Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Become more efficient today

August 26, 2009

Here are three suggestions for improving operations at your detail shop, courtesy of

A giant hole in many Shops

The lack of a time management system for your technicians is one of the biggest money drains in many shops today. There are dozens of excuses, but the bottom line is that running a shop without tracking the tech's time is like running a gas station with no meters on the pumps.

When you track any resource, you tend to get more of it and this certainly applies to tech production. It's a simple process that has been used for decades to allow both employers and employees to increase their income. Do yourself and your staff a big favor and start tracking tech time today.

An efficiency challenge for you

Ask each one of your employees to make a list (the larger the better) of anything and everything in your building that they believe would not be seriously missed if it was gone. Odds are that you will be surprised at some of the things that they come up with.

Now it's your turn. When none of your staff (this works best if does not include you) have any significant objection to something disappearing, this is your cue to make it vanish. If you can't bear to see it go, then take it home or to an off-site storage building. Excess stuff equals decreased efficiency. Removing it will give you a better workplace and a nicer shop for your customers to see.

Planning for equipment and tool purchases

Many shops buy equipment and tools without a definite plan and end up wasting a lot of money. Creating a buying plan is easy to do and to follow.

Ask each one of your staff to make a prioritized list of the items that they believe are needed. This is often quite different from what many shop owners anticipate.

Combine the lists and set a solid budget on how much money can be spent each month. Then start picking off the items on the list when enough funds are available. This system allows you to buy the most critical items first while preventing wasted purchases.

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