Is It Better to Have Combo Techs or Specialized Techs? - BodyShop Business

Is It Better to Have Combo Techs or Specialized Techs?

Is it better to have the same tech do both the body work and paint work on a job or have one guy do the painting and another do the body work?

I just started overseeing a four-man crew at a dealership body shop, and I’m wondering if it’s best to have the same tech do both the body work and paint work on a job or have one guy do the painting and another do the body work.

Asked by Tim Mann, Dave Syverson Auto Center, Albert Lea, Minn.

Question answered by: Jim Patrick, collision center manager, Lang’s Chevrolet, Beavercreek, Ohio

Most production shops today go with body techs and paint techs to maximize the shop’s production. The mixture is based on the painter’s capability. One painter to three to four body techs (1:3 or 1:4) is a common ratio. I also think you’ll find that the cost of paint and materials will be easier to control when you assign the responsibility to the paint tech. That person will learn to not over mix and to spray a test panel for color match when needed. You’ll have less redos and better paint matches, all of which will help you lower the cost of paint and materials and get the job out on time.
I think the main reason to go with a paint tech is that, with a specialized paint tech doing all the paint work, they’ll become more proficient at it, and that means better jobs at a lower cost. You’ll also eliminate the tie-up you might experience at the paint booth when four techs are all trying to meet the customer’s expected delivery date.
No matter how many vehicle stalls you have in your shop, all the vehicles must go through the paint booth, and that causes the funnel effect. The better you manage the flow, the better the outcome for the whole shop. The other side effect of having different people dedicated to paint work and body work is that the body techs will also get more productive when concentrating on body repair only.
I’m not sure if your shop is working with combo techs or with a paint tech, but either way, if you change things, they will complain! And that’s because no one likes changes, even if they’re good for all involved.
In the end, the final decision comes down to what works best in your shop.

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