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The power of pre-detail inspections

March 30, 2011
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Stopping a detail job midway through the process because the detailer isn’t sure what to do hurts smaller shops especially hard. There isn’t a lot of space to let the vehicle sit while the owner/manager explains what to do and it further reduces the volume for the day.

I recommend a process called “blueprinting” with the goal of eliminating, or at least reducing, such work stoppages. Before a vehicle comes into production, the service writer identifies on the work order everything to be done. The detailer reads the work order before bringing the car into the shop; asks questions, gets answers; then when everything is clear the vehicle is moved into the shop.

Does the vehicle sit idle under this system for a little time before starting the detail process? Probably. But I believe this is more than made up for by the rapid progress the vehicle makes through the detail without the interruption of waiting once the process has begun. It’s a way to get more work through your shop without adding space or employees, or even burning employees out by pushing them too hard.

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