Often when considering resource utilization focus is drawn to technician efficiencies. Performing automotive repairs is the primary purpose of any auto repair shop. However, the people that support the repair process and the processes by which their work is performed can have a significant impact on the effective use of technician time. Analyzing the support processes in a repair shop and streamlining and improving them will effect improved utilization of technician time. Following are points on time optimization for support personnel.
- Optimize Process Flow – Analyzing a process with the objective of optimization will positively impact overall workflow through the shop. Optimization of support processes will improve the activities that the repair process is dependent on.
- Eliminate Breaks Between Processes – One of the most common areas that result in lost time are process breaks. When an activity is complete and the output doesn’t flow directly to the start of the next activity a break occurs. The end of an activity should automatically trigger the next activity. For example if a vehicle is ready to be worked on the technician should be aware of this in the natural work flow as opposed to looking to see if it’s ready.
- Eliminate Redundancy – Redundant steps are waste. When things are done twice time utilization is negatively impacted. One type of redundancy occurs when a person performs the same action twice. For example when a person does calculations or builds services on paper then keys them into the computer there is duplication of effort. This activity should be done directly in the software system. Another type of redundancy occurs when two people do the same thing. For example when a technician writes things on paper then gives the paper to the service advisor to enter into the computer system then duplication of effort is taking place.
- Reduce Process Steps – Processes have a tendency to grow as business changes. Unfortunately they don’t tend to shrink as business circumstances progress and certain parts of processes are no longer required. Thus analysis of business processes can often result in identification and elimination of unneeded activities.