VGM Release May 2018

May 14, 2018 13:22

This release includes new tools to help our customers become GDPR compliant, as well as amendments to the messaging system (e.g. Unsubscribe links) in preparation for the legislation deadline on the 25th.

Bug fixes


  • Bug: Xero sometimes prevents users from connecting via VGM (multiple auth tokens issued to single user).
    Fix: This issue was caused by VGM trying to log in to Xero with old credentials from previous sessions. These old credentials are now removed correctly when connecting to Xero from VGM, preventing the issue.
  • Bug: The Customer name in the Reminders grid does not include the customer’s company
    Fix: We have added the customer company to the Customer Name field in the Reminders grid.


Communication Consent Management

We have added a new Communication Consent Management tool to VGM. This tool provides you with a vast range of filtering options, allows you to review and add consent for customers, and includes an export-to-spreadsheet feature. This new functionality will help you remain GDPR compliant when exporting your VGM customers to marketing platforms like Mailchimp, and give you a clear view of the consent status of your customer base at a glance.

Send SMS over multiple messages

For the first time ever, VGM users can now send SMS messages longer than 160 characters! This feature is disabled by default to prevent a sudden increase in credit costs for our customers, however you can turn it on by navigating to “Config” > “Settings” > “Messaging” and changing the “SMS Credit Limit” value.

Changing this value to a number greater than 0 will limit outbound SMS messages to that quantity of credits, so you can control your maximum cost per communication. Changing this value to 0 will remove all limits, meaning that every message will be sent in full.

Unsubscribe Links in SMS & Email

SMS Messages and Emails that require consent (Reminder or Marketing) will now automatically have an unsubscribe link added to them. This will take customers to our new Customer Portal, which will allow them to manage their own consent preferences whenever they like.

Live SMS Message Template Analysis

VGM will now analyse character length in SMS message templates, giving you a real time picture of how your messages will send. You can use this feature by clicking the ‘preview’ button, which will give you a breakdown by average and maximum character length and the amount of credits required to send the message.

When you are finished with editing a message template, VGM will also give you a summary of the message before you commit to saving it.

View unsubscribes in message preview

VGM will now show you unsubscribe links as part of the message preview, giving you a more accurate picture of the messages that will be sending out.

VGM Release April 2018

March 28, 2018 16:25

This release is the the first of several updates focusing on compliance with the new EU GDPR Legislation, coming into effect in May this year. Features include new communication consent procedures for all booking systems, alongside new tools within VGM to manage customer consent.

Bug fixes

Umbraco Websites

  • Bug: VRM Lookup sometimes hangs if a matching service price cannot be found.
    Fix: VRM Lookup now informs the user that a price cannot be found, and returns them to the “select slot type” step.
  • Bug: Tyre Lookup widget shows a “Change Vehicle” button if no VRM Credits are available.
    Fix: The “change” button is now hidden when VRM credits are missing.
  • Bug: Time estimates displaying incorrectly, if some durations aren’t configured.
    Fix: Time estimates will now be hidden unless durations are defined for all slots in the basket.

VGM & Umbraco Websites

  • Bug: VRM Lookup sometimes returns a null tyre, causing the tyre select screen to hang.
    Fix: VRM Lookups have been amended to exclude null tyres returned from the data provider.
  • Bug: Some Mercedez VRM lookups not matching a service.
    Fix: The VRM lookup did not format the vehicle make correctly in some cases which caused it not to match a service make, this has now been fixed.


  • Bug: Using an existing slot in the planner doesn’t always put a booking on the selected date.
    Fix: The issue with loading the booking date has been corrected.
  • Bug: Fuel type not populated after VRM lookup when inserting a new booking.
    Fix: Fuel types were not being loaded through this entry point which was causing the issue, this has now been fixed.
  • Bug: When closing a Jobsheet the main grid clears any sorting.
    Fix: The grid has been enhanced to persist any sorting when closing a Jobsheet.
  • Bug: Adding parts to a work item does not filter by group.
    Fix: Implemented the ability to filter by part group in this screen.


Record specific communication consent on all Online Bookings

We have updated all booking systems to obtain specific, granular consent for customer communication on every online booking. This currently includes specific consent for reminders sent by SMS and Email, however will soon be expanded to include consent for Marketing by SMS and Email as well.

As part of these changes booking systems will now feature a new Privacy Policy, informing customers how their data will be stored and used.


Allow customers to manage their communication consent through all booking systems

We have also updated all booking systems to include a new Communication Consent Management section allowing customers to manage their communication preferences at any time - whether or not they are making a booking. Changes made here will affect their overall consent settings, determining whether they receive SMS and Email reminder messages.

