Exciting News For PDR Mobile Members


PDR Mobile Solutions announces technology partnership with VTISS Catastrophic Repair Networks (CAT-NET)

Tucson, Arizona – January 16, 2017 – PDR Mobile Solutions, LLC., a leading paintless dent repair (PDR) estimating & business management app, and VTISS LLC./CAT-NET, the leader in Enterprise Level Hail Catastrophe Management today announced a technology partnership agreement. The partnership provides mutual customers with a unified path that allows customers to access PDR Mobile’s easy to use smart phone interface, providing them with a reliable and efficient damage collection solution for hail estimating and invoicing application. The PDR Mobile App combined with the back end power of the Cat-Net Platform allows customers to network directly with Insurance Carriers, Auto Dealerships, Body Shops, Parts Providers, Rental Car Companies, Third Party Administrators as well as Other PDR Repair Companies for assignment dispatching and claims fulfillment. This creates a seamless claims flow from the first notice of loss through the entire scheduling/estimating/repair/invoicing process while virtually eliminating duplicate data entry.

“We are proud to partner with VTISS”, said Gordon Kenaston, CTO for PDR Mobile Solutions. “This partnership brings a new level of technology to the PDR Professional. The PDR Mobile app provides the guys in the field with an easy to use app to scope, document, and invoice using any mobile device; while the back-end data management of CAT-NET gives our members a unique advantage in the market place. This integration gives us the ability to serve every member of the PDR industry. We’ve joined technical forces to bring an absolute powerhouse for PDR business management to the market.”

“We are very excited about this integration project with PDR Mobile Solutions” said Jerry Volquardsen, President and CEO of VTISS LLC. “Until now, the primary focus of the Cat-Net platform has been to provide a seamless claims path between insurers and larger hail repair companies in a catastrophic hail event. The PDR Mobile/Cat-Net Integration Project now provides a solution that can accommodate both the individual PDR Technicians as well as Mid-size PDR Companies looking to take that step to the next level all the way to the National Hail Catastrophe Repair Companies and Third Party Administrators that require a single solution that includes a Call Center, Network Wide Scheduling, Shop Management as well as a Financial Suite and Reporting Suite. This integration project expands the use of these tools to all segments of the PDR Industry while providing complete claims/repair visibility to all parties involved in the claims process.”

About VTISS LLC. – In today’s business environment, relentless competition requires increasingly integrated solutions, such as end-to-end paperless claim management. Businesses must explore emerging business opportunities by rapidly adopting new technology. Our application development and systems integration services offer consulting and delivery expertise in end-to-end systems integration and custom application development. Our services are designed to drive innovation and expansion into new marketplaces and opportunities while reducing overall costs. We assist our customers with the design, building and management of all aspects of their transformation to on-demand e-business.

About PDR Mobile Solutions – PDR Mobile Solutions exists to simplify the chaos that hails from the unexpected events that Mother Nature throws at us. We connect people with the right resources at the right time by creating a business as usual environment during a catastrophic loss event. Our business as usual focus reminds us that we can’t interrupt the natural flow of repairing cars, only enhance and create efficiency to allow for growth. Our platform products will do the heavy lifting, in essence, we keep our members pushin! You can find us here http://www.pdrmobile.com.

We will relentlessly develop simple and easy to use tools that allows our members to focus on what really matters to them…the work at hand, ‘pushin dents’ and making money!

PDR Mobile Enterprise Release

We are proud to announce the release of the Enterprise version. 

Our Promise

We will relentlessly develop simple and easy to use tools that allows our members to focus on what really matters to them…the work at hand, ‘pushin dents’ and making money!

PDR Mobile Enterprise is an example of simplifying the chaos.

Imagine this… you want to add technicians to your account, or link them to a job site, or collaborate on an entire project, but the paper work is a nightmare. Who wants to keep track of all that stuff? Nobody wants to, but if you don’t, nobody gets paid! That gets ugly…

Tracking the work, managing commission agreements, auditing tech pay, and billing the work requires a lot of manual oversight. We have your solution…and it’s called PDR Mobile Enterprise.

