‘Heijunka’ almost sounds like an alternative to what you would say to someone who sneezed, but in reality it’s a lean concept that’s nothing to sneeze at. The Kansas City Collision Group of the ASA Missouri/Kansas found that out at a recent presentation given by David McCreight of Collision Resources, Inc., who taught repairers how to reduce operational waste.
McCreight explained how the old-fashioned way of taking cars in on Monday and trying to get them out on Friday results in longer repair times. He provided evidence of this through recent reports from Mitchell International that showed the average repair (keys to keys) takes more than nine days. He pointed out that the way repairers currently do business, most cars carry over at least one weekend, giving them the ability to schedule cars in evenly throughout the week. And that’s a good thing as leveling out the intake of damaged cars throughout the week, McCreight said, can easily improve cycle time by two days, improve cash flow and lower expenses for both repairers and insurers.
“Good cycle time is a function of two factors, production capacity and cars on site (inventory),” McCreight said, challenging repairers to even out the number of cars to repair during the week. “If the shop repairs 25 cars per week, then the shop should move toward bringing in five cars and delivering five cars each day. The repairers of tomorrow will compete on cycle time and CSI.”
McCreight emphasized to the repairers that they will need a plan to figure out how to compete with rivals that are twice as fast as they are. He then challenged them to think beyond the industry average of 2.3 hours of production a day per car and strive for more than 4.5 hours per day.
ASA Missouri/Kansas provides monthly education on relevant and timely topics to both mechanical and collision professionals. Future educational opportunities will be available in a Web-based setting where more individuals can participate.
“In this ever-changing industry, we want to arm our members with the best information we can give them,” said Ben Steinman, state treasurer and ASA Missouri/Kansas Collision Division director.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind, internationally serving more than 12,000 businesses and approximately 65,000 professionals from all segments of the automotive service industry. ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. For more information on ASA MO/KAN, visit www.asamokan.org.