(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A forward migration kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as dentistry, accounting, etc.)
This week we’re looking at Mac OS software designed for use by those in the automobile management industry.
AutoCentral isn’t necessarily intended for auto dealerships, but for car ownership and vehicle management in general. It stores information about vehicle repairs, maintenance history and costs for the owner of a private vehicle or the manager of a vehicle fleet. It organizes and informs you of maintenance information. The software provides a glossary of automotive terms and a troubleshooting database, as well as an accident report and diagram. It can be used to generate a daily automobile expense report, evaluate fuel use statistics and maintain information about your vehicles insurance payments, VIN numbers, etc. AutoCentral also provides loan calculations and lease verses buy worksheets and offers access to Internet automotive sites.
With AutoCentral you can do things such as: organizing expenses; comparing the relative costs of two or more vehicles; keeping a record of important maintenance events; knowing when regular maintenance should be done; presenting a maintenance and repair record when selling the vehicle; and printing and taking the vehicle repair and maintenance history to the repair shop. AutoCentral is a product from Professional Resources & Technologies. We don’t have a URL, but do have an
MacCentral reader Steve Yang recommends
— it provides vehicle specification and pricing data. Chrome’s products are used by more than 22,000 auto dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Clients include manufacturers, fleet companies, dealers and Internet sites. Chrome provides the North American ordering system for General Motors and its 8,400 dealers. Their automotive clients sold half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2000.
Chrome’s solutions include vehicle content configuration technology plus software and professional services to produce enterprise solutions for all segments of the retail automotive industry. It manages enterprise-wide automotive data for seamless consistency between the showroom floor and the factory floor. They develop enterprise locate-to-order and build-to-order retail platforms Chrome’s Professional Services Group manages complex development projects from concept-to-completion.
John Hosmer, president of Lyons Toyota Dodge and Hosmer Computing in Mason City, IA, says his company makes the only cross platform complete dealership management software available.
“We also have accounting, service, parts and Chrysler factory integration,” he told MacCentral. “We’ve done approximately 35 installations with five more installs due over the next four months. I wrote most of the software on a Macintosh in Omnis 3 and 7. We are now in the process of migrating to Studio and SQL.”
They have a staff of four programmers and six support, install and training staff. Hosmer said they also have access to additional contract help when install and support demand it.
promises complete prospect tracking and letter follow-up. It offers full desking control of all working deals, complete F&I (including lease, buy, and balloon payment calculations), calculations for multiple lenders, lease calculations, an appraisal control systems, vehicle inventory control, advertising control, matching of prospects to inventory or appraised vehicles, and sold customer follow-up tracking and letters.
Part of Rory Ivers’ work for a client (
Symbolic Motor Car Company
)includes developing solutions to their information management. This info management has evolved over the last couple years to be relational databases developed in FileMaker.
“Symbolic had already gone through DCS and ADP, and at one point they were considering expanding ADP into their showrooms (where FileMaker had already been in place),” Ivers told MacCentral. “The ADP representative looked at their FM solution and admitted that there was nothing that ADP was offering that did more than the FM solution Symbolic already had.”
The primary database function is as a sales tool, with databases for names and addresses, phone, email, notes plus vehicle purchases/sales and other vehicle related details. All databases are hosted in-house on a Power Mac G4 server with FileMaker Server 5. Symbolic’s (remotely located) service center and other showroom in Beverly Hills are also able to access (via 5.5) and contribute to the databases via TCP. Both Macs and PCs use the data with excellent results, Ivers said. For more info, contact him at his company,
Ivers Photo & Imaging.
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