Does paperless invoicing really save my garage time and money?

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Posted on Feb 11th 2020


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Readers of our blog may have read our post on why auto repair shop owners should consider repair shop management software instead of paper invoices. Continuing on that theme, we wanted to provide a followup post to further expand on that idea.  Perhaps readers have seen online our claims that Auto Shop Invoice’s auto repair shop management software can help save a garage both time and money. If you own an auto repair business or garage, you may think to yourself that this sounds good in theory. But at the end of the day, what does this really mean for you and your auto repair business? And how would shop management and paperless invoicing software impact your bottom line?

Many software businesses make ambiguous promises about their product.  Here at Auto Shop Invoice, we wanted to put numbers behind the words to provide real-life examples of the cost-savings our software could provide. 


How Auto Shop Invoice’s auto repair shop management software saves time and money for customers using paper invoices

In the past, we’ve listed a few different reasons to make the switch to paperless invoicing software. However, maybe you’ve wondered about the specific time and money savings you’d gain by making the switch to Auto Shop Invoice. Below is the breakdown dollars and cents that can be saved.

To get started, let’s establish the following fact: statistically speaking, the average person can type faster than they can write by hand. While there may be the occasional exception to this rule, consider the following: 

According to Wikipedia, the average adult aged between 18-64 has an average handwriting copy speed of approximately 13 words per minute (wpm). In contrast, the average rate for copy typing was 33 words per minute.  This indicates that the average person can type over twice as fast as they can handwrite the same copy.


Per invoice time savings with software invoicing vs paper

For the sake of example, let’s assume the average garage or auto repair shop invoice has invoices that are 100 words long.  

This means that on average, a paper invoice would take the following amount of time to complete:

100 words/13 wpm = just over 7 minutes per paper invoice


Let’s compare that to the time it takes to build an electronic invoice using auto repair shop invoice software (we’ll omit any time savings from using pre-configured customers or parts):

100 words/33 wpm = 3 minutes per paperless invoice 


So to briefly summarize, there’s 4 minutes of time savings on invoice building with invoices created by auto repair shop management software like Auto Shop Invoice instead of traditional paper invoices.


Per day time savings with software invoicing vs paper

Now let’s make another assumption for the sake of example. Let’s say that your auto repair shop or garage completes around 10 car repairs in a day. Your repair shop may do more or less, but we’ll choose 10 since it’s an easy number to work with.  That’s the equivalent of 10 invoices per day that you’re currently creating by hand. 

If you multiply 10 invoices times the 4 minutes a day you’d save by switching to paperless invoicing, then that’s the equivalent of 40 minutes saved per day by typing rather than handwriting invoices. That’s 40 minutes per day that you’d be getting back just by using software for invoices instead of carbon copy paper.

Per month time and money savings with software invoicing vs paper

This time can quickly add up. Over the course of a month with a six day workweek, that’s 960 minutes or 16 hours of productivity that you’ve saved. 

In a list of the average automotive tech salary wages, the median is currently listed at $19 dollars per hour.  

So if you multiply the 19 dollars per hour times the 16 hours of invoicing productivity you save with shop management software, that equals about $300 dollars a month of savings just on invoicing labor time alone.

That’s not to mention that with the 16 hours of productivity, this means more productive time in your day. This time doesn’t necessarily have to be used for invoicing, but it can be used however you’d like. For example, the saved time can be used by your auto repair techs for additional auto repairs. 

The average cost of a repair according to AAA is between $500-600 dollars. So if you’re able to complete one additional repair per month due to faster invoicing with auto repair shop management software, that’s an additional $500 dollars in revenue that goes towards your shop’s bottomline. 

So to complete our calculations, add the $500 dollars in additional revenue with the $300 dollars in productivity that you’ve saved. The end result is a net gain in productivity and revenue of at least $800 per month.  

This number will grow as your auto repair business grows. As your shop takes on additional repairs and hires new employees, the amount of time saved by making the switch to paperless invoicing will grow as well. However, hopefully this provides a working example of the potential time and money savings that can be realized through auto repair shop management software. For additional information on the automotive software industry, check out our free guide to auto shop invoice software and our ultimate guide to auto repair shop management software.


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