It is over two and a half years since we moved our garage management system, and so much has changed during that time, both in our business and personal lives. And although the journey has occasionally been painful, and often tedious, where we are now is certainly a better place. Firstly, I want to say, I didn’t move systems because I hated the old ones. I moved because I wanted something different as a business, and I was looking for something better for me. The direction I wanted to take the business in required a slightly different emphasis, and as such I planned to step back from the day to day running of the business but remain in control. Therefore, I wanted to be able to see daily activities from anywhere in the world (and those of you reading this who know me personally, will of course know that that is mostly from my house!) and to be able to usefully work and see daily profit/figures. One of the most impressive things about Garage Hive is the active and very warm Facebook and general community – full of folks that care passionately about their business, and many of whom who have taken the conscious decision to be a businessowner first and a technician or service advisor a very definite second. This, of course, is a necessity to conquer the financial success which alludes many garage owners. This community, you might think, is nothing to do with GH, but the positive manner in which it is used and enjoyed is very much a reflection of the culture within GH. This dynamic Facebook group will often highlight another garage owner’s favourite report and what they are trying to achieve and BOOM! – off we go again into that unnurtured area; - result = making it better than ever before. Occasionally, the group pushes for something, much like a modern-day digital trade union. GH listens: I like this very much; it is powerful and respectfully achieved. The GH Facebook group is a culture shock to the motor industry in the very best way possible! The other thing I particularly love (and it took me quite a while to say I loved anything – BE WARNED when you move any GMS it half kills you!) are the figures and spreadsheets. GH is the dream to me; I love numbers and have always found them beautiful. But for those who don’t, the supported financial app is first class on its presentation of any figure you may want. I have my favourite reports, and regularly look at corners of the business that need/ed attention, these were easily found and are always visually just at your fingertips, anytime and anywhere. Things I love about GH… 1. Proving, not just suspecting, which areas of the business make you money. And yes, there are some surprises! 2. Actioning the changes and then seeing the results. 3. Working from home but feeling like I can see everything. In fact, knowing I can see everything. 4. Seeing progress. So, in balance of fairness … what I don’t like… 1. I’m not that keen on the invoice layout, but probably more indifferent. 2. I wish it was cheaper, but that is not to say I don’t feel that it is not value for money. I met another garage owner a while back and they said that they felt it was like another employee telling the service advisor what needs doing next – I like this analogy and do agree. So, to end, GH has delivered what I wanted, and has facilitated the changes I wanted to achieve. Finally, I want to share one last thing I, personally, have learnt… Turns out, you can communicate in Gifs – who knew?!