The Assembly Line Repair Strategy
March 3, 2020—Keith Myers is an innovator in the automotive industry. From segmenting his collision repair shop to performing pre and post-repair scans for a few years, he's ahead of the game.
In specialization of the body shop, Myers took employees who were performing multiple jobs and put them in roles where they were the most proficient. For example, body technicians who were most proficient at structural repair, now do only structural repair, while others do body repair or mechanical repair. So when the car goes through the shop, one technician isn't working on it from beginning to end but the car is going from one department to another.
A segmented shop floor has helped Myers' team take one aspect of the repair and learn to excel in it over time. Instead of technicians performing several different tasks, or taking time away from the repair to move cars or parts into their stalls, for instance, every member of the team has a sole focus and can take more time to accurately repair complex vehicles. Through repetition, the technician can master one area of the repair. To maximize workers' efficiency, the technicians do not move cars or parts themselves. Myers' process ensures that the cars and parts are delivered to technicians' workstations. The result is that the tech can have his or hands on the car for more hours of the day.
Myers, owner of Eurotech Refinishing and Collision Repair, says he moved away from a commission-based pay structure and began to pay his team hourly with overtime. This was key to making his process of specialization work, as it allows everyone to work as a team focused on moving the car through the shop.
As part of his disassembly, reassembly and final quality control check, Myers has his techs perform pre- and post-repair scans and computer measuring. The team will perform measurements of the vehicle and alignments. Calibrations are an aspect of the repair that he sublets out to a dealer, due to the variation between manufacturers' calibration specifications and the equipment and space requirements.
To maximize workers efficiency, the technicians do not move cars or parts themselves. Myers' process ensures that the cars and parts are delivered to technicians work station.