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Benefits of streamlining bodyshop workflow

Solera Audatex last month launched its eBook, ‘Small Changes, Big Differences in the Bodyshop’, looking at how marginal gains can improve the bottom line of modern vehicle repair businesses. In this first blog in the ‘small changes’ series, Audatex delves into the incremental gains which can be made from streamlining bodyshop workflows.

With the workshop placed firmly at the centre of high-value work, it is easy for owners to focus on how quickly and effectively technicians are completing repair work. The danger here is that any costly inaccuracies within the shop’s wider assessment or administrative processes can quite easily fall by the wayside and impact the overall profits gained on each job entering the workshop.

Although every repair is different, every bodyshop typically works towards a horizontal business line. Which, when deviated from, will impact the amount of collective resource it takes to carry out repairs. If a member of your team is unexpectedly off sick or out of the business for even a short period, would all other members of your team know which processes to follow in order to minimise disruption and keep productive with minimal time delays and impact on overall profit? If not, you should consider documenting all key procedural best practises, to minimise risk when your team are not running at full capacity.

A quick solution might be to take a ‘many hands make light work’ approach and invest heavily in bolstering the team to try and prevent errors from slipping through the net. However, these employees will still only be as efficient as the processes they follow. While it may seem obvious, the crux is now to streamline the entire repair workflow from estimate to completion, to eliminate as much non-value work as possible and protect every pound made on each repair.

It is also important to look at the individual processes themselves and consider whether any areas of your bodyshop are running on outdated processes. These may have been introduced initially as workarounds for specific issues or simply to get something done quickly. However, they are now standard practise and may in fact not necessarily be the best and most effective ways to work today.