Personal self-improvement might be the name of the game this time of year, but your resolutions shouldn’t be limited to your gym routine. This is the perfect time to take a closer look at how things are going at your shop, too. Will 2015 be business as usual, or are you ready to make some improvements? From better shop equipment to fewer accidents, here are four shop resolutions to consider this year:
1. Resolve to do more and spend less. For shop owners and managers, this one is already top of mind. The bottom line looms large, but how exactly will you be more efficient in 2015? The key is to take a close look at your processes. Where are there holdups that waste time and money, and how can you break up the blockage? Maybe errors at check-in are causing delays with repairs. Or maybe setup and repair times are holding your shop back.
Look for ways to shave costs, save time, and up productivity. Even small improvements can add up to big savings over time. Improvements like faster lifts or a more practical bay setup could mean your team turns over more jobs in a day. For example, Tire Discounters saw huge improvements after installing new, faster Shockwave lifts and implementing a drive-through system where bays were set up in line with drive-through alignment systems. (Plug your numbers into our Shockwave ROI calculator to see how your profits can really add up throughout the year.)
Even something as small as implementing energy-saving policies can make a difference over the course of a year. Big and small, get creative about finding ways to cut costs, make the best of what you have and add revenue.
2. Resolve to have the safest year yet. Safety, safety, safety. For managers, it’s a priority. From training to process standards, you’re probably already doing a lot to keep your employees safe, but there’s always room for improvement. Is it time to update or add signage? Maybe make-do workarounds on sub-par equipment are increasing risks. One thing you can do is to make sure the lift equipment you buy is ALI Certified (look for the gold label), and tested regularly.
For lifts, have technicians look for any issues every time they use the lift. On top of that, you should have a factory-authorized professional lift inspector examine lifts annually. Besides being an ANSI requirement, this is also a great way to stop safety issues before they start. Find a certified automotive lift inspector at autolift.org/inspectors.
3. Prepare for expanded repair capabilities in 2015. Will the new year bring more diverse repair needs? Be prepared by making sure you have the right equipment to handle the job.
Many shops are adding express service lanes to their facilities so they can both meet the growing customer demand for speedy service and add more and different jobs. Or maybe you’re adding new vehicle makes to your dealership and need lifts that can handle heavier loads. Either way, set yourself up for success by preparing for the influx with the right auto shop equipment for the job. And choosing the right equipment means considering after-sale service and parts availability, too. You’ll need service you can count on to support your investment after you buy.
4. Resolve to keep the best employees around. Your staff is the heart of your shop, and running the best shop possible means having the best employees possible. What’s the best way to attract and retain top mechanics? Beyond competitive pay and a positive work environment, quality equipment matters. Wow top recruits and keep current employees happy with the best possible equipment.
While handling more jobs in less time is important, efficient, well-maintained lifts don’t just mean more services on the books. They mean happier employees, too. After all, a lift is the one piece of equipment a mechanic uses most often. Is your auto shop equipment a source of frustration or another reason your techs love their jobs? Make sure it’s the latter and give them a reason to stick around for 2015 and beyond. (See what real techs think of the Shockwave lift in our video.)
Maintaining a better shop and improving profits year-over-year isn’t something you only think about in January, but the new year is a great time to take a minute to think about what you want from your shop and really consider how you can work to get there.
Happy New Year!