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Note: It is possible to set up a new initial workflow step, although to ensure you dont make mistakes that can have a negative impact on you business, by use of the settings, we put a measure in place so that to make changes to this you need to give your SmartFlow advisor a call and set up your new initial steps  with them over the phone.

Add Your Own Workflow Steps

Make Your Workflow Smarter

SmartFlow is delivered with a pre-configured workflow of 5 workflow steps. This article describes how to add new ones and how to configure them for best use at the counter and in the back shop.

Workflow Overview

Workflow management is one of the most used features of SmartFlow. All vehicles are organized by the workflow step they are in and thus provide unprecedented visibility into the vehicle progress in the shop. No running back and forth between the back shop and the counter anymore when a customer calls and requires a status update.

workflow image

This help article describes how to add new workflow steps and configure all steps for smooth working. It affects what technicians see on the tablets, how jobs are identified as approved and many more crucial aspects of a smoothly working shop.

The image below shows the workflow setting page when clicking on “Configure Mapping of SMS Workflow Steps” on the ‘Shop Management’ tab of the inspection settings.

standard workflowLet’s start with the workflow column on the far left.

Initially, it names 5 workflow steps, which are setup by default. The image above has added one more (A-“Building Estimate) using the “Add a new Workflow Step”. Clicking the ‘i’ button will show you more help about the default workflow step in question. Below is the Inspect help as example.


SmartFlow has two views the workflow view and the technician view (the workflow view doesn’t exist in SmartCheck). The next columns on the settings page configure the visibility in both views

standard workflow

(1) shows all workflow steps and how they should be named

(2) controls two settings

  1. Are vehicles in this workflow step visible on the technician view and
  2. Are billed hours of jobs for vehicles in this workflow step be included in the labor inventory dashboard at the top of the column, which are (2) and (3) in the image below (SmartFlow only) or not tech-numbers A typical scenario for omitting billed hours is the workflow steps “on hold” since it is typically unclear how long the vehicle stays in this step.

The tablet has two vehicle screens:

  1. The Active Vehicle Screen and
  2. The Idle Screen (tap the double car icon to get there)

Vehicles ready to be worked on, or in other words in workflow steps dedicated to work (typically “Inspect” and Work”), are shown on the Active Vehicle Screen. The Idle screen includes vehicles, which are submitted from the tablet, but need to be accessible to the tech for looking up information.

The column marked (4) and (5) in the image below control the job authorization. In order to avoid that technicians work on jobs on the work order, which are not approved yet, the vehicle needs to be in any of the steps not marked in the Jobs approved columns (4) and (5). On the other end, the steps with checked checkboxes will add the jobs to the work order for the tech when the vehicle is moved to the workflow step (4) and/or when the jobs get added while the vehicle is in the given step (5).

standard workflow

Click on “Add a new Workflow Step” and a sequence of the following self-explanatory pop-up images, shown below, appear.


Current Process

In the paper-based process, statuses representing workflow steps are available in three different places

  1. The SMS status
  2. The paper rack, scribbling on a whiteboard, spreadsheets, magnets representing vehicles, etc.
  3. The brain of the service advisor

Especially the latter is the reason why many service advisors are extremely busy and skip advising customers about needed service.


Best Practice
  • Map the SMS document type (estimate, work order, invoice, closed out) to the SmartFlow workflow steps configured by default
  • Stop using any other status indicators in the SMS or otherwise
  • Add new workflow steps as you see the need (the less the better) and make sure to utilize special markers where they fit better.
    • e.g., if every car gets washed, implement a workflow step “Car Wash”, if only a minority of vehicles get washed, use special markers.
  • Make all workflow steps visible on both the technician view and workflow view
  • Configure the workflow steps so that jobs get automatically approved in inspect and work workflow steps.
Quantified Benefits

Using the SmartFlow workflow management process will enable

  • Complete visibility about vehicle status to all members of the staff and even to motorists sitting int he waiting room (if a big screen is used)
    • This eliminates vehicles falling through the process cracks and subsequently embarrassing moments with customers
  • The elimination of running back and forth between back shop and counter
    • At 4-7 trips per vehicle and app. 3 minutes per trip, this is at least 15 minutes per vehicle
    • At an idle minute of $3.50 – $4.20 this can create amounts of $2,000 per week of unbillable time and unused opportunity.
DST & Training

During the one-day Digital Supervisor Training, you will experience hands-on how to use the workflow management tool and how service advisors gain precious time to run the shop and educate customers.

Check out the location in your area, where you can sign up for the Digital Supervisor Training here

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