Achieving maximum efficiency in automotive repair operations involves identifying and eliminating unnecessary and wasteful steps in business processes. This type of analysis requires looking at and identifying unnecessary activities and process flow disconnects. Anytime efficiencies can be improved the cost of operations will be reduced and profit margins will increase. Following are points to consider in elimination of wasteful activities in automotive repair processes:
- Manual Event Triggers – When an action is triggered by an event that takes place outside the shop software system there is a break in the information flow. Examples of this in automotive repair are when a technician receives his work by being forwarded a printed document or packet and then returns the document of packet when the work is completed. There are many other parts of the auto repair process at which these types of triggers may be employed and the impact is the same in all. There is no global visibility of the fact that the event occurred and in the examples above a person spends time walking from point A to point B. When these events are triggered within the shop management system waste is eliminated and communications are improved.
- Process Flow Disconnects – When an action is performed outside the shop management system a break in the process flow occurs. A common example of this in auto repair takes place in parts ordering. Rather than use the parts supplier integration capabilities of the software the parts are ordered over the phone or outside the system through the supplier website. The result is that the parts aren’t automatically added to the repair order at the point they’re sourced and must be added as a second step. Often this isn’t done until the end of the process. This type of disconnect creates extra work and creates breaks in the process flow. When these actions are taken within the software system processes are streamlined and information is recorded at the point it occurs.
- The Closed Loop – A closed loop system is one in which there are no breaks in process flow. Every action is triggered within the shop management system and the recording of information takes place as a part of the action taken. Striving for a closed loop system is reaching to achieve maximum efficiency.
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