“A place for everything and everything in its place.” That might be a good adage when it comes to today’s service shop.
Take a look around your service shop or the bays of any outside service provider you send work to. What do you see? Some amount of disorder is to be expected as technicians often have to disassemble components to make repairs and some grease and oil on the floor is a given during the course of normal shop operation.
However, you should also be able to see some degree of organization and order. Technicians should have ready access to tools so they don’t have to waste time looking for what they need. This is true of specialty tools as well. While it may not be possible for every technician to own every specialty tool, the shop should have already made some investment in specialty tools. There should be some system in place that houses those tools in one place and a system where technicians have to check those tools in-and-out in order to use them.
When technicians can’t find the tools they need, they will waste valuable time looking all over the shop to find them —time that they could be spending repairing the truck and getting it back on the road.
A clean and organized shop also helps with technician morale. Nobody likes working in messy conditions. Given the fact that finding good qualified technicians is as difficult as finding drivers, anything you can do to keep a technician on your payroll is a win.
If you’re considering outsourcing your maintenance and repair, the “look” of the shop can give you a clue about the type of operation you may be dealing with. Again, no one expects the floor of a shop to be clean enough for dining, but if the shop floor looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in months you might question the care the shop will take with your vehicles.
A clean, organized shop with technicians in clean uniforms who have their tools nearby sends a message about the professionalism of the organization. It is not the only factor you should consider when selecting an outside service provider. It is, however, a good way to whittle down the list of potential outsourced service providers or to give you some insight into your own maintenance and repair operation.