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Knowing when it is time to change the scenery

August 13, 2008
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It’s the middle of summer, but you can still do some spring cleaning.

In many shops the equipment was put in place years ago. New items were placed where they would fit. But how efficient are the locations now? Is the brake lathe located where most of the brake service is done? Is the supply cabinet at one end of the shop? Take a look at everything and rearrange it to achieve minimal steps for all staff. Then the next time you add or replace a piece of equipment spend some time at your staff meeting discussing the most efficient place to put it.

However, when it comes to keeping a shop’s inventory room clean and efficient, it’s better to keep items in stock than to keep customers waiting for a part.

The typical shop has too little inventory and much of what it does have is incorrect causing significant inefficiency. Waiting for parts, even for a few minutes, is time and money which is never recovered. Let your management system decide what to stock. It does not matter what type of part it is or whether anyone else stocks it or if you only stock one of them. If the part sells every 120 days or less, stock it. If not, return it. Use your management system to reorder weekly or even daily. It's really that simple.

These management tips come from Automotive Management Network.