To ensure your business makes progress, your environment needs to support the overall vision. Your strategy needs to reflect the core values your business works by. It is too easy to ‘keep on keeping on’ when structural deficiencies may be holding you back. The ideal body shop provides spacious workspace, expert lighting and durable surfaces that can stand up to any performance and are just as easy to clean. Work zones for calibrations and specific repairs add efficiency. Workbenches, trestles and designated zones for tools and magnet bars can keep items secure and within reach, while lighting, extraction, ventilation and easy access to safety equipment such as fire extinguishers will ensure a safe and fluid work environment. But is this mythical workspace a pipedream? How can the hard-pressed body shop owner or manager keep up with the day-to-day while building an improved, more efficient and profitable future?
A fresh set of eyes over your business can help. But just setting aside time to watch and see how the spatial areas within your premises are working might add profitability at little investment cost.
How much time do you and your staff take moving around the workshop? Are displaced parts having to ‘double-handled’ within your storage area? Is there a ‘dead-zone’ that isn’t adequately lit? Have you got cars awaiting repair double-parked? Current industry wisdom reckons that just moving one car costs R70 each time it is moved. What steps have you got in place to reduce driver-time and get efficient processes happening? And where can you improve?
You can start by determining your work bay occupancy and space utilisation. This will, in turn, help you make the right decisions in terms of space requirements, budget, forecasts and opportunities to cut costs. It will also help determine by whom, when and how space is utilised. The Harvard Business Review gives insight into space usage and how it affects your employees, their future and your own planned growth. And your staff are probably best placed to advise you on how to optimise workflows, lighting, tool storage and a host of other factors that affect their day-today working environment.
You need to future proof your workshop.