PDR Mobile Enterprise solves it all…all you need to do is add a new member, or invite someone to your project, set the commission agreement, and we manage all the pushin’ on the back end. Techs can be allocated by job, by panel, by gross, or by net, and when an invoice is created everyone allocated will get paid based on their commission agreement. Simple!

It may sound like we’re over simplifying it, however, it can be that easy. I can assure that that the programming on the back end wasn’t so simple. Hey….that’s what we do, so you can push dents!

Here are a few screen shots…

Along with the Enterprise release there are a number of other cool enhancements the team has created as well. At the end of the day, it’s all about Keeping You Pushin’.

Check out what’s new:

  • Updated Supplement Summary: Cleaned up the format a bit for a cleaner look.
  • Delete Estimate Line: You can now delete an estimate line, which makes it easy to document insurance supps, and delete the occasional mistake.
  • Quoting: When you email a multiple estimate quote we included an easy to read summary.
  • Additional Account Members: If you add additional account members, they will have access to the apps global contacts. All account members will see the same contacts, making it easy to bill customers.
  • Matrix Update: If you go outside the hail matrix while you are scoping a vehicle, a banner will notify you that you are outside the estimate limits. This allows you to always be 100% compliant with your estimate.
  • Technician Commission Management: Simple, but not simplistic. All you have to do is designate a commission rate when you add a new member to your account or invite a PDR mobile account holder to a project. When you allocate the work to the tech either by job or by panel, select if you pay by gross or net, and when you invoice the job, all the invoices and payables are instantly created for all parties.
  • A Few Minor Enhancements: Admin role (back office assistant) has better access to assist in all aspects of the business. Added toggles on all note pages to specify internal or external (estimate view). Android push notifications enhanced and a few Android bug fixes.

More stuff coming soon: at no additional cost!

Annual payment option

Business reporting suite

  • Sales Dashboard
  • Sales reports
  • Tech reports
  • Accounting reports
  • Statements

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushin’

Making Good Business Decisions

I used to tell people that success in business was 80% luck, being in the right place, the right time, with the right product and 20% business skills.  But you better have a really good set of business skills to take advantage of the luck.  One important aspect of that business skill set has to be decision making.

The life of a business person is decision making and success depends on making good decisions.  The problem with human decision making is that we humans are susceptible to bias in our decision making processes.  One of our biggest biases in decision making is “what we want the decision to be” thus we seek support (evidence) to support what we want and discount (don’t listen to) that which does not support the decision we want.  I certainly believe that intuitive decision making has a place in business, having a “feeling” for your market, for example, is often right on target, just make sure your intuition is backed up by facts, before you make the leap.  This is where evidence based decision making processes comes into play.

In today’s business world, effective use of information is becoming increasingly important to success, thus as a business person or a manager it is wise to either become well versed in data and information processes or engage someone who can do it for you. In all likelihood you have a management information system of some sort in your business, is it providing you with the real business decision information you need to make decisions and is it the right information?  Do you really know how to turn that data into useful information, to communicate that information, and really important, how to turn that information into evidence to support your business decision making?

Business success still has a lot to do with luck, but skill at using data to generate information has pretty much become an imperative to achieve your long-term wealth creation goals.

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushin’

Get Rid Of Paper Once And For All!

I’m going to warn you in advance. This blog post is a sales pitch! I want to be fair to you and respect your time.

Paper vs. Digital is like rotary phone vs. smart phone. I can’t argue the that fact that doing paper estimates can be really fast and simple at times. However, if you look at the total work flow involved, beyond the ease of circling numbers, you’ll see that paper ends up costing you more money in the long-term.

Let’s see what paper can’t do?

  1. It can’t track data through automated work flow system
  2. It can’t be stored in a way that it’s always in the palm of your hand
  3. It can’t be emailed
  4. It can’t be edited cleanly
  5. It can’t look professional
  6. It can’t be instantly turned into an invoice

Those are just a few examples, and I’m sure you get the point….

