The Impact of Redundancy in Auto Repair Operations

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Redundancy exists in auto repair operations when the same work is performed more than once. The most common occurrence of this is when information is written on paper then entered into the shop management system as opposed to entering it directly at the point it’s formulated. Examples of this are vehicle check in – some shops handle this on paper then enter the information into the system; diagnosis and findings handled by technicians recording results on paper then a service advisor enters the results into the system; inspections in which results are recorded on a pre-printed form then related information is entered into the shop management system. Following are negative impacts of redundancy as well as positive effects of its elimination:

  1. Duplication of Effort – One of the most glaring examples of redundancy occurs when steps are built into processes that result in work being performed on paper then entered into the computer system. Sometimes this is done by the same person and sometimes one person commits the information to paper then another enters it into the system. Whenever this happens the same work is being performed twice.
  2. Accuracy – When someone creates information outside the shop management software then it’s entered into the system there’s always the possibility for errors to occur. Information can be misinterpreted or misunderstood resulting in the meaning being lost in the translation.
  3. Cost Increase – Duplication of actions and reductions in accuracy result in higher operational costs. Higher operational costs in turn result in smaller profit margins. Thus elimination of redundancy can result in greater profits.
  4. Resource Utilization – Redundancy in operational processes results in poor utilization of resources. The time spent in performing steps more than once is time that could be spent on value add activities. So eliminating redundancy will bring about improved resource utilization.
  5. Capacity – When redundancy in operations exists more time is spent performing work than necessary. This will reduce the capacity available in the shop and therefore decrease vehicle throughput. Conversely elimination of redundancy will result in greater capacity and increased vehicle throughput.
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