As with the previous enhancement, this will be updated to include Marketing consent in the next release.


Configure booking system Communication Consent

To complement the new Communication Consent features in the booking system, we’ve also added a new configuration section to VGM. The Messaging Settings (Config > Settings > Messaging) now contain configuration options for the booking system communication consent sections, allowing you to configure:

  • Consent duration in months (default is 24 months).
  • Checkbox labels for the Email and SMS checkboxes.
  • Whether the checkboxes are ticked by default (defaults to un-ticked).
  • The “Preamble” messages, which appears above the checkboxes in the booking system.
  • Your Privacy policy.

View consent status of messages in Reminders and Outbound Message Queue

You can now view the consent status applicable to any message in the Outbound Message Queue and Reminders pages, within VGM. These will display as red if the message cannot be sent due to invalid consent, or black if valid consent is available. If the message has already been sent, the colour code will reflect whether it can be re-sent at that point in time.

Customer consent prompt at Point of Sale

VGM now alerts you to any missing customer communication consent at all points of sale, which can then be quickly captured and saved against their customer record.

Sales Invoice

Add Customer Consent from multiple entry points

VGM allows you to view queued messages and capture consent from Bookings, Jobsheets, Sales Invoices, The Outbound Message Queue and Reminders.

View a customer’s full communications consent history

You can now view a full audit log of customer communications consent in the edit customer screen, this screen also allows you to edit or revoke communications consent items.

Notes added to Booking Confirmations for all booking systems

Default booking confirmations for all booking systems will now contain the booking notes, alongside the all previously included booking data.

Order “Allocate Sales Receipt” window by Date Descending, and hide zero value sales receipts by default

The “Allocate Sales Receipt” window will now order by Date Descending (rather than Ascending), and the checkbox “Hide sales receipts with zero balance” will be ticked by default.

VGM Release March 2018

March 9, 2018 17:07

This release includes general bugfixes throughout VGM, with the majority being minor fixes for the new Temporary Parts functionality. Major new features include Scheduled Messages for Sales Invoices and a new integration with accounting package Xero.

Bug fixes

  • Bug: Booking Details customer search shows previous vehicle owners.
    Fix: Altered the search query to filter out any previous owners.
  • Bug: Temporary Parts grid not refreshing when temporary parts are deleted.
    Fix: Added a global event that reloads the Temporary Parts grid when a temporary part is deleted or saved elsewhere in VGM.
  • Bug: On Booking Details & Add Edit Customer, users can enter a phone number into an email field.
    Fix: Added validation for Customer Email in Booking Details and Add Edit Customer.
  • Bug: Users can add bookings with online payments to existing Jobsheets and/or Sales Invoices.
    Fix: Added additional filters to the booking search query to exclude those with online payments.
  • Bug: Users can create multiple Purchase Credits for a single Temporary Part.
    Fix: Reload Temporary Parts Grid when creating Purchase Credits to trigger validation.
  • Bug: Temporary Parts Description dropdown not populating with previous part descriptions.
    Fix: Removed a filter in the search query that restricted results to Tyres only.
  • Bug: In the Planner settings, users could set day end times that were earlier than day start times, causing an error.
    Fix: Added additional validation when saving Planner Settings to prevent end times which are earlier than the start time.
  • Bug: SMS Templates contain invalid HTML-encoded characters.
    Fix: This was caused by Merge tags being added with HTML-encoded characters rather than a regular character set. Additional checks have been added to convert HTML-encoded characters into their normal equivalents.
  • Bug: VAT Code grids don't refresh when editing VAT Rates.
    Fix: Added a global event to update the VAT Code grids when saving a VAT Rate.
  • Bug: Service pricing in Booking Details doesn't update on VRM Lookup.
    Fix: Successful VRM lookups will now trigger a re-calculation of the booking cost, if a Service slot type is selected.


Parts - Filter by Product Group

You can now filter (search) Parts by the product group they belong to.

Search for Purchase Orders by Supplier

You can now search for Purchase Orders by their Supplier name.

Automated Messages toggle moved

The automated messages toggle has been moved from the top menu (Messaging > Automated Messages) to the Settings window (Config > Settings > Messaging).

Xero Sales Integration

VGM now offers a direct integration with Xero. Our new integration allows you to convert VGM Jobsheets into Xero invoices, instantly creating a new Xero Invoice with all items, payments and customer details included. You can then view and print that invoice from VGM, alongside any other Xero Invoices created through our integration.

For full details on our new Xero integration, take a look at our documentation:

To get started with the Xero integration, contact our support team on 01179 428 678.

