United Equipment Dealer Assn. (UEDA) announced during the GIE + Expo the launch of its new interactive United OPE Flat Rate Guide (OPE FRG). The new online tool will provide dealers with a web portal and secure API to find and report OPE flat rate repair times with more current accurate information than what is provided by OEMs. With this information, dealers can increase their productivity and profits and improve customer relations. Additionally, UEDA will provide interested business system vendors access to the flat rate API so they can build integration allowing work orders in their software to access and report on the flat rate information.
“This is the only industry resource that factors actual dealer times into the flat rate calculation used to determine job pricing,” said Kim Rominger, United Equipment Dealers Assn., executive vice president/CEO. “This project is not just important to members of UEDA, but to all dealers selling and servicing the machines found in the OPE FRG.”
The OPE FRG benefits servicing dealers in three major ways:
1. More accurate estimating: Since the data comes directly from dealers, it is a better reflection of real life repair times. Unlike the OEM estimates, the OPE FRG takes into account conditions resulting from wear and tear like mud, grass rusty bolts and other issues faced by dealers every day.
2. Improve customer relations: Dealers are able to provide timely, consistent and accurate estimates so customers understand their repair costs up front. Dealers can also show customers their charges are competitive compared to other dealers across North America.
3. Boost shop productivity: By knowing how many hours a given repair would take, dealers can gauge the performance of their mechanics more accurately, reduce the number of write-offs, and increase their bottom line contribution.
The new interactive product replaces UEDA’s existing OPE Flat Rate Guide (FRG) currently available on CD. “Moving the OPE FRG online addresses today’s mobile service managers and technicians and will enhance dealers’ bottom lines with increased productivity . . . and allows on-going dealer input for improved times and reporting new models.”
UEDA approached Charter Software Inc., maker of ASPEN Business Management Software, to power this innovative technology platform. According to Rominger, UEDA has had a long partnership with Charter Software since 2002 when they endorsed Charter Software as a business system vendor. “We wanted to leverage today’s technology and Charter is always breaking new ground and open to new concepts,” stated Rominger.
Charter Software is equally enthusiastic about the partnership. “This project is very exciting because it is a technology tool that is managed by a dealer association for dealers. Our goal is to get as many dealers as possible to subscribe to the OPE Flat Rate Guide. As a result, our API, available through the UEDA, allows any business system to integrate with the OPE Flat Rate Guides without any charge from UEDA or Charter Software,” said Anne Salemo, president/CEO of Charter Software Inc.
The United OPE FRG is available for dealers to pilot effective immediately. Charter's ASPEN November product release will include this integration, so all ASPEN customers will be eligible to participate. UEDA expects a full release of the product in January 2017.