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Careful repair planning improves work flow, reduces chaos

Monday, January 22, 2018 - 08:00
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After the estimate has been completed, the vehicle has been dropped off for repair, and the disassembly and blueprint process is completed, it’s time to plan the repair. 

This important step often is missed because the work order is handed to a technician like a bag going through airport security. You put the bag on the conveyor belt of the screener and hope it comes out the other end without any problems to slow you down.

A simple process of reviewing the repair order to see what is required and determining which step in the repair process should happen first will eliminate the “hope” that the repair goes smoothly.

Some repairs are very simple with only a couple steps in the process while others can be quite complex. Reviewing those steps, organizing the repair process and communicating the repair plan will prevent repair dead time. 

Look around your shop right now and see how many repairs are in the dead zone because you are waiting on a sublet vendor, the frame machine or mechanical work. This chaos can all be prevented through repair planning.

The repair plan begins after the vehicle blueprinting process where all damage and repair needs have been identified. Using a vehicle that needs a left rear quarter panel with some minor suspension damage as an example, let’s review the steps needed to complete this repair. 

1. Body Repair

2. Refinish operations

3. Remove back glass

4. Reinstall back glass

5. Replace L/R lower control arm

6. 4-wheel alignment

7. Set-up and measure

8. Align rear quarter

This repair requires eight basic steps. If they’re not accomplished in the correct order this repair could cause chaos in the shop and put a vehicle in the dead zone.

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