Sales Document Messages

You can now send Scheduled Messages automatically for posted invoices. This functionality works in a similar way to the Reminders for bookings - Create a message template, set the delivery offset, and it will be automatically scheduled every time you post an invoice.

For more information about Sales Document Messages, check out our documentation:

New VRM supplier - CarweB

We have recently implemented a new VRM lookup provider into VGM, and our other systems (i.e. Online Booking, etc…). The CarweB VRM lookup includes additional data fields for vehicles searched, like Brake Horsepower figures. Their API also includes a number of additional failover strategies, allowing us to respond to short-term service issues more quickly than with some of our other providers.

Online Booking - VRM Lookup Limits

You can now set a limit for the number of VRM lookups that can be made from a particular IP Address through your online booking system. This allows you to set a maximum quantity of lookups that can be made in a specific time frame through your online booking system, for a single IP Address.

You will also be able to whitelist specific customers through your VGM system (for example, Trade customers), allowing them to make as many lookups as they like. These limits will give you greater control over how your VRM Lookup credits are used online, and prevent abuse of those systems in the rare cases that they are misused.

For more information about this or any of our other new features, please feel free to message us through the chat window in the bottom-right of your VGM system, or give us a call on 01179 428 678.

VGM Release November 2017

November 16, 2017 14:28

This release includes many general bugfixes, with a focus on bugs in Parts and Tyres. All of the enhancements in this release also relate to Parts and Tyres, with performance improvements for some areas as well as some major new features including Advanced Tyre Markup, Stock Adjustments, and Temporary Parts.

Bug fixes

  • Bug: Using “Update Existing Reminders” when saving email templates passed in an incorrect Sender Address in some cases.
    Fix: Altered save process to always pass in correct Sender Address.
  • Bug: Changing the current page, or changing the number of items per page in Search Tyres and Add Parts Work Item would de-select the currently selected tyre, but not update the lower page elements to reflect this.
    Fix: Lower grids will now rebind when changing page, or changing the number of items per page.
  • Bug: User Settings in Search Tyres not updating & loading correctly on when posting back to server.
    Fix: User Settings now save and load correctly when posting back.
  • Bug: Intercom system disappearing, but still leaving a non-clickable area in the bottom-right corner.
    Fix: Intercom iFrame was being removed when changing tab, amended hide iFrame functions to exclude Intercom frame.
  • Bug: Some inline edit commands causing the Vat / Nominal code fields to reset on submit to server.
    Fix: Rather than checking the Value of the dropdown (which resets on submit), we now check the Text of the dropdown (which doesn't).
  • Bug: "Send to Cameo" context menu button not displaying, introduced in the last version.
    Fix: When setting this option's visibility, new Context Menu items caused the wrong item to be selected. Now selecting by Value of the button, rather than index.
  • Bug: Customer Email doesn't validate against existing emails when entering a booking.
    Fix: Added extra validation to check if the new Customer Email already exists in the database.
  • Bug: "Technician: " labels were visible when editing a work item on non-jobsheet documents.
    Fix: On non-jobsheet documents, this label will now be hidden.
  • Bug: Timing issues with displaying the Email Customer Invoice button in Add Edit Sales Invoice when using Firefox.
    Fix: Adjusted the element selection for the button to avoid potential timing issues.
  • Bug: When deleting a part, Delete Process wasn't checking whether that part exists on Sales Quotations.
    Fix: Added checks for existing Sales Quotations to Delete Items for Parts.
  • Bug: Every time you add tyres to a Sales Invoice, if VRM is not enabled a prompt warns the user that VRM is disabled.
    Fix: Removed VRM disabled prompt.
  • Bug: Users cannot insert appointments into the Diary unless there are already slots available for that day.
    Fix: Users can now insert appointments into the diary when there are no existing slots available for that day.
  • Bug: When changing a technician's name, the changes are not reflected in the planner.
    Fix: Saving a Technician now re-loads the Planner, and Planner Resource names are now loaded from the database rather than the user config settings.
  • Bug: New Slot Types are created with a default VAT Code ID of 0, causing issues with reporting and diary views.
    Fix: New slot types are now created with the branch default VAT code.
  • Bug: Slot Type Message Templates (Email) do not save/load Sender email correctly.
    Fix: Slot Type message templates now save/load sender emails correctly.
  • Bug: When adding tyres to a sales document with only local stock enabled, filtering by manufacturer throws an error.
    Fix: This error was caused by trying to update some missing elements - we now don't try to update those elements in the context of a sales document.


Speed enhancements to Search Tyres

Adjusted the queries populating Search Tyres to run more efficiently.

