BMW April 2022

Body shops are developing fast in South Africa, with greater sophistication on the shop floor as well as amongst increasingly tech-savvy customers. The right automated management system can free up one hour of every technicians’ time per day – giving owners an unprecedented chance to realise their growth potential.

Body shops can boost productivity and minimise admin time by automating their workflow from booking to invoice. And it couldn’t be easier than with PlanManager, a cloud based Bodyshop Management solution from Solera Audatex.

Vehicle repair businesses can grow turnover, their customer base and become more profitable by automating routine but important functions. Smart automation is a golden key to unlocking new efficiencies. Streamlining and automating communications with the customer, booking, and managing jobs, and intelligently estimating completion dates, all integration with invoicing systems, ensures that technicians spend their valuable time doing the most valuable work.

In fact, PlanManager clients report an average 10% increase in technical utilisation. They also save approximately an hour on admin time per claim. “The planning tools in PlanManager are simple and easy to use, it has definitely helped the team increase workflow” Silvestre Crash Repair, UK.

PlanManager gives real-time information flows between customers, suppliers, insurers and body shops across multiple repair locations. That information is available to management or teams wherever they are based, and the operation can set its own user permissions to ensure that the right people see exactly what they require and no more.

What’s more, standard communications can all be templated, to save time when updating insurers or clients about a specific claim.

Customer satisfaction

It isn’t only the body shop team who benefit from these efficiencies. Research shows that most customers today want to handle most of their claims – and much of their lives – online.

The modern consumer leads a busy life, and they increasingly use the internet to manage all routine affairs from changing utility provider to booking their vehicle services. Managing their vehicle repair is no different.

They want to book their vehicle in at a time convenient to them, provide images, be notified of costs and ETAs digitally, arrange their collection, and have a copy of the bill emailed to them for paperless record keeping.

With PlanManager the customer is empowered to do just that. This doesn’t just create better throughput for the repair contractor – it provides a much better customer experience and boosts consumer confidence and retention.

And while that’s true for the motoring community, it goes double for fleet business for whom efficiency is paramount.

Record keeping

Another huge advantage of PlanManager is that the whole system is cloud-based. Body shops don’t need to worry about backing up or losing data, maintaining their own expensive hardware or running out of storage space.

Off-site storage is also a great disaster contingency, as even if the workplace is temporarily off-limits (as during the COVID lockdowns), all records can be accessed from any internet-enabled device.

It goes without saying that a paperless system is also more efficient, more robust and better for the planet.

A central system for storing client records and managing claims means less time manually entering information, fewer errors and a substantial saving in administrative time. Just think how much time could be saved in your business, per claim, with no need to fill out physical paper-based forms and a central system to keep all parties updated. Email functions are two ways – keeping all replies in the appropriate chain.

More work, more profit, less hassle

“PlanManager makes it simple to organise all of the body shop functions in one database including ordering parts, stock management, invoicing, operations and reporting, says Jermaine Davids, of Solera Audatex. “Team members can access anything they require from a tablet meaning they don’t need to leave their current work to find a desk- and log in. It’s an entirely portable and remotely enabled system,” he adds.

PlanManager brings every stakeholder and contributor to a claim into one central, seamless system. “For body shops who haven’t used it before, PlanManager will be revolutionary,” says Neil Garrett, sales director, Solera Audatex. “It really does mean more job throughput, quicker key-to-key cycles and so better profitability with far less admin time.”

For more information about PlanManager,,