For one collision repair shop owner, the scenic view out his front window was significantly altered when a Lexus, a daydreaming doctor and a little too much pressure on the gas pedal came together to “shatter” his afternoon.
“When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars”. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
While many shop owners say it’s not good business to pay more money to a less productive tech, I say stop thinking of it as paying more for less — and start thinking of it as paying more for better.
In more than 60 years of American history, in good times and in some very bad times, the stock market has always bounced back — and the Sept. 11 attacks will likely be no exception. Until then, don’t panic, and don’t go yanking all your money out of the market.
Welding is probably the least understood repair procedure in the collision industry, yet it’s the most critical. Do your techs know the best gas mixture for MIG welding high-strength steel or the proper gun angle for making a lap joint? Are you sure?
Every day, insurers tell customers: "They’re not on our list of shops." "We can’t guarantee their work." "We may not be able to help you as much as we’d like if you take your car to that shop." Fed up, a few shop owners across the country have gathered evidence that insurer actions are depriving them of their right to compete and have filed tortious interference lawsuits. The result: multimillion-dollar settlements.
Has the United States gone from the “Land of Opportunity” and Americans from hard-working, responsible people to the “Land of You Owe Me a Living” and to people who are totally self-absorbed, don’t think for themselves and blame everyone else for their own poor judgment?
The industry’s direction is being driven by consolidators, replicators, franchises and insurer-owned shops — everyone but the single-shop operator.
After one hail of a storm, this shop’s paint department couldn’t keep up and productivity grinded to a halt. In this month-by-month account — penned by the shop’s production manager — we hear all about the gridlock that occurred, the sleepless nights spent racking her brain for a solution and the teamwork system now in place that’s increased cycle time and boosted shop sales.
You spend hours trying to achieve the perfect paint job only to face a re-do and an irate customer. But don’t go blaming your paint. The culprit is likely your spray gun not being properly adjusted or as clean as you think.
You wouldn’t intentionally put your workers or the community that supports your business in danger. But keeping up with changing regulations issued by government agencies isn’t easy — some requirements seem overwhelming while others are just plain nitpicky. Regardless, you should always be prepared for an inspection.
If you’ve never truly evaluated your paint department, you may be surprised by what you find — excessive paint and material waste, poorly utilized space or even material theft. To determine whether you’re getting the most out of your paint shop, use these three key performance indicators.