Added Stock Adjustment functionality

Added the "Stock Adjustments" feature under Parts. Users can now record "Add" and "Subtract" stock adjustments for parts and tyres, adjusting their stock levels without the use of a Purchase Invoice or Sales Invoice / Jobsheet.

Please Note: For “Subtract” adjustments, VGM will automatically find the most recent Purchase Invoice for that part and set the Adjustment Cost to the cost on that invoice. Users can manually overwrite the associated invoice and the Cost value if they wish.

Prompt user to update part cost when fulfilling a purchase order

When converting a Purchase Order to a Purchase Invoice, if the currently edited line item has a different cost to its associated part in the database, VGM will now prompt the user to update the part cost if required.

Show Required fields on Add Edit Part

When adding or editing a part or tyre, VGM will now display the required fields with an asterisk.

Added Temporary Parts functionality

Users can now add Temporary Parts to sales documents. These temporary parts are single-use, and can only be associated with one document of each type. Temporary parts do not display in the normal parts grids and stock reports, and have their own area in VGM under "Parts". They can optionally be associated with a Purchase Order or Purchase Invoice.

Please Note: Temporary part items on documents differ from regular part items because when they are edited, you will be editing the temporary part itself (rather than just a line item on a document). For this reason, making a change on a temporary part will also update the line item on any document it has been added to. Some temporary part fields are disabled depending upon which documents they have been added to, in order to maintain data quality.

Advanced Markup Criteria

Users can now apply advanced markup criteria rules to Tyres. Using these rules, the user can refine their standard markup with rules based upon tyre Attributes, Manufacturer, Summer, Winter, Extra Load, Run Flat, SUV and Van tyre values. This markup can be applied as a percentage or fixed value, and can be applied to both Grouptyre stock and Local stock.

Please Note: Recalculating tyre markup is done on a scheduled basis every 15 minutes. To force a system to recalculate markup on demand, the user will need to click “Save” within the Advanced Markup window, and then also click “Save” at the bottom-right of the Tyre Config tab. A progress bar displaying the recalculation progress will then open.

Create Local Stock tyres from Grouptyre Stock

Users can now create Local Stock tyres directly from Grouptyre Stock tyres, without having to place an order for that tyre.

Barcode Scanning in Search Tyres

Users can now search for tyres using Barcodes. This will apply anywhere that tyres can be searched, to both the Local and Grouptyre stock grids.

VGM Release July 2017

July 6, 2017 16:11

This release includes a number of general bugfixes and a large number of new features across all areas. Areas most improved are Parts / Tyres, the Planner, and the Diary - however other areas have also seen new functionality.

Bug fixes

  • Bug: Vehicle Bookings - Some list items are overflowing the grid area, and being hidden
    Fix: Altered the grid control height to prevent overflow.
  • Bug: Jobsheet Technician grouping is not ordered consistently
    Fix: Set Technicians dropdown query to order alphabetically.
  • Bug: Reports and Sales Documents containing multiple items which require a data source (e.g. embedded tables) cannot find the report data source when run
    Fix: Altered report run process to search Report object for all objects requiring a data source, and binding them manually prior to display.
  • Bug: It is possible to create a Sales Receipt on a Sales Invoice when that invoice does not have an assigned customer
    Fix: Attempting to open the Sales Receipts tab without a customer selected will launch an alert requesting the user allocate a customer before creating sales receipts.
  • Bug: Asp.Net Error "Input string was not in a correct format." when opening some bookings in the diary
    Fix: Error was caused by an invalid value being passed into the form - amended the form query to select and coalesce this value to 0 rather than pass it in.
  • Bug: Cannot create a new sales receipt from the Sales Receipts window
    Fix: Added a button to create a new Sales Receipt, in the Sales Receipts window.


VRM - Implement detailed auditing

Performing a successful Vehicle Registration lookup in VGM will now log the lookup details to the database, aiding in support ticket resolution and usage tracking.

Reports - Implement user access restrictions

You can now restrict access to Financial Reports for non-admin users in VGM. Navigate to Config, Users and double-click on a user, click on the “permissions” tab and select Financial from the dropdown, and toggle the “Reporting” checkbox on or off.

Customers - Preventing accidental over-writing of customer data

Altering and saving the data of an existing customer will now trigger an alert asking whether you want to update this customer or save the details as a new customer entry.

Bookings - Update Jobsheet dates when moving an associated booking

When you move a booking which has an associated jobsheet to a different time or date, VGM will now offer you the option of updating the associated Jobsheet as well.

