This list is designed to firstly help you face the challenges that Covid-19 has presented; get the most from operating on less staff and build up workshop efficiency. But secondly, and most importantly, its designed to help you stop needing to operate on less staff staff, to increase business demand and workload, so that you no longer face this challenge.
1. Automate what can be automated
If you are currently managing the tricky balancing act of having less staff to save costs but needing to keep work moving through the workshop to ensure the business survives, then you know that every second of your skilled technician’s time is valuable. You need them to be at their most productive levels while also not putting undue stress on them, which is not conducive to a good working environment for anyone.
One of the first avenues you can go down is to automate processes and immediately get that technician’s time back. Having the right equipment in the workshop and those that can run in automatic modes such as the Sabre CRi Master or DPF300 Master, mean the technician can walk away and do something else with their valuable time without compromising quality or results the job in hand.
2. Streamlined processes
A number of ‘lean’ operational models are becoming widely adopted in many businesses. However this is often applied in a cost-cutting way, instead of its original purpose which was to lose unnecessary steps from processes and make sure it is as efficient as can be.
Now is the time to look at this again in your business if you haven’t done it in a little while or if you now operate with less people than you did when you looked at this in the past. Ways to streamline could include asking:
- Can you do as much with this vehicle in one visit as possible?
- How many staff members interact with the vehicle while it’s with you?
- Does a vehicle remain with you while components are sent off for someone else to work on?
- Can the equipment go to the vehicle, like one of our workshop trolleys, or is it easier to have dedicated bays?
And many more questions! There is no right or wrong way to do this depending on the size of the team, footprint of the workshop, and many other factors.
It may be that you have equipment in the workshop prohibiting this transformation, and given that streamlining would be valuable to the business even after Covid-19 pressures are a thing of the past, it is extremely worthwhile investing in equipment that can do this for your business now.
3. Easy to use tools
One of the first things you may have noticed upon furloughing staff or having to go through redundancies is the realisation that certain people had certain knowledge in the business, and this is now inaccessible.
While it is very understandable that more experienced members of your team know more than new ones, it has never been more important to make sure that the equipment you have in your workshop doesn’t further add to this problem.
Equipment with easy to use and intuitive features opens up their usability to all team members, not just very experienced master technicians. It also immediately makes that piece of equipment work harder and earns its keep. The ‘easy to use’ features can look different depending on the tool, such as our instructional video snippets embedded directly into the test steps of our Excalibur GDi Master.
Of course it’s training. Training always feels like the biggest expense of the business with nothing to show for it, but could not be further from the truth.
It’s possible to frequently see something new come through the workshop, even for a technician who has been there for years. A presenting vehicle fault in a way you’ve not seen before can still arrive in your bay, and that can be challenging enough with up to date training! The automotive industry is one of those industries where the technology is moving so fast that it’s easy to fall behind in the latest developments and exponentially harder to keep up.
While attending training programs can be difficult to fit in, the equipment that you invest in for the workshop doesn’t need to be an additional source of training burden.
Equipment can integrate this into every day use like Delphi Technologies DS diagnostic tool allows the technician to tap into training & support through the tablet directly. The Hartridge Repair Tooling comes with a suite of ‘How to videos’ which can be accessed online as many times as you want, whenever you want, and viewed however you need.
5. Morale building
This unprecedented time has been tough on all of us, and it has never been more important to look after our colleagues in our teams. Not only does it help & support the individual but it ultimately helps the business get back on its feet and operate in a more normal way.
Finding ways to still have face to face meetings in a safe way where you can, making sure individuals have trust & agency in their roles still, and finding ways to reward hard work & efforts all go a long way to building a good work environment, culture, and improving team communication.
All businesses are only as good as their team and prioritising in team morale is one of the best ways to invest in your business.