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Shop Profile: Jake's Auto Body & Towing

Special orders don’t upset Jake’s approach to lean production standards
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 10:42
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“Bun, burger, ketchup and pickle” feeds the methodology that drives the lean repair processes in place at Jake’s Auto Body & Towing, Inc. in High Falls, N.Y.

Owners John and Karen Hoover describe their 9,000-square-foot shop as being “small but mighty” as they have fully embraced lean production strategies while maintaining a 9.9 Customer Service Index (CSI) rating.

“No matter what size shop you run or what market you’re in, competition is less difficult for businesses that understand cost, consistency and quality of repairs. To be consistent, we run lean: one reducer, one clear, one hardener, painted at the same temperature year round. Do it the same way car-after-car, day-after-day,” John says.

“Lean production is simple as long as you stay with it,” he says, suggesting that you mind the measurements and look at all your numbers to “understand your expenses and what it costs to open the door.” Ongoing education is present throughout the entire operation.

“Educate yourself in your industry,” John urges. “Not only educate your technicians about how to fix cars, but educate your technicians on the costs of the business — like the impacts of inefficiency or comebacks.”

“Administration within your business is critical to have a profitable shop,” he stresses. “It looks like a big expense, but the procedures and information you gain is invaluable. Start with standard procedures from the moment the customer comes in…no variations. And carry those throughout the repair.”

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