Sales Invoices - Deleting Sales Invoice Part items created from a Jobsheet will also update the jobsheet

When you create a Sales Invoice from a jobsheet that contains Parts line items, deleting or altering the quantity of that item will now be reflected on the Jobsheet as well.

Please note: In order to prevent the malicious deletion of Parts items (which would now leave no paper trail as a result of this feature), only Admin level users will now be able to delete or alter the quantity of Sales Invoice Part items created from a Jobsheet.

Tyres - “Attributes” Search options on Tyre Grids (Local and Grouptyre)

The Tyres screen now has an “Attributes” search option. This option will allow you to search your Local and Grouptyre available stock by Width, Profile, Rim Size and Speed Rating directly, rather than use a stock code.

Parts & Tyres - Added a “Show Zero Stock” filter option to Parts and Tyres stock grids

You can now filter your local Parts and Tyres stock grids by their stock quantity. Toggle this option on or off using the checkbox located in the top-right of any stock grid within VGM.

Parts & Tyres - Implement “Purchases” and “Sales” nominal codes for Parts, Tyres and Product Groups

We have replaced the existing single “Nominal Code” field on Parts and Tyres with independent “Purchases” and “Sales” nominal code fields, allowing you to specify different nominal codes for sales and purchase documents. You can also specify to use the Default for that part, which will then look for a valid nominal code on the associated product group, or failing that use the global default for your branch.

Please note: These nominal codes will be applied automatically when adding parts to financial documents and jobsheets.

Messaging - Allow users to send messages to customers from Sales documents

You can now right-click on sales documents (Sales Invoices, Quotations, Credit Notes) in the “Sales Invoices” tab, and create a new SMS, Email or Printed message for that customer.

Customers - Added “Dr” to the Titles dropdown when adding or editing a customer

You can now select “Dr” from the Titles dropdown when Adding or Editing a customer.

Planner - Associate Planner Appointments with a Technician / Bay / Slot Type

You can now associate planner appointments with a resource (Technicians, Bays or Slot Types). These appointments can now also be dragged between different resources of the same type.

Planner - Allow users to configure their own Planner Resource Group filtering and sort order

You can now configure the resources visible in the planner on a per-user basis, and order them however you wish. These settings are saved to your user profile, so will persist when logging out and back in again.

Reminders - Update all existing reminder dates when altering slot type reminder delivery periods

You can now re-calculate the delivery dates and times for all existing reminder messages when altering the delivery offset for slot type reminders. Tick the checkbox next to the save button to update these reminders upon saving.

Purchase Orders - Add a “Fully Fulfilled” column to Purchase Orders grid

The purchase orders grid will now show a “Fully Fulfilled” column, indicating whether that order has been completely fulfilled by sales invoices or not. You can also filter by this column using the filter dropdowns next to the search.

Purchase Orders - Add printing to purchase orders

Users can now print purchase orders. You can do this using the “Print” icon in the Purchase Orders Screen toolbar, or using the “Print Purchase Order” button in the bottom-left of the “Edit Purchase Order” window.

General - Updated some toolbar icons throughout VGM

Some of the toolbar icons in VGM have been replaced with more suitable alternatives. These include:

  • Search
  • Purchase Orders
  • Shopping Baskets
  • Parts / Tyres

VGM Release March 2017

March 13, 2017 20:24

This new release package consists of bugfixes and substantial improvements to the Planner. There are also further enhancements to the Tyres screen along with some other minor new functionality.

Bug fixes

  • Bug: VRM Lookup - One of the data providers was not returning the vehicle manufactured date when searched
    Fix: The provider is now returning this data.
  • Bug: Booking Details - If opening and editing the vehicle the changes were not persisting back to the booking details
    Fix: The edit vehicle screen will now update the details in the bookings screen if it is open
  • Bug: Diary - If the diary is slow to load there is a possibility you could change date but open a slot from a previous date
    Fix: We have added an invisible loading panel to overlay the diary when changing dates. This means you cannot open a slot until the page has finished loading. We have also added some database indexes to increase performance
  • Bug: Planner - Does not show updates in real time to Bookings / Jobsheets
    Fix: We have implemented a fix so real time updates from other users to the diary will now be reflected in Appointments / Jobsheets / Bookings
  • Bug: Planner - Recurring appointments do not show correctly
    Fix: If the original appointment was outside of the view on screen, the recurring appointments would not show. This has now been fixed so that all recurring appointments appear as and when they are booked for
  • Bug: SMS Templates - Character limit causing issues with HTML templates
    Fix: The SMS character limit of 160 was being enforced on merge tags which was not accurate to the length of the message, a warning message has been implemented instead which will allow you to bypass it if desired.
  • Bug: SMS Templates - Special characters not displaying correctly
    Fix: Text messages were being sent as HTML. This caused display issues with special characters. This has been changed so the text messages are now being sent as plain text
  • Bug: Bookings Report - Customer company name cannot be used to search
    Fix: We have fixed the search function to now include the company name
  • Bug: General - Restriction properties cannot restrict just financial config
    Fix: Previously, if a user was created with restricted access to the Financial functions they would not have access to any of the Financial menu. This option has been fixed so that users can now have access to the the Financial functions but not be able to change the Financial Settings
  • Bug: Diary - Insert Booking default values not being populated
    Fix: The dropdown boxes are now having their default options applied to save time when inserting a booking
  • Bug: Sales Invoices / Credits / Quotations - Clearing vehicle does not clear it
    Fix: Clearing the vehicle from a Sales Invoice / Credit / Quotation without replacing the vehicle will now show when closing the window instead of retaining the vehicle as previously happened


