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Editor’s Notes: 24 Months

You only have 24 months to ditch your old business model. This is the sobering message Steve Feltovich opened up with at the Sherwin-Williams EcoLean Workshop held June 28-29 in Charlotte.

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Jason Stahl has 26 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 14 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

You only have 24 months to ditch your old business model, maximum 36 months. The bad news is that it’s going to take five years to implement the new model.

This isn’t an exact quote from Steve Feltovich, manager of Business Consulting Services for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, but it’s basically the sobering message he opened up with at the Sherwin-Williams EcoLean Workshop held June 28-29 in Charlotte.

The old model? That’s the one where a few people at the top make decisions and then hand those down to the people who actually do the work. The new one? It’s what we’ve known as “lean” or the “Toyota Way.” This model empowers the people who actually do the work to find better ways to do it. Respect for people and everyone contributing to the process are the two pillars of the Toyota Way.

“This is the new day of getting one more car out, not the old day of getting one more car in,” said Feltovich.

All 70 or so body shop owners and managers at the workshop received a copy of “The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer.” Feltovich urged everyone to read at least the first two chapters to more fully understand lean principles.

Lean is more of a mindset than anything else, and it’s not one size fits all. Each shop will have to tweak it for their own circumstances. But in a world where Amazon has conditioned every customer to expect “fast, free and perfect,” it looks as though the old way of doing business has to make a quick exit.

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