Can you imagine handwriting quotes? We take it totally for granted these days how easy and quick it is to carry out so many of the processes that would not so long ago taken laborious hours instead of seconds or mintues. 

And we owe that 'computer revolution' in Australia to the legendary Carol and Terry Flanagan who developed Auto-Quote - initially for their own use at TR Flanagan Smash Repairs in Penshurst, NSW.

As far back as 1985 they took their program to the Fourth International Autobody/Repair Conference Exposition in Canada to get some industry feedback and see if the program was of interest to other bodyshops and if the product was marketable (resounding YES on that front). 

By 1991 Auto-Quote was installed in 900 Australian bodyshops, every NSW college of TAFE and 17 insurance companies according an article by then Paint & Panel editor Jenny Berich. Even then it could give parts pricing on 700,000 part numbers in 'just seconds'.

Terry and Carol both firmly agreed that '"a computerised system is no longer a luxury for a smash repair business but a necessity."

The article was written during the 90s recession and Terry predicted that only the strong businesses would survive. "It's a matter of gear up, get better or get out."

So next time you whip up a quote on whatever digital platform you use - say a quick thank you to Terry and Carol for getting the ball rolling. 

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