Planner - Overview

We have been working on extensively increasing the functionality of the planner within VGM to enable users to manage their bookings and Jobsheets all in one place.

Planner - Searching, Filtering and Grouping

You can now search for Appointments, Jobsheets and Bookings:

As well as filter what is showing on the grid:

Just showing Appointments and Jobsheets:

Just showing Bookings:

By clicking on the Settings button, there are also additional planner settings which allow you to group your appointments together, either by Technician, Bay or Slot Type:


This will result in bookings displaying within their specified resource:

You can also configure various additional settings on the Advanced settings tab:

Planner - Managing Appointments and Jobsheets

You can add Jobsheets and Appointments directly into the Planner:

Right click on an empty cell to create a Jobsheet or an Appointment

Right click or double click an appointment to edit or delete it.

You can now right click on a Jobsheet to perform multiple tasks which could only previously be performed in the Jobsheets screen.

Planner - Managing Bookings

Click on the ‘New Booking’ button on the top toolbar to create a booking

This will bring up a new window which will give you the option of using an existing slot or creating a new one

If you choose to use an existing slot you can then filter the available slots by Slot Type, Bay and Technician


If you choose to insert a new booking, you will need to specify a time, the Slot Type, Bay and Technician. The dropdowns will be populated with your specified default values

Once you have created a booking, you can edit it by double clicking or by right clicking which will also give you the ability to perform multiple other actions which were previously only available in the Diary

Planner - Reminders

Within the planner users have the ability to set reminder notifications against appointments

Previously you would have to be on the planner screen to see them and could miss an alert if using a different area of the software or different program. Now reminders will show as browser notifications ensuring you never miss an alert


Clicking on this reminder will take you to the planner where you will see the full alert window

Please note: For this functionality to work you must open the Planner when launching VGM. The Planner can be found by clicking on the Diaries menu button then selecting Planner from the drop down menu.


The cheapest tyres will now be sorted to the top of the Group Tyre feed by default.

The ‘National Qty’ column name has been changed to ‘Regional Qty’ - you will still see all the tyres that you are able to order.

VRM tyre search now does not filter tyres by their speed rating to give users more results on searches.

Users can now configure the columns on the Group Tyre data feed, setting which ones are visible and also amending the order, so you only see what is most useful to you.


Please note: All view settings are now saved to your user profile, so you only need to configure things once.

VGM Release January 2017

January 25, 2017 21:04

For the first release in 2017, we have fixed the following bugs and have added a load of new features.

This release package consists of bugfixes and some small new features to improve the general usability of VGM with most focus around the Tyres functionality, which is still being perfected with the help of user input and feedback.


  • Bug: Tyres screen - Error when trying to select a row on the local stock grid when filters are applied
    Fix: Apply the filtered datasource to the method that selects the row in the local stock grid
  • Bug: Tyres and Parts screens - The selected part was not being cleared down in certain situations meaning it was possible to update a part that was not desired.
    Fix: Handling the inline editing in a different way to ensure the part is always cleared down
  • Bug: Tyres and Parts screens - The incorrect purchase document was being selected in certain situations
    Fix: Loading the purchase document by ID rather than number to ensure the correct document is returned if there are duplicate document numbers
  • Bug: Tyres and Parts screens - Behavioural issues with inline editing in purchase documents
    Fix: General changes to how the inline editing works in the purchase document grids to improve reliability
  • Bug: Booking Details - Incorrect VAT rate being applied when adding an extra
    Fix: A method had the incorrect ID being passed in meaning that sometimes the incorrect value was returned.
  • Bug: Add Parts to Work Item - Part Defaults for VAT / Nominal being overridden
    Fix: Override the document defaults with the part defaults


Send the customer registration to the supplier on a tyre order

Now when sending an order to Group Tyre though VGM you have the option of sending the customer registration to the supplier, which will subsequently appear on the purchase order.