What does the digital world do? More importantly, what does PDR Mobile do for you?
1. First and foremost…PDR Mobile-Keeps You Pushin’
2. You will not have to worry about data collection within your business process
3. It guarantees that  your business system is running the same way all the time
4. You always know who owes you money every minute of the day
5. Collaboration on projects, and managing commission agreements can be automated
6. It will provide you with a professional business interface
7. If your electronic device breaks, your data will still be there
8. You can track and audit the history of each and every document that goes through automated processes, ensuring that anyone can be held accountable for his or her actions.
Simply put…nothing falls by the wayside and you have complete control of your business in the palm of your hand. This give you more time to attract more business and keeps the people pushin’
Clearly we are biased, but for good reason. Below is the link to a free trial.
Click HERE and get the FREE trial.
PDR Mobile-It Keeps You Pushin’

The New PDR Mobile Release Is Available…

The team at PDR Mobile would like to wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. We appreciate all those that have sacrificed for this great country.

We have released a mini-update to the app store that includes an updated VIN Barcode Scanner, as well as other various enhancements. The new scanner is more efficient and can even decode those pesky square VIN barcodes that GM uses.

Also, here’s a snapshot of our next release coming soon:

  • Filter by Estimator: This will allow you to easily view jobs by estimator/tech
  • Assign single or multiple techs to a job
  • Assign techs by panel or by entire job
  • Updated summary page for route technicians and wholesale account quoting and invoicing. The VIN number will also be added to the PDF document
  • Any and all notes added to the file can either be stored to the electronic file or view-able on the estimate document
  • Manage commission agreements and all work flows are automated. Once an invoice is generated everyone attached to that job gets a copy of what is owed to them. You will never wonder how much is owed to you, or worry about losing that paper document that seems to always get misplaced
  • Export custom rate matrices to PDF and print

And here’s some eye-candy for you:

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushin’

PDR Mobile Pro-Hot New Release

This update includes major changes to our back-end system. In order to avoid any weirdness or issues with your existing data, please update immediately.

The PDR Mobile team has been burning the midnight oil to bring some exciting new features to our members. Our Project feature allows for multiple site management capabilities with the ability to invite any technician to a project. We can scale 1000’s, no project is too big. We also have included the ability to create your own Custom Matrix.

Along with the Project features & Custom Matrix features, there are a number of other cool enhancements the team has created as well. At the end of the day, it’s all about Keeping You Pushin’.

Check out what’s new:

  • Project creation: This is for both hail techs and route techs. It’s an easy way to organize work flow during cat-hail events, and route techs can organize their wholesale customers as well. Collaboration is super-easy. We have several tutorials on this feature, as well as, for all our features. Project viewing rights are customizable to ‘My jobs’ and ‘All jobs’.You can add existing PDR mobile members for free. All work done within the project belongs to the project owner. No extra work required, and all invoicing is seamless on the back end.
  • Custom Hail Matrix: We allow our members the ability to clone an existing pre-loaded matrix, edit the panel pricing, create and/or remove add-ons, and modify the oversize price.
  • Compare Repair vs. Replace: This feature provides the ability to quickly verify that the PDR repair is the most cost effective repair option. We allow the ability to document OEM, Aftermarket, or Recycled parts comparison along with blend or no blend when comparing to a conventional repair. We allow for the data to be added as an estimate note or an internal file note as well. Check out the video.
  • Add Members: You can add members to your account at a huge discount ($15.00 per month). The added member will only be able to work for the account owner, as all their work will be branded with the account owner’s information. Anyone can become an account owner and collaborate with others for free.
  • Free Account Admin: We allow for unlimited admin accounts for back office support. There is no charge unless you want them to have access to the app. Then it’s a small up-charge of $15.00 per month.
  • Updated PDF Documents: Insurance information, signature capture, invoice creation date, EIN number, company logo, include or exclude photos in PDF file, and display rate matrix used.
  • Signature Capture: Get an authorized signature for an estimate and a quote. The signature auto populates when you create an invoice – no extra work required.
  • Tax Calculations: Tax calculations are calculated after any discounts. We have included a labor tax toggle for those states that require labor to be taxed.

