Spacing throughout your facility matters, too.
New facilities should always be built to allow easy entrance and exit from bays, include wide passageways and be equipped with ample storage space, says Mark Martincic at KEA Advisors.
Management of space is doubly important in existing facilities. Just because you can’t expand your facility doesn’t mean you can’t better use the space you have. A thorough cleaning and reorganization of a messy facility is a great way to improve productivity, Martincic says.
“The objective is to arrange the elements [of a service shop] in a way that ensures a smooth work flow or a particular traffic or process pattern,” he says.
One obvious benefit comes in how employees move about your facility, he says. Pathways from service bays to tools, machinery, parts and recycling or trash bins should always be easily accessible and clean.
This allows technicians, service writers and parts procurement staffers to freely move about the facility without bottlenecks or accessibility issues.
Removing clutter from a service facility also dramatically cuts down on time wasted searching for a specific part or product.
APEX Supply Chain Technologies has two particular vending and storage prod- ucts geared specifically toward assisting service providers with shop organization, says Kent Savage, president and CEO.
Savage says APEX’s vending products in particular allow repair facilities to condense large quantities of high-volume parts such as widgets, kits, bolts and belts, as well as small tools and disposable shop supplies in small areas.
And in the case of both its vending machines and larger locker products, Savage says all of APEX’s products have the ability to log and track all vending history.
“Searching a shop looking for a tool because nobody knows who has it wastes an awful lot of time,” he says. “Our technology can show who checked out a tool, and when.”
Martincic says training department heads and shift managers the value of cleanliness also can go a long way toward overall performance improvements.
In larger facilities, appointing an employee to be a cleanliness czar or small team to a cleanliness committee helps ensure that all employees are regularly aware of their responsibility to shop appearance.
Creating a regular cleaning schedule for all employees to follow helps, too, says Mark Rubini, president at Toledo Spring.
“The work we’re doing is very dirty and greasy but that doesn’t mean the shop has to be,” he says. “I’ve always been told our place looks pretty clean for the kind of work that we do and that’s good to hear.
“It’s not spotless by any means, but people aren’t falling over anything be- cause of clutter, either.”