15 Ways to Overcoming Challenges Faced By Independent Repairers

As an owner of a multi-brand car repair shop, I’ve learned firsthand about the unique set of challenges that come with handling various makes and models. While our independent repair shops offer a distinct advantage over OEM dealers in terms of flexibility and personalized service, it’s not without its hurdles. Following are the top 15 challenges we faced, and how we’ve learned to overcome them. 


# Challenge Description How This is Overcome with a Shop Management System
1 Staff Training Ensuring the team has the knowledge to handle a diverse range of makes and models. Each manufacturer has its own set of technologies, and it’s crucial that our staff is well-versed in all of them. Provides readily available processes for multi-point checklists, predefined vehicles list, parts and labour charts to ensure that a Service Advisor doesn’t have to memorise all of the information required to engage meaningfully with a Customer during Estimation or Invoicing stages. Some Shop Management Systems also integrate to third party training modules or vehicle repair guides – this depends on the availability of such information in the region.
2 Staff Retention Transitioning from an OEM dealer to an independent repairer can be overwhelming for some staff members. They’re suddenly exposed to a less structured environment with fewer resources. It’s important to find ways to support and retain these valuable team members. Offers structured workflows and clear role definitions. We understand the challenges that garage owners and workers face when integrating software systems into their operations. With firsthand experience in owning and operating a network of repair garages, at Autorox, we recognized the need for a solution that’s not only effective but also incredibly simple to use
3 Margins Constant balancing act due to competition and rising costs Enables accurate cost calculations, pricing strategies and financial control on buy and sell operations that lead to healthier margins and a profitable repair business.
4 Cash Flow Managing cash flow effectively is imperative for any business Helps in tracking income, expenses, and optimizing cash flow. Also, sends payment reminders to customers.
5 Inflow Ensuring a steady flow of customers is crucial for sustaining the business Facilitates marketing strategies and customer relationship management.
6 Estimations Providing accurate and fair estimates can be challenging, especially with the wide range of makes and models we handle. It requires a deep understanding of the intricacies of each vehicle. Assists in precise estimations based on vehicle specifications.
7 Parts Sourcing Finding reliable sources for quality parts is essential, particularly given that sourcing is to be handled for multiple models across various manufacturers. Establishes connections with trusted suppliers for timely parts procurement. Some Shop Management Systems have built in integrations for Parts Ordering.
8 Inventory Management Balancing the right amount of inventory is crucial Utilizes data to optimize inventory levels and prevent overstocking. Allows procurement for a specific vehicle for a Repair Order or for STOCK.
9 Insurance Support Coordinating with insurance companies can be a complex process Streamlines insurance claim processing and ensures effective communication by connecting Insurers, Repairers and Customers. Processes like Insurance Approvals, Repair Status Update, Invoice Submission and Payment Tracking can be fully digitised allowing team members to focus on repairs and Customer Service.
10 Leakages & Fraud Preventing financial losses due to leakages and fraud is a top priority Implements checks and balances to safeguard against potential losses.
11 Repair Procedures Clear and standardized repair procedures are essential Ensures consistency and quality in repair work.
12 CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Building strong customer relationships is key to success Facilitates tracking of customer interactions and tailoring services to individual needs. Also, automatically handles messaging via SMS / WhatsApp or dedicated customer app on repair updates, next service reminders, communication of promotional offers, payment due reminders etc.
13 Regulatory Compliance Staying compliant with industry regulations is non-negotiable Dedicated resources to stay up-to-date with all relevant laws and requirements. Many Shop Management Systems allow direct integrations to regulatory authorities for eInvoice filing or to output formats as prescribed by the tax authorities.
14 Tech Adoption Embracing new technologies is vital in today’s automotive landscape Prioritizes staying at the forefront of tech advancements for better service.
15 Scaling Scaling from a single location to multiple locations is a huge challenge due to lack of standard processes and the inability to track key metrics across locations. By embracing a comprehensive software platform that covers all facets of the customer journey and operational management, you set the stage for enhanced efficiency, consistent customer experiences, and sustained growth.


Embracing and overcoming these challenges has been a transformative experience. Drawing from my own experiences as the Owner/Operator of a network of garages, we’ve crafted Autorox to effectively address these hurdles. Now, you have a powerful tool at your disposal to not only confront these obstacles but to excel as a reliable multi-brand car repair shop. As we look ahead, we’re enthusiastic about the journey ahead, committed to further growth, and dedicated to delivering outstanding service to the repairer community and their valued customers.


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