Track Client & Vehicle Info Best Practices- Automotive Repair

Hi all. I hope this finds you well.

My business involves repair and service of automobiles(cars) and light trucks. I like the software thus far, but to avoid large database changes in the future, I would like to determine best practices now.

My goal is to track client info(name, address, billing; very easy, built in) as well as vehicle specific info(VIN, number plate, mileage). Most clients have multiple vehicles under the same billing info.

My current attempt is to create a new ‘client’ per vehicle. Each vehicle(client) then has the customers billing and contact info as a contact. Custom fields solve the VIN and license plate entry, but mileage I am unsure of. Mileage would be recorded(and displayed ideally) at the time of invoicing for record keeping and future sales.

My question: Is creating a ‘client’ for each car an effective strategy when considering reporting, searching, etc? Edit: I do see “Groups” are a feature, though I cannot figure out the functionality of them. Would it make sense to make a ‘Group’ for the customer, and multiple ‘clients’(vehicles) under that group? How do groups function?

Also: Is there a method for recording mileage at time of invoicing(and to display on PDF) and then updating a custom field on the client dataset?

I hope this makes sense, thank you in advanced for the help.

Hi,

Another option to consider is to track each vehicle as a contact under a single client. You can add custom contact fields for the details.

To ensure every contact has a unique email you can use an email alias, ie. john+ford@example.com.

You can add a custom invoice field to track the mileage. Updating a client value isn’t supported in the app but you could use a tool like Make.

Hi Hillel,

I will test adding vehicle info as contacts. Is there a limit to the number of custom fields? Or number of contacts?

Also, how will this effect the ability to sort/search for records on my end and in client portal. Example: John Doe asks about his Ford when the oil was changed last. Will it be possible to find recent records specific to the Ford if he has a Toyota listed as well? Sort/search invoices by contact(which is now vehicle) I suppose?

I understand I may be stretching the use case for the software so I appreciate your time and help in making this work.

There’s a limit of 4 custom fields. There isn’t a limit on the number of contacts but the UI may look strange if a client has many contacts.

I believe searching should work, I suggest giving it a try.