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Archive for December, 2016

Smart, Simple Scheduling

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

(Article courtesy of David Luehr)

Scheduling is a necessity for collision shops that want to improve cycle time and decrease unnecessary work-in-process (WIP). However, far too many shops over-complicate scheduling, spending hours trying to predict the future using unstable labor hours. What I mean by unstable, is that some people, and even electronic scheduling systems, attempt to schedule work into the shop based on an initial estimate that is probably inaccurate.

For as long as I can remember, people have been trying to create the perfect scheduling system, which has remained as elusive as a herd of purple unicorns. There have been some impressive looking solutions, but unless the shop using it has a precise estimate on all the cars in the system, and can also perfectly predict the work-flow, the scheduling factors will constantly be changing and render the system useless in most cases. So, what can be done?

Don’t over-think this stuff, JUST KEEP IT SIMPLE! Here is a system my Elite shops use that works as well as anything, and it doesn’t cost anything. All you need to understand is two things: 1. How many vehicles can you repair each week on average to meet revenue requirements? 2. What is your optimum WIP?

Determine how many ROs your shop repairs each week on average and then bring that number of new jobs in each week.  Just don’t bring them all in on Monday!

The best shops in the  country bring nearly the same amount of new repair jobs into their shop each day and they also deliver the same amount of repair jobs each day. wip-table-2

The more sophisticated shops will triage, or categorize the size of job to create better workflow out in the shop. Here is an example of a simple scheduling tool created only using an Excel spreadsheet.

The scheduling template on page 1 was created for a shop that produces 25 vehicles on average each week, so there are 25 slots to write in scheduled repairs. Using historical data from computer management systems, we were able to determine an approximate work mix based simply on dollar amount categories. For starters, if you can simply just count the vehicles regardless of job size, you will still be miles ahead of most shops.

As you can also see from this example, this shop feels comfortable bringing in new repair jobs each day of the week. As mentioned earlier, some of the best shops literally bring in the same number of vehicle every day, even on Friday. My advice is to start with a schedule such as the one shown, and as you continue to improve processes and your confidence increases, you can then begin to progress towards the same number of new jobs each day.

Optimum WIP – What is the right number of vehicles or labor hours you should have on the property? That depends on a couple factors, but is still relatively simple to figure out. You multiply your shop’s daily average throughput (how many vehicles you deliver each day on average) multiplied by your average cycle time days. Let’s use the same shop that we used for the scheduling example above which can produce 25 repairs a week, or 5 repairs per work day. This shop has an average cycle time of 10 days. To maintain a cycle time of 10 days and produce 5 cars a day, it will need to always have about 50 vehicles on the property.

5 vehicles X 10 days = 50 units (WIP)         5 vehicles X 8 days = 40 units (WIP

If you wanted to improve your cycle time, you would need to reduce your WIP count or increase productivity. For example, if you wanted to reduce your average cycle time from 10 days to 8, you would need to reduce your average WIP unit count to 40 units. Or you would need to increase your throughput to deliver more vehicles each day.

Bringing it all together

Don’t overthink the scheduling part, it will only stress you out! Just think of it as needing to bring in enough vehicles to maintain your optimum WIP which is simply a result of how closely you can match your output with your input. Keep in mind that whenever your WIP count climbs above your “optimum” WIP number, your cycle time will suffer, and if your WIP count falls too far below optimum, it might further improve your cycle time, but it could also negatively affect your revenue goals if you run out of production ready work. You can also count WIP hours instead of WIP units/ vehicles, but typically counting units will get the job done! Each day, if you keep an eye on sales vs. goal, and WIP count and make the necessary adjustments, you will be amazed how it will improve your collision repair business.

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Contact Dave Luehr for help creating the best solutions for your shop!

david.luehr@elitebodyshopsolutions.com or visit www.elitebodyshopsolutions.com

 

Please be sure to contact Industrial Finishes and Systems by phone, 1-800-531-1305, or email info@industrialfinishes.com, about upcoming webinars for collision repair shops, and access to our custom library of resources including monthly TIPs & IMPACT Elite webinars.

 

A collision repair SPECIAL offer that is just in time for the icy season!

