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Detailing

Get organized

March 03, 2010
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Here are three tips to improve efficiencies at your detail shop, courtesy of www.AutomotiveManagementNetwork.com.
Label Makers And ROI

When we buy equipment, we always (at least in theory) calculate our ROI (return on investment). A label maker can pay for itself very rapidly...in a matter of hours in some shops. However, pride keeps a lot of people from stooping to the level of "labeling everything." We are smart! We know where everything is! The most labeled shop I've ever been in was a one man operation where the need for labeling would seem to be the least. But this guy wanted peak efficiency and profits, and he was getting just that. Remember that the next time you wish that your efficiency was a bit better or when you are wasting time looking for something that is lacking a labeled location.

Key Tags Every Time - No Exceptions

"But, the car will only be in the shop for a few minutes!" True, but a few minutes is all it takes to "lose the keys." While it may not occur all that often, when it does it really throws sand in the gears and, worst of all, it's very embarrassing when the customer watches you and your staff do the key search dance. Those little vinyl key tags (or similar) are cheap. Use them every time and prevent just one or two more fires this year.

RO Handling System

Do you have a solid system for handling RO's? If anyone in your shop is asking where an RO is more than once in a great while, your system needs help. Create a written "road map" of where every RO is supposed to be at every point in the service process. Be specific, but also keep the plan no longer than a double spaced single page. Anyone in your shop should be able to find any RO almost instantly. Failure to do things like this exceptionally well wastes a little bit of time each day and ends up costing hundreds of dollars (or more) over the period of a year.
Tom and Deb Ham are the owners of Automotive Management Network, an online forum to exchange information about the management of all types of vehicle service facilities, independent auto repair shops, car and truck dealers, franchises, fleets, body shops and more. More information can be found at www.AutomotiveManagementNetwork.com.

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