Spies Hecker

Working efficiently is not always an easy task to accomplish in either a small or large collision repair centre. Every single job is different in the repair cycle, so the state of play where everyone does it on their own and often delivers extended hours for owners or managers. In these days you need, through better communication, to get everybody on the same page. So, if you are fixing a spot repair the size of a 20-cent piece and the body repair man gets it out to 200mm in size, you are going in the wrong direction. Everyone needs to look ahead at their jobs and to develop a few proven methods to avoid work flow shop output restraints.

Schedule with your gut and not your heart

While it is important to provide a consistent workflow, your staff will always demand a bit of flexibility or wiggle room so you don’t need to schedule work other than on a balanced schedule approach. Often warranty drop off work will happen unexpectedly, so the need to leave a little bit of room to adjust for that increased workload must happen.

Trying to keep vehicle turnaround between three to five days per unit often leaves repair jobs unattended for the one-day units. It is also important here to keep the client abreast of the repair progress so he won’t feel his job is playing second fiddle in the workload for the week.

Maintaining constant progress communication

Getting the repair right first time is a key principle of success for it turns out that from the first sheet of sandpaper on the second repair effort you are losing money because you only get paid once the repair. So, avoiding costly delays get the repairer to also ensure that all the parts to be fitted are on site and ready to go. Prepare in advance for scheduled repairs.

Communication is also vital to. make sure that staff get a clear view and explanation of what is expected of them for each repair job with worksheets and estimates. The paint shop is also a key performer with knowledge on the mix of paint base colour or clear applications that need to be lined up ahead of the arrival of the crash repair work. 

Always carry out secondary checks on the body shop quality of repair, the worst thing is to find a ready for colour unit with a need to be re-taped up in the spray booth to get the sanding edges right on the basic preparation primer stage. 

Laying down the law

Staff that can’t pull themselves away from mobile calls and social media will underperform all too often, so some occasional battles will have to be fought to rescue time wasting. 

Stay focused on staying busy in the shop

Production output won’t wait for operators watching YouTube videos and not working with multiple time-wasting performances or texting their friends at work.

No employers should have bottlenecks in the shop production cycle due to carelessness, but owners need to become more authoritative on smartphone use on the shop floor. It is currently the most disruptive item around and can create major under performance in daily use right now.