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Process Control in Auto Repair

Process control is a very powerful component of quality management. This quality control technique involves applying measurements to business processes, evaluating them against expected standards and enacting corrective action as deemed necessary. There are many processes within an auto repair business. The major operational processes are vehicle repair and parts procurement.

Different aspects of the vehicle repair process can be measured. It also should be noted that the repair process is impacted by the parts procurement process. On time vehicle delivery, quality control failures causing re-work, recommended service sales, estimate accuracy, target profit margins, technician efficiency, shop proficiency, customer counter wait time and many other measurements can be applied to the vehicle repair process.

The parts procurement process has a direct and significant impact on the vehicle repair process. Obviously part quality is paramount to service excellence. Lead time, on time delivery, part cost, processing automation, dealer program incentives, payment terms and processing, brand selection and many other aspects of the parts procurement process can be measured and evaluated.

Measuring and evaluating a process must include clearly defined achievable objectives. And measurements don’t have to be gathered in total unless it’s simple to do so. A sample will always give a good indication where things stand. With computerized systems many measurements can be performed as long as the necessary information is reported. The amount of time a customer waits at the counter to be taken care of is an event that takes place outside the software system and will need to be measured by a person. In this case a sample taken at peak traffic time may be the best measurement. Applying quality management to business processes will result in more competitive service offerings and greater business success.

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