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Practical, thoughtful production process can reduce cycle time

Monday, June 19, 2017 - 07:00
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You have a damaged vehicle, a damage appraisal and a body technician available, which sounds like a perfect production scenario. It would be if the vehicle is ready to be repaired.

I asked a shop manager if the vehicles we were reviewing for repair were ready to be repaired. He looked at me like I was crazy and asked me, “what do you mean is the vehicle ready to be repaired?” 

I looked at the appraisal and read through the repairs needed. This vehicle needed the roof replaced. I asked him if the glass company had removed the windshield. He said no but he could have the glass guy out in 30 minutes. I then asked if he had the bonding agent needed to adhere the roof. He said he hadn’t looked. Of course, I followed that question asking if he had the roof panel and he said he did. After we went through that exercise he understood that the vehicle was not ready to be repaired and he should wait before assigning the repair to a technician.

Moving this vehicle into a technician’s stall to wait for the glass company to arrive would have created technician wait time and slowed the repair process. If he then had to wait for the bonding agent the technician is once again idle reducing his touch time on that repair. You can tell yourself the technician could be removing the headliner or doing other tasks while he waited for the glass company, but what if the glass technician gets stuck in traffic and that 30 minutes he promised turns into an hour?

The delivery driver bringing the bonding agent has four other stops increasing his delivery time. Now your perfect plan has dissolved and created a work stoppage. Providing a technician with a vehicle that is ready to be repaired allows the technician to move through the repair process without stopping, increasing his productivity and reducing cycle time.

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