Friday, April 20, 2007

Paintless Dent Repair & Handheld PDA Solutions

MobileDataforce has become one of the leading suppliers of mobile handheld PDA software applications to the Paintless Dent Repair industry (PDR). A few years ago I would not have guessed this would turn out to be such a dynamic and growing market for us.

Why are companies involved in the PDR industry using mobile handheld PDA solutions for field services? Here are a few of the business issues that mobile solutions address:

  • Avoid duplicate billings - when a car is brought into inventory, the VIN is scanned using a bar code scanner, this creates a new and unique record in the mobile software application that can be used to uniquely identify the vehicle and to assign inspections, work orders and invoices to it. This avoids duplicate billings for the same vehicle which causes the dealership to question your integrity.
  • Avoid double entry of data - data should only be entered once. Data should be entered at the "point-of-work" and then synchronized wirelessly directly with the office accounting system. When you use a paper form based system, the staff in the field must fill it out, fax or deliver it to the office where another staff member must decipher it, analyze it, complete it, and then re-type it into a computer system. This is a huge and unnecessary cost and prevents many franchisers from scaling up in size.
  • Managers and staff need to know what is happening in the field. Mobile handheld solutions that are wirelessly synchronized with the office computer system can be updating time sheets, production sheets, inventory, employee data, work schedules, sales, customer information, invoices, inventory etc. all day long. This provides management with near real-time visibility into their operations. This is how active, mobile managers stay in touch with their distributed operations.
  • Many of our PDR customers are competing with other companies for an auto dealer's business. Being able to show the manager of the auto dealership how your operations are mobilized with rugged handheld computers, wirelessly synchronized with the central office and capable of printing invoices and work orders directly from in the field is very impressive. It shows a level of sophistication and operational excellence missing with many PDR operations.

    There are more articles on the use of handheld PDAs in the Paintless Dent Repair industry here.