(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’ll look at automotive management software for the Mac. Many of the products mentioned came from MacCentral readers. Others were found at
Apple Products Guide, an invaluable resource. Let’s look at the products in alphabetical order:
AutoCentral is a comprehensive vehicle management program that runs under FileMaker Pro for Mac or Windows. The current version is US$20 shareware. AutoCentral 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 when important vehicle maintenance is due.
AutoCentral provides a glossary of automotive terms and a trouble-shooting database and an accident report and diagram. It generates a daily automobile expense report and evaluates fuel economy. The program maintains information about vehicles (insurance payments, VIN numbers, etc.), provides loan calculations, and offers access to Internet automotive sites. AutoCentral can be obtained from Professional Resources & Technologies. E-mail ’em at
PRandT@aol.com. (Thanks to Glen Greenberg for the heads-up on this one.)
AutoFile stores information about vehicle repairs, maintenance history and costs for the owner of a private vehicle or the manager of a vehicle fleet. It provides a glossary of automotive terms and a trouble-shooting database, as well as providing an accident report and diagram. AutoFile generates a daily automobile expense report, evaluates fuel use (MPG), maintains information about your vehicles (insurance payments, VIN numbers, etc.), and provides loan calculations
With Autofile you can:
Organize and understand expenses: “How much has that old car been costing me?”
Compare the relative costs of two or more vehicles
Have a record of important maintenance events: “Was that timing belt ever changed?”
Know when regular maintenance should be done: “Am I due for an oil change?”
Present a maintenance and repair record when selling the vehicle
Take your vehicle history to the repair shop (with a notebook computer).
For more info, send email to
AutoSim: the Marketing Laboratory by Interpretive Software is a marketing simulation for the American automotive industry. For more info go to
the company’s Web site.
BIZ Shipperz 4.0 for FileMaker Pro by Working Solutionz Software is a fully customizable shipping add-on module for existing FileMaker Pro 3.0 and 4.0 solutions. This module may be purchased separately or as part of the complete BIZ Basics bundle (see “BIZ Basics”). Fully “relational”, unlocked and customizable, this BIZ module includes domestic services for UPS, FedEx, Airborne and U.S. Mail as well as a Bill of Lading operation for trucking companies and larger shipment. 15,000 shipping rates help you determine the exact shipping cost based on zip code and package(s) weight. For more info go to
the Web site.
DAQCard Series by National Instruments (USA) includes 10 data acquisition PC Cards with analog, digital, and timing I/O functions, and a GPIB instrument control card. With these PCMCIA cards (driver software included), the company’s SCXI signal conditioning system, and LabVIEW, users can develop portable instrumentation systems with the PowerBook G3, 3400, or 2400 for measurement and automation applications. Typical applications are in-vehicle automotive testing and geological and environmental field tests. For more info go to
National Instruments’ Web site.
LabVIEW 5.0 by National Instruments (USA) is a graphical programming tool for instrument control and data acquisition, analysis, and presentation. Used by engineers/scientists for measurement and automation applications in industries such as automotive, semiconductor, and telecom, version 5.0 adds server technologies and development wizards to increase productivity. For more info go to National Instruments’ Web site (URL above).
LotLink is a cross platform complete sales, finance and insurance, accounting, service and parts dealership management system. John Hosmer, president of Hosmer Computing, says “our sales and F&I software is the most complete in the industry.” For more info go to the
LotLink Web site.
Mac SLM 1.1.0 by V. Staggs, Ph. D., is a real-time sound spectrum analyzer of 1/3, 1/6, and 1/12 octave frequency resolution. It offers time-averaging or free-running; auto-calibration, noise and hum subtraction for use in difficult places. Mac SML is used for measuring home theater, car stereo, and sound studio speaker installations, and for research in speakers, warning devices, and industrial noise. For more info go to
offers POS-OE, which is primarily set up for auto parts distribution, according to Geoff Rosenberg of Alretta Truck Parts in Boston, MA. This integrated business operations software system has single use and multiple user client server version available for both the Mac and Windows 2000/NT. It’s designed for use with most any business and includes: invoicing, order entry, inventory, vendor, customer accounting, light manufacturing, integrated credit card processing, security calendar of events.
STAR Service Manager
STAR Service Manager from Integra Management Systems, written on Omnis 7, is a cross-platform database recommended by several of our readers. A full-featured repair and service management system, it can handle repair orders, counter sales; inventory control; labor and job code libraries; maintenance scheduling; accounts receivable; accounts payable; customer follow-up and marketing; cost control; and employee productivity. Service Manager offers integration with AllData, QuickQuote, and Spader estimating guides. It provides links to QuickBooks and PeachTree for financial accounting. And there’s a GST and PST tax calculation option for Canadian users. For more info go to
Integra Management Systems’ Web site.
Starview by Mercadier Pty Ltd is a Mac-based vehicle tracking software which provides store and forward mail and vehicle location tracking in an integrated package. It has worldwide coverage provided through Inmarsat-C network, with the status of any vehicle only a phone call away. The application reroutes vehicles on the fly, accommodates emergencies, and provides accurate ETAs. It’s designed for shipping, commercial fishing, aviation, rapid transport, taxi service, military logistics, public works and public safety, environmental monitoring and more. For more info send email to
Super Traxx II 3.3 by Automated Tracking Systems provides sales and service follow-up for the automotive industry. It includes service reminders based on time and/or mileage as well as full support for vehicle and service merchandising. Super Traxx is custom tailored for each installation. Mike Fayman says the company has been in this business, exclusively on the Mac platform, since 1990.
“Super Traxx generates customer communications and reports, both sales person and management, for pre-sale and post sale situations as well as service ‘thank you’ correspondence, service reminders based on time or mileage and business office correspondence,” Fayman, president of Automated Tracking Systems, says. “On-site installation and training is included in our pricing, as is remote support via modem and a toll free number.”
For more info send email to
Transport by SilverPlatter Information is a tool for organizations working in, or seeking access to, worldwide information on transport. For more info go to
SilverPlatter’s Web site.
TurboMac from Patrick Racing Team Technologies sports a number of features, including the ability to handle repair orders, A/R and vendor balances, job estimates, inventory control, automatic invoices, parts ordering and core tracking, itemized reports, customizable labor descriptions parts kits, vehicle maintenance and customer follow-up, multiple tax rates sublet labor library, employee productivity, and tire estimates. For more info go to the
TurboMac Web site.
John Dennis said he used Turbo Mac from 1994-1997 to run a small automotive business. He found it easy to use, but slow and not very customizable for his needs.
“I bought each upgrade for a few years and then finally in 1997 before selling my business I wrote an extensive FileMaker Pro database,” Dennis told MacCentral. “I was much happier with that, and it is still in place today. The auto business next door still uses TurboMac and still has some problems with it.”