5 Ways to Make Your Auto Collision Repair Shop More Efficient and Profitable
If you are managing a collision repair shop, you need to be as efficient as possible. The old saying that “time is money” certainly applies to collision repair management, too; any delay in a repair or service can hinder your ability to quickly turn over customers. If you are not fixing customers’ cars quickly, you reduce the number of jobs you can complete in a day, losing money in the process.
That is why improving collision shop efficiency is important for anyone who owns or manages a shop. If you are looking for ways to maximize your profit, consider implementing these five ways to make your auto collision repair shop more efficient.
1. Optimize the Layout of Your Shop
Separating your shop into specifically designated segments is a great way to improve efficiency and workflow. Conduct jobs in random places scattered throughout your shop, and you’ll quickly find your repair shop crowded and messy, with tools and parts randomly dispersed throughout. Instead, you want to predesignate a workflow.
Each employee should know exactly where a car should go based on its needed repairs. This way, vehicles can follow a logical path from check-in to check-out. Each work area should have the tools required to get the job done.
Below is an example of the way your collision repair shop could be separated into predesignated sections. The services you offer and the size of your building will factor into how you layout your shop:
The Panel Section
The panel section is where damaged parts are removed. This is usually the first place vehicles will go after an initial inspection.
The Preparation Section
The preparation section is where a lot of the preliminary work takes place. For example, this could be where you sand the car down, degrease parts, apply body filler, or some other part of preparing the vehicle for any major work to be done.
The Painting Section
In the painting section, you will complete all needed paint jobs and touch-ups. That way, all of the paint and paint supplies can be kept in one place.
The Finishing Section
Once all major repairs are complete, the finishing section is where the vehicle can be inspected before handing it to the customer. This should be close to the exit of your shop.
The Washing Section
Once all work is complete, and the vehicle has passed its final inspection, the washing section is where you clean the vehicle and prepare it for the customer.
2. Invest in Portable Tools
When was the last time you updated your inventory of tools? If you are stuck with heavy, unresponsive tools that are not portable, you are sacrificing efficiency. Multiple tools that were once stationary are now mobile, including a sandblaster or a gas caddy. Along with portable tools, you also want to invest in long, heavy duty extension cords that allow you to move tools throughout your shop with ease.
3. Keep Everything Clean and Organized
A cluttered and disorderly shop means that you will lose precious time searching for a tool, part, or other supplies. That time could be better spent working on a repair and making a customer happy. Keep your shop clean and organized, and designate specific places for storing key items. Make cleaning up and putting parts and tools away part of you and your staff’s everyday routine. If things are ever too cluttered or dirty, take some time to get organized. It may feel like an interruption at the time, but taking a few minutes out of each day to keep your shop organized will pay off in the long run.
4. How to Improve Ordering Parts for Collision Shops
Ordering parts is an important part of improving collision shop efficiency. First, make sure you always have an inventory report that is fully up to date. The last thing you want to do is run out of a part you regularly require or order more of anything you no longer need. By keeping a comprehensive inventory report, you can always be aware of when you need to order more parts.
To help you figure out when to order so that you have all necessary parts on hand, you will need to project your expected number of customers and their repair needs. Organize records of all sales and services to gain important insights. Figuring out your most common repairs will allow you to figure out the most common parts you need to service your clients on a monthly basis. By spending a little time on getting organized, you can avoid all of the frustrating issues that come with low inventory.
5. Purchase SUN® Collision Repair Information
SUN® Collision Repair Information provides you with comprehensive, accurate data that can help you repair most any vehicle, no matter the make or model! If you are managing a collision repair shop, SUN Collision is an essential tool that can help you quickly and efficiently diagnose and repair customers’ cars. Below are just a few of the SUN Collision features that can improve your collision shop efficiency. .
1SearchPlus allows you to find all of the information you need to complete a repair in one easy-to-navigate interface. Both OEM and real-world information are completely integrated into the layout, and all search results are categorized for easy browsing.
Browse the Vehicle’s Materials
SUN Collision allows you to quickly find all of the information you need to work with a variety of materials, including steels, aluminum, and plastics. Find the data for the materials that make up your customer’s car in no time!
Body and Frame Information
At the touch of a fingertip, you can learn everything about a vehicle’s body and frame. If there is a part of the body or frame you are not familiar with, you can easily learn how to handle and replace it.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Information
SUN Collision helps you quickly understand a vehicle’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), giving you a complete list of all active features and linking to all needed information. ADAS features can vary dramatically from car to car, and having the facts before you start a collision repair can improve your collision shop’s efficiency and accuracy.
Code Causes and Fixes
Is a vehicle showing an error code that is unfamiliar to you? If so, SUN Collision features graphs that can clearly show the relationship between codes, symptoms and repairs, allowing you to resolve any issue as quickly as possible.
That is just scratching the surface of the many ways SUN® Collision Repair Information can help shop owners with collision repair management to improve overall efficiency.
Improving Your Collision Shop Efficiency With SUN Collision
If you are managing a collision repair shop and are looking for a way to make your business run more efficiently, SUN Collision can help. This cutting-edge system makes the diagnosis and repair of most any car simple and easy, improving your efficiency and profit. If you are interested in learning more about SUN Collision and how it can help your collision repair shop, contact SUN® today by calling (877) 840-1973.
Ross Whiteley, Product Manager for SUN Collision, has held roles of increasing responsibility at Snap-on over the past 13 years. He joined SUN Collision’s sister company, Mitchell 1, as Product Contact Support rep in 2010 and was later promoted to Client Services Manager. He began his career after high school as a UPS driver in 1997 and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and an MBA in BA in Project Management at Purdue University in 2015. In the interim, he held various positions in the auto industry, including roles as Service Consultant at Lithia Chrysler Dodge and Assistant Service Manager at Cascade Auto Center.