Please note: Sending Additional Details to the supplier is a configuration option that is not enabled by default.

Technical Data - Print Page

Now when looking up technical data for a vehicle you have the option of printing the entire results page, including images and text.

Reports - Enhancements

Multiple reports have been improved with more configuration options before generating them as well as better outputs. We have also merged the parts stock reports and tyres stock report into the parts and tyres stock report.

Parts - Speed Increase

When adding a part to a document, we found the search could slow down if you have many parts (10,000+) so the query has been re-written to increase the speed of the searches

Tyre and Parts Screens - Parts Group Column

The parts group is now visible in the local stock grid in tyres and the parts grid in parts

Tyre Screen - Configurable view modes

Now you have the ability to change view modes in the tyres screen, this gives you the option of toggling retail mode on or off which will show and hide the cost column in both local and group tyre stock grids. You also have the option to show just your local stock on the whole page or just the lower grids (group tyre stock and purchase documents).

Tyre Screen - Auto Restock

Now when adding a tyre to a sales document or Jobsheet, if the quantity in your local stock drops beneath your minimum stock level, the system will automatically prompt you to restock meaning you always have tyres in stock when required.

Please note: The Auto Restock feature is switched on on the tyre configuration screen found in Config > Tyres

Tyre and Parts Screens - Document status in Purchase Orders

You can now view the document status in the purchase order dropdown

illustration–MOT Test reminders from mobile phones

Many UK garages now send MOT reminders to their customers

September 23, 2016 10:21

MOT reminders have been forgotten along with vehicle tax discs

In the past, a vehicle’s tax and MOT were often renewed at the same time and a helpful paper vehicle tax reminder was sent out to the vehicle owner in the post a month before it was due. The tax disc was made obsolete in 2014 in favour of a digital system and the ability to pay by direct debit was also introduced recently. Now with no reminders or tax discs to jog their memories, more and more people are forgetting their car’s MOT test. Driving without an MOT can lead to a substantial fine and points for the driver. In addition, the vehicle could be dangerous due to undetected faults and the driver’s insurance may be rendered invalid.

Of course, it is possible to log-in to the .GOV website and enter the vehicle details to find out when the next test is due, but this involves actually remembering the MOT test in the first place so is not very helpful.

Obsolete vehicle tax disc on keyboard

Garages can easily provide a helpful solution to this problem

In the past, the only choice available for garages to remind customers that their MOTs were due, was to hand print, address and post them. Not only is this very expensive but it also takes a great deal of time (just four hours a week equals over a month a year of wasted time). With modern digital systems, physical post has been largely replaced by Email and SMS messaging. Garage management systems like VGM contain detailed information about a garage’s customers and vehicles which allow personalised MOT reminders to be sent automatically at the correct time with zero effort and at no time cost.

So now that Vehicle Tax reminders are no longer sent as a matter of course, it is more important than ever to send your customers MOT reminders. Not only will they really thank you for it but sending a reminder is becoming more and more expected as the norm and is a great way to encourage repeat custom with your garage.

10 VGM Frequently Asked Questions

July 14, 2016 14:16

When introducing new customers and potential customers to Virtual Garage Manager, we are often presented with a familiar set of questions.

Below are a selection of the most frequently asked questions.

1. How do I search for a customer or vehicle?

In order to search for a customer or vehicle, go to the search button in the top left and select what you would like to search for from the drop down list. Here you can search either by name or vehicle reg to find what you are looking for. You can then double click the contact or vehicle to bring up some details.

2. How do I send my customer's messages?

You can send messages to customers within VGM through a number of different routes. Firstly you can click the Search button in the top left, then click customers and search for the customer in the search bar.

Once you have found the customer you can right click them and then select Send A Message, select the type of message you would like to send and begin composing it, you can also right click a booking in your diary and send a message in the same way. Finally you can click on Messaging and then from the drop down list select SMS Manager, here you can search for the customer by name and send them a message.

3. How do I set up reminder messages?

To set up reminders click “Config” in the top right hand corner, from the drop down list hover over slots, and then click slot types. Now double click the slot type you wish to create reminders for and navigate to the messaging tab, then click new on the type of reminder message you want to create. Add a description (e.g. MOT reminders), then go to the content tab and write the message you would like to be sent.

Once you have created your message go to the Delivery tab and select when you would like the message to be sent in the delivery offset. You can also check the Send Automatically box if you want the system to automatically send the message based on the dates you’ve provided.