The above features make up the bulk of the new release, however, we have also tweaked many little things to enhance the overall user experience. Here are a few of those small tweaks that you will notice: Color enhancements in the estimate panel layout, pop up notices are easier to understand, view your logo before save, some button and icon updates for a cleaner look, and as always, all the changes are across all platforms and devices.

Please note:
Some of these changes may require you to logout and log back into the app to take effect.

Check out our video tutorials and be sure to follow us on social media.

PDR Mobile – It Keeps You Pushin’

Riding The Wave Of Chaos

Management’s job is to minimize chaos; the businessperson’s job is to ride chaos like a surfer rides the waves. Byron L. Bissell 2012

As I was reading “Finding Free Will” by Christof Koch, an article in the May/June 2012 issue of Scientific American Mind, it came to me that a form of chaos theory is applicable to the business world. “Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. Small differences in initial conditions (such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation) yield widely diverging outcomes for chaotic systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

surferI and many others say that it is very important for a businessperson to have a long-range plan, but few auto body collision businesspersons actually have one, and the reason I hear all of the time is; how can I have a long-range plan when I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone 5, 10, or 20 years down the road.

What makes it difficult to do long-range prediction in business is, at least, partially due to something called the butterfly effect. The phrase butterfly effect comes from chaos theory and was “coined by Edward Lorenz (a meteorologist at MIT), is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

As a PDR repair businessperson, based on the diligent use of evidence based thinking you do have to make predictions about what the business conditions in the long-range future will most likely be and craft your plan accordingly, at the same time you know that something small can unpredictably occur in the near-term which will greatly alter the business conditions in the long-range future, this is the butterfly effect; but this does not negate the need for a plan to achieve your long-term business goals.

Think of it this way, the top surfers have a general plan of how to execute riding a wave to gain the highest level of success from engaging in surfing. But they also know that waves are subject to the butterfly effect, a small alteration of environmental conditions, for example a slight shift in wind direction or speed, can lead to big changes in the characteristics of the wave as it moves towards the beach.  The best suffers are constantly on the alert for these shifts and upon seeing the shift they immediately adjust for it, i.e. they do not throw out their general plan, but formulate an adjustment to the relevant operational level aspects of her/his general plan and they do it on-the-go.

Like the surfer, you as a PDR repair businessperson should also have a general plan of how to achieve your business goal/s, which you use to ride the wave chaos of the auto collision repair business industry.  As you ride the crest of the business chaos wave you need to be constantly on the lookout for those industry changes brought about by the butterfly effect and when you see one be ready to act to facilitate the necessary adjustments (change) in your operational level plan.  These ripples brought about through the butterfly effect provide you with possible opportunities and threats, and like the surfer if you do not see them and adjust, your ride may turn out to be less than you desire, or worse a drenching as you fall off the board.

So as a businessperson chaos is your friend and change is your friend; embrace both, learn how to use chaos to your advantage, and learn how to facilitate change in your business process.  But by all means have fun surfing those PDR business waves.

PDR Mobile….It Keeps You Pushin’

Know The Customer That You Don’t Have!

There are two categories of customers, those you have and those you want to have.  You may very well know your current customers, but in your role as a businessperson it is much more important that you “know” the customers in your target market that you do not have, but you want to have. In order to achieve your long-term wealth creation goals you, the businessperson, will need to 1) study the customer at the “big picture” level, i.e. at the industry level, rather than just at your level, 2) use “hard evidence” to form the big picture to develop knowledge of your potential customers, and 3) use that knowledge to either design your business model or modify your current business model to ensure that you are meeting the potential customers’ wants in terms of their overall experience, better than your competitors.

In the PDR industry the overall experience has not really been consciously designed. Though, more recently there has been a lot of lip-service given to customer centeredness, but, come on, usually this translates to, be nice to the customers so they will refer others (not unimportant, but not a game changer). The reality is that the product experience remains production process driven and the purchase experience being heavily driven the third party payers.  By the way, by not knowing your potential customers’ wants for their product experience and the purchase experience “, you contribute to your own victimization by the third party payers.

