Mr Clutch is recognised as one of the UK’s leading premier autocentre groups. The organisation has over forty branches in England and also now a branch in Scotland.

All branches provide a wide range of garage services including the fitting of clutches, manual transmissions, brakes, tyres, batteries and exhausts. Car servicing and MOT tests are done in selected centres.

Since their first branch opened in 1978 Mr Clutch have developed a network of garages, a successful team located around the country and an internal group to support, manage and promote the business.

Of course in 1978 the technology and software of today was not available. In addition managing one branch did not raise the same issues as managing over 40 branches in two different countries.

The main challenges the management team dealt with were understanding overall business operations, the capacity of the different branches and managing the day to day running of branches digitally.

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Intranet for Car Garage business, with over 40 locations.

The branches of Mr Clutch were well versed at managing their local business, taking bookings either at the location or over the phone, as most garages do. Information was then written down and stored locally and not shared within the wider business.

There was little communication between the different branches and communication with head office could have been more efficient. A marketing promotion could take weeks of planning and communication.

Wirebox addressed this by developing an Internal Intranet system for Mr Clutch which allows the business to manage internal communications, pricing, promotions and users. The Intranet gathers all required reports including sales by branch or even sales by a particular service or availability. The Intranet is a tool used by both Head Office and all of the branches within the Mr Clutch organisation on a daily basis.

One of the main focuses was to build a digital workflow and diary management system to improve the efficiencies of daily branch operation. Wirebox consulted with Mr Clutch and also spent time with a number of branch managers at different locations.

This allowed us to fully understand the core tasks and what elements could be improved, what would make the business more efficient and how we could tackle the problem of duplicating data entry.

Wirebox developed a bespoke system for Mr Clutch, built using the PHP framework Laravel. The Diary Management system allows customers to make bookings online within seconds and can select any location. It also allows Mr Clutch staff to accept bookings and view the capacity of any branch in live time, in the past or in future weeks.

The information is fed directly into the system with full availability, so only available slots can be booked without the risk of double booking. The system also allows Mr Clutch staff users to add bookings directly into the system.

This bespoke system allows Mr Clutch users with different permissions to view and report on data. The head office or regional managers can view branch capacity and sales, branch managers can view their own reports and all jobs are processed through the system. One of the main benefits is that bookings can now be taken outside of normal working hours.

MAM is the standard POS tool for the garage industry. Although very powerful there are many limitations with regards to exporting data. This caused a number of problems when Mr Clutch decided to put their CRM project out to tender. Some of the biggest CRM companies globally looked at the MAM software and stated it was an impossible task. Many companies had also tried to make their old CRM solution work correctly and spent a year optimising, but all failed.

Wirebox picked up Mr Clutch’s old CRM and after hours of investigation we found a way to export the data from MAM using a custom API. The Mr Clutch CRM now works seamlessly and costs a fraction of what a new solution would have cost.

Mr Clutch has a web presence, receiving high traffic from users looking for the services they provide. These users wish to book a service which Mr Clutch provides and the ability to do this online makes the business more efficient. To be able to do this, the website needs to communicate with the booking system developed by Wirebox and for this to happen we developed an API to communicate directly and in real time to the Diary from the website and back.

Each time a booking is made it is updated, so there can be no double bookings. The API was built using Laravel for commercial use to Mr Clutch, not for public use.