4. How do I run a report?

To run a report, simply click the reporting button in the top menu. From here you can select a date range and customise what you want the report to display. You can also check the “online booking” box to distinguish between online and local bookings.

5. How do I create a jobsheet/sales invoice?

You can create a “Jobsheet” by simply right clicking any booking in your diary and selecting create a “Jobsheet” from the drop down list. You can then proceed to add parts by clicking the “Jobsheet” items tab and selecting parts from your stock list.

If you want to create a jobsheet which isn’t associated with a booking you can do that too, just click the “Jobsheets” button on the top menu and then clicking “New”. Once you’re happy with your jobsheet you can then convert it into a sales invoice by clicking the “Create sales invoice” button in the bottom left-hand corner.

6. How do I move a booking?

Moving a booking is very simple, simply highlight the booking you want to move by clicking on it, then click the hold button on the action bar at the bottom. Now click on the slot you wish to move the booking too and then click move on the action bar. The booking will now be in your desired slot.

7. How do I add and configuring diary tabs?

You can add a diary tab by clicking on “Diaries” in the top left, from there just click “Add New Diary Tab”. Now you have a new tab on your tab strip, you can right-click it and then select configure diary from the drop down list, here you can tell the tab what to display by checking the appropriate boxes.

8. How can do I change my prices?

To change the price of a booking type click “Config” in the top right-hand corner, from the drop down list hover over Slots, and then click Slot Types. Now double-click the slot type you want to change the price of and navigate to the prices tab.

9. How do I add slots to my diary?

To add a slot click Config in the top right and then hover over Slots, click default slots. Once there you can check the box of the booking slot you want to add, input a time, bay and technician and hit save. This will then add the slot to your available bookings for that day. You can then click the edit menu to copy and paste the slot onto other days if you wish. Once you're happy with the slots you’ve added just click the save button at the top, just below the tab strip.

10. How do I recreate a lost diary tab?

If you find that a diary tab has disappeared, don't worry it's very easy to fix. simply click on the diaries button in the top left, and from the drop down list select “set visible diary tabs”, and from that list check the box of the diary tab you’ve lost and hit save - it should now reappear on your tab strip.

5 things you need to know about Virtual Garage Manager

May 11, 2016 10:54

Virtual Garage Manager is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to running your motor trade business.

With it's wide range of range of features, it's often easy to miss out on key functionality that could be helping you get more out of your business.

1. Connecting with potential customers via online booking

Using Virtual Garage Manager, you will be able to offer your services to customers online, allowing them to book themselves into your workshop diary in a quick and seamless manner. All booking slots will be configured by us (or by you if you prefer to do-it-yourself) to your specification, so you have complete control over how many potential bookings you can take online. All slots available to the customer will be subject to availability in your diary, so as you book slots locally, they will no longer be bookable online. This rules out the possibility of any double booking occurring.

2. Keep your books and workshop in check with jobsheets and invoicing

VGM is not only a workshop diary, but also has complete financial functionality, allowing you to create a job sheet from a booking with a single click of your mouse. You can then add parts from your stock and labour times (if you are using our technical data) directly onto the job sheet. Once you're happy with the job sheet you can convert it into a sales invoice, again with the single click of a button and this can be edited further if required. The job sheet and sales invoice are both easily printable, or alternatively can be emailed over to the customer - all from within VGM.

Touch base with your customers with messaging & reminders

Whether it’s to send them an annual MOT reminder or let them know that their service has been completed, through VGM you will be able to send your customers instant messages both through SMS and email. You can even compose a message template to be printed out and posted if that’s your customers preferred method of contact. As well as this you have the facility to send bulk messages to your entire customer base should you desire to, for example to inform them of any seasonal promotions that you might have going on.

Get accurate technical diagrams for any vehicle with our Technical Data

We are always looking for ways to improve VGM, whether that's through improving usability or adding new features. For this reason we have implemented Technical Data into our system which will give you access to a vast resource of vehicle specific data - everything from lubricants, wiring diagrams, engine specifications and everything in between. As well as this you will have access to step by step guides (both illustrative and text based) on how to perform various different procedures, whether it’s removing and reinstalling a cambelt or simply changing a sidelight bulb.

Generate work from existing customers with automated SMS and Email reminders

It is every garage owner's goal to maintain a flow of consistent income, it is the formula for the progression of any commercial business. Here at Motasoft we understand this, so we’ve built our software with this in mind - giving you the ability to schedule automated annual reminder messages. This gives your customers a friendly reminder that their MOT is about to expire (or that their annual service is coming up) whilst also giving them your contact information so they can call you and get booking.