But the times, they are changin’.  Achieving your long-term business goals in the PDR Industry into the future is going to require a lot of change in how you do business.  Starting with innovating and design a business model based, among other things, your target market’s expectations for their PDR repair product experience and purchase experience. Which means you, the businessperson, must develop and keep current an in-depth understanding of what the potential customer seeks in their product experience and in their purchase experience. Then effectively use that knowledge to design a business model that fulfills their product experience and purchase experience better than your competitors. 

So how do you achieve this understanding?  It comes from market analysis and research.  So, I would start with determining who out there in the big world is collecting data from PDR repair customers and determine what you can get access to.  I have looked and have to say there is not much that I have found to be useful, but it is always good to start there anyway.  Next, identify your target market and its geographical boundaries; think big here and into the future.

PDR Mobile….It Keeps You Pushin’

Going For The Gold

My wife and I have been watching the Olympics and the thing that strikes me is the dedication athletes from around the world give to “Going for the Gold”.  As a businessperson, you also need to be dedicated to “Going for the Gold”, your gold medal is the long-term wealth you will have created at the end of the race.

goldI think at the core there are two characteristics that define the difference between the Olympian and the wanna-be-olympian; 1) willingness to seek, to listen to, and to use critical feedback and 2) persistence in practicing the skill sets based on the critical feedback until they have it mastered.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions of critical is “inclined to criticize severely and unfavorably” and another is “exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation <critical thinking>  So for me, critical feedback is data you receive that provides you with the opportunity to make careful judgment and a judicious evaluation of your performance of a skill or skill set, which you can choose to use to determine if you need to modify your performance in order to achieve your goal. To consistently improve the Olympian accepts the need to get unfavorable criticism and to be able to move past the “bad feelings” they get when they hear it and make the necessary changes to fix what needs to be fixed.  The wanna-be-olympian basically does not want to hear critical feedback, because they choose not to move past those “bad feelings”.  In effect they delude themselves into thinking they are performing the skill or skill set at the competitive level and do not need to make any changes.

Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, and all of the rest of the Olympians have spent thousands of hours watching replays of their performances to see how they needed to change to be better, watching their competitors’ performances and thousands of more hours listening to their coaches tell them what they are doing wrong and how to change to do it better, and then spending hour upon hour of practicing that skill set incorporating those changes identified in the critical feedback in order to achieve perfection.  This is what it takes to “Go For the Gold”.

Just like athletes, business people are usually dedicated, focused, and determined to achieve their goals, the question is a particular athlete an Olympian or a wanna-be-olympian?  The same question holds for you as a businessperson, are you an Olympian or a wanna-be-olympian?  If you are going for the gold, creation of long-term wealth, like the Olympian you need to have a strong;  1) willingness to seek, to listen to, and to use critical feedback and 2) persistence in practicing the skill sets based on the critical feedback until they have it mastered.

For those of you who truly seek to “Go For the Gold”, and I hope you all do, the first thing you have to do is to stop deluding yourself that you are doing your best at the skills of being a businessperson, none of us are. But here is what you can start doing to strive to really perfect your businessperson skill set:

Step 1: Identify what you perceive is your strongest businessperson skill, Step 2: Video tape yourself performing that skill, Step 3: Watch the video 3 times, the first time just watch it, the second time identify what you could have done better, and the third time, when the video comes to one of those micro-skills that you need to “fix” stop the video and figure out why you chose to do what you did rather what you have been a better way to perform that micro-skill.

Then practice-feedback, practice-feedback, practice-feedback until you have the skill set down cold.

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushn’

The Best Kept Secret of Differentiation

By Dan Herman

A successful differentiation is not imitated by your competitors, even though it brings you unmistakable success with consumers. It seems impossible? Not quite so. I am about to reveal to you the unexpectedly simple and wonderful secret of successful differentiation: you must think beyond the core benefits of your product category. Think: Off-Core Differentiation.

