TMC nearing shop workload recommended practice

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Updated Jan 13, 2016

Hey service providers, the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) is getting close to answering one of your prayers.

During Monday’s task force meetings at TMC’s fall meeting in Orlando, the Council’s S.16 Service Provider Study Group took another step toward publishing a recommended practice for ‘Shop Workload and Prioritization,’ which study group leaders believe will become an invaluable resource for improving efficiency and throughput in heavy-duty service facilities.

Formed specifically to address the constant struggle service providers face in assigning technicians and bays to proficiently complete repair work, S.16’s task force leaders — Scott Witt of Virginia Truck Centers and Matt Panning at Tyson Foods — believe they are now just a year away from taking their proposed RP to ballot.

If that timeframe holds, the study group will debut the industry’s first comprehensive outline for shop prioritization before the end of next year.

“Our intention is to define, measure and eliminate the chaos of service centers,” Panning says.

The task force currently has a rough outline of what it wants its finished product to be. The unfinished document offers guidance on rapid repair and triage processes, methods for communicating part and tool requirements through a service facility and instructions on technician staffing to potentially improve productivity.

Monday’s meeting also addressed the possibility of adding even more content.

Homer Hogg at TA/Petro told the task force that quick service technicians can sometimes improve shop productivity more than dedicated bays because they can bounce around from job to job as needed. The task force agreed, and will add language on that concept to its RP.

The group also will add information on the benefits of technician teams thanks to a suggestion from Peter Savage at Clarke Power Services.

Savage says employing technician teams over multiple shifts usually results in a slight dip in their efficiency, but ultimately improves shop productivity because it gets trucks out of the building faster and back to the customers who desperately need them.

The potential RP also addresses another lingering service issue — the tech shortage.

“We have to take waste out of our operations to mitigate the tech shortage,” says Kenneth Calhoun with Truck Centers of Arkansas.

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