Spies Hecker

We’re not talking about your weight, but rather talking about becoming leaner. Workshops are under constant pressure from work providers to do more for less. However, there are ways to get better returns by managing your workshop so there is less “waste” and by being leaner. 

Repairing a vehicle in a traditional workshop environment produces about 4km of waste. Now think about how long it would take you to walk 4km? Although this may be good for your waistline, it doesn’t do your wallet any good. From the moment a vehicle is first quoted, is booked in, dismantled, repaired, painted, reassembled, detailed, checked and the keys are handed back to the proud owner there is a huge amount of travelling that takes place. Add to this the jumping to conclusions, false starts, running back and forth, hurdles, diving off the deep end, the stumbling blocks, sprinting to a deadline and all for a nice photo finish, it’s amazing we aren’t all finely tuned athletes. Any moment a hand isn’t touching a car because of any of the above points and your ‘waste-line’ gets bigger. 

Instead of all this rushing, perhaps it would be better to do the job more efficiently/leaner. Lean management processes focus on slowing down the repair planning so that everything for each job is coordinated from the outset.  

Gone are the days where the person stripping down the vehicle only plays a minor role in the business strategy.  The trend is now moving towards this being one of the most important. Imagine a repair bay set up for meticulous disassembly and comprehensive identification of any extra damage. Doing this early on is the key. Think of a pit stop in motorsport where every second is precious. The vehicle stops for refuelling, the tyres are changed, mechanical repairs are completed along with unscheduled adjustments and all within seconds. They don’t walk back and forward from bay to bay, tool box to tool box. Thorough preparation is vital. So why would it be any different in your workshop? If your process is done leaner, the key to key times can be drastically reduced and a better outcome for all achieved. 

So where do you and your staff get the time to invest in these strategies and implement this change that you want to see? A great place to start is the free web-based programme called PartsCheck. The programme is designed to reduce the amount of staff walking the floor, it truly frees up resources. Suppliers receive more information to provide an accurate quote such as vehicle details and photos which reduces waste. You are able to improve your profit margins by sending the requests to 10 different suppliers. Once you have made your selections, you can specify delivery times and track orders so you can manage your inventory better and coordinate workflow. PartsCheck frees up your time to get on with the more important things in your job. You may even find the time to go for that 4km walk when you feel like working on your own waistline.