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After some time dealing with the hectic paint-staking process of documenting, quoting, invoicing, endless emailing and reporting, you will find that there is a better way. And generally at the beginning of the spectrum of all these processes is quoting.
To improve efficiency in the quotation process, several software packages have been made available on the market. The advantages of software are that the information can be searched and reproduced rapidly without having to go through countless files in the cabinet folders. Furthermore, any tedious calculations can be done immediately with use of formulas. Reports can be generated to measure company performance. All these packages attempt in some ways to provide a complete package merging with some accounting package. And hard copies of crucial data can be printed. Generally software can improve performance.
This is one of the key issues you need to investigate as if you already have an accounting package, can one or any of these talk to it or at the least export data that can be accepted into your accounting package. Other features that you may require is flexibility in booking with limits per day, entering data in easy to use template designs,, handling of images, whether it is online or software installed on your computer, help desk and support. In some ways cost is not too indifferent between the paid packages. Also please interogate the software to see whether it has the PDR capabilities. If you prefer networked online based systems, please check about shared databases, backups and flexibility as well as hosting the database on a server in case a system fails can the software work as stand alone and be merged late.
The most comprehensive of all these and one that has been around for some time is Auto-quote. This package is quite powerful and offers ample reporting options, flexibility in setting up quotation templates, and support for parts ordering which is thorough and updated with insurance companies. It works with PNet, ORM, ARNIE and other systems.
Quotimation is another quoting package that has potential with flexibility in template design and step by step in a tab format. Perhaps not fully developed into a complete thorough package though it is priced accordingly. Damian who who wrote the package does most of the support and is always following up on any issues. PNet, ORM, ARNIE all supported.
Car-Quote is another package that is quite powerful with many features, templates and reporting processes. It has support for parts ordering and help support. Perhaps a little downside is that it is not as user-friendly and aimed more for the panel shops. It seems templates have to be manipulated somewhat to feel like they are doing the same job under PDR. Supports PNet, ORM, ARNIE.
Crash-Zone is the surprise packet almost too good to be true. It is absolutely free and quite powerful! It is very flexible and there are additions that will improve its flexibility. If you are not quite sure about spending thousands of dollars, this one will do what you need regardless. It is online based and supports the typical insurance systems – PNet, ORM, ARNIE. Give it a try with no hesitation about catches. It will also be a good way if you don’t like specific features to either ask for them or look for the features you want in the paid software packages – I guess somewhat a free research information opportunity.
DentQuote from NetMechanix is one package that seems rather interesting. Apart all the features other software packages have above, this one has one feature that is unique. It allows for maximum bookings per day – a unique requirement for PDR companies of all sizes!
Other packages which I have not tried and know little about are:
Another possibility that may prove rather costly is to get a programmer to design software custom made for your company needs. It is an option anyway. Another concept for mobile quote estimating and quoting is to use I-phone apps. One example is to use PDR Quote feel free to watch the associated Youtube video.
In 2014, we have seen a major innovation in PDR Quotation Technology with the introduction of PDR mobile phone Apps! The amount of time saved for the typical PDR technician is of the order of hours per week! This PDR mobile apps are relatively inexpensive compared to the original I-Phone App.
How they save money is that the quotation can easily be recorded on the app itself and including quotations, number of dents, pricing of parts, sending of the PDR Quotation to other technicians, insurance companies, back to base and even printed! The I-phone app also has the panels that can b clicked on to produce the panel specific quotation and parts! The apps now even allow you sign your quote with your finger!
It is unsure at this point whether the app itself can upload csv files and associated data to the commercial applications such as those listed above and connected to the bank account and accounting packages.
PDR Estimate is a free application for estimation
Hail Wizard also available on search of PDR on Itunes.