“Core Benefits” are the benefits that the consumer already expects to receive from a product like yours. This is the list of “what’s important to the consumer” in your product or service category. “Core Benefits” are more than the essential product benefits. The core benefits of today’s cellular phones include much more than the possibility of conducting a conversation while you’re in motion. Everything that the consumer has already come to expect from the product is included in the core benefits. These are the benefits that all of your competitors offer, because they compose the essence of the product and it is impossible to compete in the market without them.

That is precisely the reason why if you really invest your efforts and are truly brilliant and make a major break-through in improving core benefits – do you know what will happen? They’ll imitate you as fast as possible. That’s what will happen. You must understand: in that case, your competitors can’t allow themselves not to imitate you. You’d do exactly the same thing.

Many companies have learned this the hard way. Volvo, for example, created its brand around a central core benefit: safety. They did everything humanly possible! They invested limitlessly! And they succeeded! They especially succeeded in convincing their competitors that it is very important to invest in safety. Today, no one will tell you (except for a few out-of-date marketers) that safety is Volvo’s differentiation.

In order to create a differentiation that won’t be imitated, you have to think beyond the core benefits that are (already or even just in potential) considered important in your market. Think about “what’s important to the consumer” in other product or service categories that you can be the first (or better yet: the only) one to supply in yours. It works time after time. The companies that have succeeded in maintaining their differentiation over the years and weren’t imitated even though they were making tremendous profits are those that innovated in qualities beyond the core benefits of their market. The farther you look, the more successful you can become.

What are they waiting for?

Let’s look at some examples of off-core differentiation.

Swatch decided to treat the watch face and band as a design area. What does this have to do with the core benefit of a watch? Exactly! So no one has imitated them. Not really.

Grey Goose vodka is the only vodka produced in France. This differentiation is so way-out of the core benefits of the vodka industry! No vodka connoisseur in his right mind would imitate that.

What about The Body Shop? There’s no place for another cosmetics chain that actively fights against animal experiments, for the environment and for the needy wherever they are. No one even thinks about imitating them.

The mob and the mobile

Sometimes an off-core differentiation can become eventually a core benefit. This happened to Nokia. It happens when the differentiation is not really off-core but is actually based on a deep insight into the direction that the market is going and of consumers’ future needs. Nokia took the global market with a seemingly off-core strategy. While Motorola was busy developing better and better mobile phones, Nokia predicted that mobile phones were going to be a popular product. When people will start carrying their cellphone around with them as they go about their everyday life, it will become an apparel item, a fashion statement. And thus the idea that helped turn Nokia into the world leader was born – the idea of the exchangeable panels that let you match the phone to your clothes. It didn’t seem like a core benefit of the category back then. Totally not connected to what a mobile phone is supposed to do.

But when the technology of most mobile phone manufacturers became similar, they began to compete over design. Samsung, Sony Ericsson and yes, even Motorola, started to beat Nokia, using its own weapon. As I am writing, Nokia’s share of the market is still double that of Motorola’s (do you realize what a lead Nokia was able to open?). But Nokia has lost its differentiation.

You may say that only a few companies have become leaders by means of an off-core differentiation. Let’s not argue what is “many” and what is “a few”. By the way, most companies never become leaders, nor need they become. However, if you are in a competitive market and trying to make a living, an off-core strategy is the best chance you have to give a group of consumers a good reason to devotedly prefer you and even create a private monopoly for you.

Open a window

I’m not trying to argue that differentiation within the core benefits is a bad idea, if you can do it. It opens a window of opportunity for you, until they start to imitate you. For a man like Michael Dell, that was enough to become a billionaire. Dell changed the way in which personal computers are sold. Michael Dell understood that from the moment that personal computers became standardized (thanks to the IBM clones on the one hand and to the foresight of Microsoft in the 1980’s, on the other hand) – people would buy them over the phone and later, over the internet. Dell also understood that since personal computer components are standardized anyway, you can put them together to suit each user’s needs. That wasn’t an Off-Core Differentiation. Dell simply saw where the trends are leading to. Today, everyone sells computers this way, but the period of time in which he had this shining differentiation made him one of the richest people on the planet.

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushin’