Making A More Productive (And Profitable) Auto Shop
When you’re running a workshop or auto shop, there’s no replacement for ensuring you give each vehicle that comes through the detail and the care that it needs before returning them to the customer. However, you don’t always have to sacrifice quality for speed. Here, we’re going to look at some of the tips and tools that can help you run a much more productive workshop, and why it’s worth doing it from the perspective of your customers.
Get the data that you need
Technology is an important part of every business and you should make sure that you’re using the latest digital technology in your auto shop as well. Not only can the right technology help you get to the bottom of issues all the sooner, but it can also help you cut the costs of repairs for your customers, too. Aside from diagnostics technology, you should also look at the software that can help you more quickly take care of admin tasks like scheduling appointments, automating service orders, and tracking your inventory. This means your team spends more time on the graft of actually repairing cars, getting more done than having to sit and do work at the computers.
Standardize what work you can
When you’re training new individuals to the team, how do you make sure that they’re not just learning how to do their job, but also learning how to do it in the most efficient way possible? Your employees who have been with you for some time might have discovered some ways that get things done quickly and to a higher standard, and you should make sure that you’re taking the time to learn from them. Standardizing tasks is all about taking note of how you complete regularly jobs, such as which tools and steps are needed, looking at which steps, if any, can be cut out, and making sure that everyone is following the most efficient method possible. By standardizing the most commonly repeated tasks, you can help technicians complete their jobs much more quickly.
Make good use of vertical space
Not only can opening up more floor space help you team be more organized and make better use of some of the larger pieces of repair equipment, but it can also make some parts of auto repair more accessible and safer. Rather than having to get low to the ground to make the repairs that the underside of the vehicle might need, for instance, you can instead use vehicle hoists to lift them high enough to make it much easier for your team to see and work on the parts that they need to. Aside from hoists, make sure that tools and resources used regularly aren’t stored on the floor, but on benches and racks and allow for more floor space.
Keep everyone in the loop
In an auto shop, clear and concise communication is more important than in perhaps most other workplaces around. After all, misunderstands can lead to unnecessary repairs, not to mention trips to acquire inventory that you might not need. As such, make sure that you’re not doubling your labour or wasting any trips by ensuring that everyone is kept in touch and up-to-date, even those who might be out of the shop. Mobile communication software can help you better organize your communication rather than simply relying on phone calls and texts alone, ensuring it’s easier to keep everyone in the loop.
Address bottlenecks earlier
Planning out the workflow for any major repairs or tasks is important for one big reason. There are going to be bottlenecks, points at which your team can’t do any work while they’re waiting for a certain thing (usually an order on a part.) To address this, use auto shop workflow planning software to see where those bottlenecks are and do what you can to clear them in advance.
For instance, if you can get a part ordered more quickly by planning the process out and realizing you’re going to need it, then you may be able to spend the time completing as much of the repairs you can from the start, instead of doing what you can, reaching that bottleneck, and then having to wait. It’s not always possible to identify bottlenecks in advance but it can help.
Simply put, the more productive that your workshop is, the sooner that your customers can expect their vehicles back when they bring them in for inspectors, services, and repairs. Getting a reputation for work that’s not only high-quality but prompt will greatly help the business reputation. Furthermore, increased productivity helps you see more customers each day, which leads to more revenue.