popular scrutiny are diverse and many, including such acclaimed names as:
among others. All three of these online venues provide expert ratings for a variety of software – so their mentions are apt for our context.
When taking stock of reviews, it’s important to consider only the prominent, credible sources. Nowadays, many people, often on the payroll of reviewed companies, attempt to ‘game’ these services. You don’t want to be lured in by a particularly enticing appraisal published by one con or another!
The best practices for analyzing reviews are simple and straightforward (another listing of no-brainers):
- Frequency (Number of Verified Users)
- Quality (Language Use, Reviewer Credibility)
- Benefits/Negatives Consensus
- Submissions Date
These points are by no means exhaustive – you can always add your subjective, experience-based, criteria to the mix. The point, here, is to do your research – and to commit only after some clarity has set in.
Affordability vis-a-vis Functionality
Unless you’re already an industry heavyweight, your shop management software subscription obviously needs to be affordable. But your fixation with cost shouldn’t lead to a compromise on functionality. At the very least, you want your primary repair business workflow concerns covered.
As a rule, and especially as a small commercial outfit, you need to automate your work processes as much as possible. One-time ‘expenses of mechanization’, if you get the drift, save from cumbersome monthly worker-employment costs. But even here, you need to strike a good balance between the human and the machine (the software).
There are times during the business cycle when customers, repair or not, prefer dealing with sales reps over automated AI/voice scripts. Moments where you need to distract yourself from the preset prescriptions offered by modern-day growth marketing tools and whatnot. Instances where your instincts are your best friends.
All in all, a sturdy repair shop management software subscription stands unparalleled in its provision of efficiency.
Just like any technological implement, however, its good productivity is centered on the motivations of its user: the force behind the wheel.