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

 

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Don’t miss out, this deal is For more information contact Industrial Finishes by phone, 800.531.1305, or email info@industrialfinishes.com.

Category Uncategorized

FREE T-Shirt with WG 55 Body Filler

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Come into any of our Oregon or Washington  locations and get a specially designed T-shirts from our friends at Throttle Design Mechanics with any purchase of USCs WG 55 Body Filler or any USC PRIMER.   Put Pride on your Ride today!

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WG55™ Premium Lightweight Body Fillerwg55

WG55™ White Gold, the latest product in USCs line of advance technology lightweight body fillers. WG55™ White Gold Super Smooth Filler contains both Invisix™ micro-perfecting surface technology to reduce the chance of pinholes as well as Z-Tek™ adhesion booster for maximum adhesion to auto body surfaces. WG55™ is easy to spread and apply and levels well as a result of lower surface tension. With its super smooth application, your sanding times will be greatly reduced; less sanding = less time and resources and improved bottom-line. WG55™ White Gold is priced attractively to help shops improve their overall profitability.

 

2820-12820 2K URETHANE PRIMER-SURFACER – GRAY

2820 2K primer-surfacer is all about production. Blink and you might miss it. This primer builds fast, dries fast, and sands fast and easy. Ideal for adhesion to bare substrates, sanded OE finishes, and body fillers.

 

 

 

 

 

johns-canELIMINATOR HB POLYESTER PRIMER

Eliminator HB Polyester Primer.  The versatility of this low 2.1 VOC primer surfacer allows use on a variety of substrates.

  • High solids, premium polyester
  • High fill and build for fast coverage
  • Easy to sand
  • Includes hardener

 

 

 

Offer Valid December 14th-February 3, 2017. Void where prohibited.  Promotion valid WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. Not valid in conjunction with any other promotion.  See your Industrial Finishes and Systems Rep for more details.

 

 

Category Automotive

PowerPulse Applies Pulse Technology to Regularly Charged Batteries

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The PowerPulse is one of the most popular and versatile products offered by PulseTech Products Corporation, and is a vital part of their Battery Management Program.  When using the PowerPulse Battery Maintenance System, make sure all regularly charged batteries are continuously being pulsed with this affordable tool that will equalize batteries, increase the capacity in older batteries and triple the life of new batteries!

The PowerPulse Maintenance System was selected as a Top 50 Product by Automotive Engineering magazine and is designed to ensure maximum battery performance in frequently used vehicles or pieces of equipment. It is not a charger and should only be used on vehicles or equipment that are regularly used and frequently charged. Charging alone doesn’t eliminate the main cause of battery failure – energy robbing lead sulfate deposits on battery plates.

The PowerPulse is a performance enhancing device designed to help batteries charge faster and provide maximum performance and power by generating an intermittent, optimized high frequency pulse that reduces existing sulfate deposits and keeps them from building up again. The patented Pulse Technology enables batteries to accept, store and release maximum power when needed.  PowerPulse units work with single batteries, batteries in parallel and batteries in series. Refer to the chart below for the various PowerPulse configurations.

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This small-weather proof product can supplement your existing charging system and can be powered in two different ways. When the battery is being charged either by an onboard charger or a separate charging system, it will use the charging current as a power source. The rest of the time PowerPulse uses a small portion of the battery’s own energy so it is working 24-hours a day so you don’t need an electrical outlet. Accordingly, it should only be used on vehicles or equipment that is regularly used and frequently charged.

Features:

  • Makes your batteries last up to 3 times longer than normal – even forklift batteries
  • 4 voltages available – 12, 24, 36 and 48 volt products for multiple battery systems
  • Maximizes the performance of ALL lead-acid batteries, including flooded, AGM, Gel and Deep Cycle designs
  • Exclusive Pulse Technology maximizes power and performance by eliminating power-robbing sulfate crystals
  • Indestructable waterproof design
  • 5 year limited warranty

 

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If batteries are important and are charged at least monthly, the PowerPulse is a MUST.  Click here for more information on the PowerPulse. You can also contact Industrial Finishes by phone, 800.531.1305, or email info@industrialfinishes.com.