For any auto shop, productivity is the key to profitability. The more vehicles your mechanics can fix, in less time, the more jobs you’re able to complete and the more profit you bring in. But, a key problem many auto shops face is organization. It’s a hectic business: you have mechanics coming in and out with different abilities and specialties, you have vehicles coming in and out with different needs, and of course, someone’s got to deal with the customers.
There are a lot of moving parts at any auto shop, and while it can certainly feel chaotic at times, there are ways to organize any auto shop for greater productivity. Here are a few ways to organize your auto shop that will help keep vehicles flowing through your shop quickly:
#1 Embrace Technology
You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) remember everything about every car and every customer. Wherever possible, implement technology and management software to help you keep track of which jobs you have coming in, which you’ve completed, which are paid, and which are still waiting to be picked up.
With so many cars and people coming in and off your auto lot, there’s no way one person can remember everything about every vehicle. Implementing a management software and a bit of technology can go a long way to help your technicians fix and tune-up vehicles faster, and more efficiently.
From software that can schedule appointments and remind customers of regular service updates to parts inventory tracking software, there’s a lot of technology on the market that can help you work more productively. Look into the options that make the most sense for your company, and really work to make sure you’re getting the most out of the technology you choose to invest in.
#2 Invest in Time-Saving Equipment
For most auto shops, jockeying cars around is one of the most time-consuming actions your technicians and mechanics take that doesn’t add any value to your bottom line.
You need your techs and mechanics spending their time fixing and servicing vehicles — not finding the right keys to the right car.
Investing in time-saving equipment like an on-site forklift wheel lift attachment is a great way to boost productivity, and ensure that your workers are spending their time on the skilled tasks you really need them for.
Many auto shops already have forklifts to move around large parts and vehicle components that are shipped to your shop. A forklift wheel lift attachment easily pops onto your existing forklift, enabling you to move any vehicle across your lot, without having to scramble for keys, jump batteries, or call a wrecker. Not only does this save time, but it saves a lot of space. A forklift can get into much smaller spaces than a wrecker, which means you can more effectively use all of the space on your lot.
#3 Keep Your Shop Floor Clear
Your shop floor is one of your most valuable assets, behind your techs and mechanics. The shop floor has all the tools, the hydraulic lift, and equipment you need to get cars serviced and out the door. You should be using every square inch of it for value-added actions.
That means that only cars that are actively being serviced should be on the shop floor. Large equipment and tool cabinets should also be stored away when they’re not being used to maximize that shop space and keep your shop floor organized.
Another great way to make the most out of your shop floor space is to invest in vertical storage.
Hanging tools and equipment from the wall or storing them on vertical shelving can free up a surprising amount of space on the floor. Securing toolboxes on columns and walls near workspaces also works to save your technicians time — everything they need is right at their fingertips, and at a convenient height, too.
#4 Standardize Common Repairs
There are a number of jobs and repairs your team handles regularly. Whether it’s brake work, changing oil, rotating tires, or handling exhaust problems, there are likely a few jobs your mechanics see all of the time.
It’st a good idea to standardize the repair process for these repairs, so you can get a better idea of exactly how long each of those jobs takes. You can also organize your auto shop so that certain bays are dedicated to these common repairs. This helps you organize your auto shop with the right tools and parts already stationed nearby those bays. It also helps you maximize your scheduling time.
Most people are going to call ahead to get their oil changed or their tires rotated. When you’ve standardized the repair process and know with certainty how long those jobs will take, you can more accurately schedule work through those bays.
That not only helps you organize your auto shop, but it also frees up remaining bays for vehicles that may need more work, or that require an unspecified amount of time from your mechanics.
#5 Minimize Wasted Trips
Another key way to organize your auto shop for productivity is to think about what your mechanics and technicians need for every job or repair. How can you ensure that everything they need is directly at their fingertips?
The more time it takes them to go hunt for a tool or part, find the car they’re supposed to be working on, and come back to the bay they’re working in, the less productive they’re able to be.
We already mentioned installing toolboxes on the walls and columns around each bay. Another option might be to put tool cabinets on casters, or mount drills and other tools to benches that can also roll around the shop. When your mechanics can easily bring everything to their workstation, you minimize wasted trips walking back and forth looking for the right part.
The same goes for moving vehicles, as well. By investing in a tool like a forklift wheel lift attachment, you eliminate instances of going out to get a vehicle with the wrong key or heading out to the lot to drive in a car, only to find the battery is dead.
With a tool like the Forklift Wrecker, your technicians and mechanics can easily go out, hook up, and move the appropriate vehicle without the hassle. When they’re spending more time on skilled service tasks, and less time moving vehicles, you’re increasing productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
Organizing your auto shop for productivity doesn’t always feel like an easy task, but by investing in some helpful tools and intuitive software, and by taking a good hard look at how you can improve your daily operations, it can be done. If a forklift wheel lift tool sounds like a great way to help organize your auto shop for productivity, don’t hesitate to give the Forklift Wrecker team a call at 877-593-6959 or contact us online today. We’d be happy to help answer any questions you have.
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