Most customers and software professionals know us by our product name Real-Time Labor Guide®. Our company's official name, however, is Dowell Systems, Inc., of Tampa, FL. Dowell Systems develops and markets labor guide and shop management software for auto repair shops, dealerships and other automotive industry professionals. Our software combines an easy to use interface with accurate labor times and various levels of shop management capabilities.

The accuracy of our labor times has been one of our highest priorities. We provide 45 years of vehicle coverage and include foreign & domestic cars as well as light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The labor times have been painstakingly developed over 20 years, primarily using feedback from automotive professionals all over the country. Unlike other labor guides, both products allow users to choose the appropriate labor time that is right for their shop.

Products Descriptions

Real-Time Labor Guide®

The Real-Time Labor Guide® is easy-to-use labor guide software for the automotive repair industry. The step-by-step process expertly guides you through the quick steps for generating an estimate or an invoice. You'll choose a year, make and model of the vehicle, navigate to the job, choose your labor time, add parts and print your estimate or invoice.

You can also create package jobs, add miscellaneous charges, customize your printed invoice, use multiple labor rates, and customize the vehicle manufacturer list to fit your shop's specific needs.

Use the Real-Time Labor Guide® to quickly make estimates and invoices using "real world times" from shops just like yours.

Beginning late in 2012, Dowell System is proud to introduce Real-Time Labor Guide Online. This new product includes all the features you love from the CD based software, with the added benefits of accessing that software online. These benefits include:
  • Software that’s updated instantly and often – no need to wait for the yearly CD.
  • Access the Real-Time Labor Guide Online from anywhere in the world.
  • Secure and reliable communication between your shop and our servers.
  • Your software will never again be lost due to theft, hardware failures, fire, etc.
  • Numerous options for a fully customizable user experience.
Based on a customer survey in 2011, our software was rated “easy” or “very easy” by over 94% of customers. After years of research and development – including thousands of customer suggestions – we expect to win over that last 6% with the new Real-Time Labor Guide Online.

Real-Time Pro

The Real-Time Pro is the latest advancement in software available for the Automotive Repair industry, harnessing the power of the “cloud” to allow shops to build, save, and share customer estimate and invoices with every user in the shop, from any PC in the shop.

Built on the advanced platform of the revolutionary Real-Time Labor Guide Online, customers now enjoy all the benefits of the Real-Time Labor Guide in addition to a shared customer database – a full history of every estimate and invoice created using our service. And since this history is saved on our safe and secure servers, you never have to worry about doing backups or losing customer data because of a hard-drive failure or a random power outage.

Pair this with seamless updates and the ability to access your account from anywhere with a Web-enabled computer, and we are confident you will see the unbelievable value of Real-Time Pro.

Automotive Expert

Automotive Expert® is easy-to-use subscription shop management CD based software for the automotive repair industry. This software is powered by and includes all of the features of the Real-Time Labor Guide®. In addition, Automotive Expert® provides inventory, parts mark up, accounts receivable, customer database and history, technician tracking, password protection, reports and much more. This program helps managers and owners more effectively run their business and maximize profits.

Coming soon, we will build from the solid foundation of Real-Time Labor Guide Online and offer our web-based Automotive Expert. Check back often for updates on features and products.

Product Availability

There are several ways to request your free trial of either the Real-Time Labor Guide Online, Real-Time Pro or Automotive Expert®. Simply click here try our software for free, or contact us directly at (800) 487-0279.

Evolution of Company

Dowell Systems began in 1989 with a program that recorded actual labor times from invoices written by a core group of shops in the Tampa and St. Petersburg area of Florida. Over the following years this network was expanded, and the information obtained was reviewed and analyzed to yield times that were contained in our first labor guide. That research continues today with our partner automotive repair professionals in the field throughout the country who submit their real-world labor times while suggesting improvements and refinements to the labor guide. Along with extensive in-house research, this method has helped us create - in our opinion - the most accurate labor time guide on the market. We make it one of our main priorities to continually improve our products, while keeping in mind the challenges and conditions automotive repair professionals face on a daily basis.

Beginning in 2011, Dowell Systems embarked on a detailed plan to revamp our software, and in late 2012 Real-Time Labor Guide was introduced Online to the industry. In early 2015, we were proud to launch Real-Time Pro, our second online service offering. Real-Time Pro includes all the features of Real-Time Labor Guide Online plus additional features such as saving and retrieving customer history and business reporting. To complete our offering, our next goal is to take advantage of the solid foundation we have built with Real-Time Labor Guide and Real-Time Pro online, and move Automotive Expert from CD to the Internet.

“I enjoy the simplicity of the program; we have been using it for many years. Customer service is always friendly and ready to help.”
– Jose, Thunder & Lightning Automotive

(800) 487-0279

(888) 503-0111