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Towing Operational Efficiency Tips

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5 things to consider when choosing Towing Software

5 things to consider when choosing Towing Software

Shopping for towing software can be an overwhelming task to say the least.  There are many software vendors to choose from, with similar features that are be called the same thing, but vary drastically in how you actually use them or what they provide for you in the end.  Here are some tips to help you make the right choice for you, and filter through the hype of sales.

Shopping for towing software can be an overwhelming task to say the least.  There are many software vendors to choose from, with similar features that are be called the same thing, but vary drastically in how you actually use them or what they provide for you in the end.  Here are some tips to help you make the right choice for you, and filter through the hype of sales.


1) Establish what features that are important to you,  and why.

Evaluate each feature you want software to have and think about how it would actually help you.  Give it a category and rate it, this rating is how important this feature is to you.  Make this list vendor agnostic.  Here are some examples:


Feature

Category

Importance Rating

Notes - Why is this important

Motorclub Integration

  • Timesaving

  • Increased Accuracy of Data

5 stars

  • enable me to take more calls

Fleet Inspections

  • Legal Compliance

  • Truck maintenance

4 stars

  • make my annual inspections go smoother if my trucks are inspected each day


This list will make your conversations with software vendors more efficient, when your priorities are clear you can have a more targeted conversation avoiding much of the fluff of sales.  As you find new features you had not originally considered, add it to the list and evaluate its category and rating.


2) Evaluate Feature Availability

You can save time by emailing your list to the software vendors, asking them indicate which features their software has.  If the vendor does not have a feature, it is worth asking if they plan to have it in the future.  Also ask for any web links or documents for more information about the features.


By getting this evaluation provided to you electronically you are not only saving time by not having conversations with sales people before you are ready.  But you are also making sure that you will not forget to ask about features over the course of a conversation.

Using your importance ratings, you can eliminate vendors from the list based on feature availability.


3) Not all features are created equal

So now that you have your features list, and which vendors have those features; you need to evaluate those features to see if they will actually give you what you want.  Even though vendor A and vendor B both offer feature X, feature X could actually give you wildly different options and capabilities between the two vendors.  So it is very important to evaluate how you will use the features and if they meet your needs, on a vendor by vendor basis.


This is where it is important to have a conversation with the towing software vendors about each feature, and how it will meet your needs.  This is where it is easy to get confused on who is offering what, so make sure that you rate the feature for how closely it matches your expectations and needs.  Do this as you are working with each vendor, and note what most impressed you.  


Evernote is a great utility for quickly jotting these notes and attaching tags to mark your ratings.  Then you can visually see how everything stacks up and ranks by using Mohiomap, making analysis of your research much easier.


Or you can download the attached excel workbook.  If you do not have excel, request access to a Google Sheets version by clicking here



3) Support agreements

An often overlooked aspect of choosing towing software is what kind of support you will receive.  Support comes in several forms, so you need to evaluate the types of support that will work best for you, what hours the support is available and what are the costs involved?

Here are some common support options

  • Phone Support, while this may seem like the best option, some vendors do not offer it, or may charge extra for it.

  • Online chat, this option can be good if you run a busy operation and do not want to tie up your phone lines.

  • Ticketing System or Email, this will be the slowest form of support and will take the longest to get issues resolved as emails have to go back and forth explaining the issues and questions

Evaluate which options the software vendors provide, and what are the associated costs.  Some vendors include the support in their fees, others do not.  Or they may charge for phone and after hours support, but chat and ticketing \ email are included.  So make sure you understand what the policies are, because there is nothing more frustrating than getting stuck on an issue and not getting help for it.


4) Training options

Similar to support agreements, there are various types of training options available.  Is training provided via videos, or manuals you have to read.  Most people are visual and learn much faster from a video, so make sure to ask.



5) Will your opinions be listened to

You may eventually have an opinion on how to improve a feature, or may need a new feature or report entirely.  When these needs arise, how will the vendor handle it.  Do they charge you for these enhancements, or do they listen to your opinions and try to service them?  Regardless it is best to know their policy up front to manage your expectations.




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