When is the last time you really looked at your service facility?
When we work in place every day, it’s easy to get “tunnel vision” and not notice changes in the surroundings in which we inhabit. We become so focused that we do not notice the changes in our environment that have happened slowly over time.
One way to get a fresh look is to go to your facility when it is closed. Take a note pad and pen and write down everything that doesn’t meet your standards. It won’t take more than an hour and I promise you that you will be surprised at what you notice without all of the activity of a normal business day.
Start as you drive up, is the signage directing the customer clear? Is the parking lot clean and the customer parking area well defined? Keep in mind that the first time visitor has no idea what to do after entering the lot from the road.
As you enter the door to the service drive, notice if the hours of operation are clearly posted and accurate. Is the service drive clean and free of any clutter?
Check the walls and ensure that all of the advertising posters are up to date and secure, not torn or drooped over. Are the tire displays clean and clearly marked?
Take a look at each of your advisors work areas. Are they clean and free of clutter? Do they have a good supply of up to date Menu’s and other handouts such as accessory brochures?
Make detailed notes of your findings as you go.
As you enter the shop area stop and look in all directions including up. Are all of the lights working or are there bulbs out? Is the drive area floor clean?
Next, take a look at each technician’s stall. Is it clean and free of clutter? Are there any cores or new parts or warranty return parts lying in the open? Are any of the air hoses “hissing” and in need of repair? What is the condition of the drop lights? How many open fluid containers are sitting around? Are the technician’s benches free of clutter and trash? Is any of the equipment in need of repair? Leaking hydraulic jacks? Are there any shields missing from bench grinders?
Make more detailed notes.
Next, check the special tool room for organization. Can the special tools be readily identified? From a productivity standpoint, countless hours are wasted in many shops just looking for special tools. Consider putting them under the control of the parts department and having technicians sign them out and back in.
Next, let’s check the customer waiting area to look for cleanliness. How is the furniture? Is the upholstery faded or stained? Are magazines and other reading material up to date? Are the displays current and all pricing correct?
Let’s take that list and turn it into an action plan. You don’t have to do it all. Delegate items to people you are paying to get these things done. Be sure to follow-up on any delegated chores to insure completion.
It’s a good idea to take a fresh look at your service department every three months or so to keep things in order. It’s very easy for things to slowly change over time without us noticing during the normal course of business.