The physical environment within an automotive repair business will always have an impact and in some cases determine the definition of work processes performed. Many a shop owner has surveyed the layout of their shop and wished they had designed it from the ground up. However, ever manager has to make the most of the hand they’re dealt. Even in the least optimal of circumstances process planning can have a positive impact. Following are different views of shop operations that can be evaluated for performance impact:
- Shop Bays – The layout of an auto repair shop floor can have a significant impact on work flow and vehicle throughput. Proximity to entrance doors can affect vehicle movement efficiency. And in situations that require a vehicle to be worked on in more than one bay the location of the bays in relation to each other can impact performance. Optimally in this situation a physical flow would be easily facilitated allowing the vehicle to move from one bay to the next.
- Parts – Different auto repair shop environments handle inventory stocking in various ways. Some shops will carry a lot of inventory because their environments include longer lead times on parts. Others will carry more as their usage is high enough to justify the inventory investment needed to achieve lower costs due to volume purchase. Depending on the amount and type of inventory in stock – access by personnel can have an impact on work throughput.
- Personnel – The assigned work areas for employees are an important component in work flow organization. Many factors contribute to this but the objective is to provide an environment that allows for the greatest productivity possible. Time spent away from the work area performing other responsibilities such as vehicle movement, getting parts or interacting with other people should be minimized to the greatest extent possible.