Regularly tidying up a service department makes dollars and sense for everyone in a tire dealership or service shop. Here's why the plan benefits both the boss and technicians.
As long as I can remember, many service professionals have not placed a priority on periodic clean-ups throughout a service department. They have argued against tidying up because the bays are supposedly the technicians' nest — don't disturb the nest.
Other owners and managers have argued that great cooks may have messy kitchens. Therefore, top techs are entitled to messy work stations.
Some bosses have insisted that speed always equals success; speedily performed jobs are the most profitable ones. Therefore, any time "wasted" on neatness diminishes overall profitability.
Make no mistake about it, maintaining and repairing vehicles can be a dirty business. But that said, service bays and work areas need not look like scrap piles.
Experience has taught me several realities about the appearance of service departments.
For one thing, consumers eventually see the bays. The overwhelming odds are that tidy work areas will impress more customers favorably, more often.
Favorable impressions are part of meeting and exceeding consumers' expectations. In turn, positive impressions help boost repeat business — that's good business sense.
Don't overlook the caliber of clientèle you're trying to attract to your service shop or tire dealership. Consider the value of the vehicles these motorists own.
Likely, these car owners have an image of a worthy service facility — one that's commensurate with them and the vehicles they drive. I sincerely doubt that this image entails dirt, scrap and old parts smothering work stations.
Experience also suggests that tidying up is a matter of do it now or do it later. For example, some techs allow a variety of junk and scrap to accumulate on and under a workbench. They treat proper scrap disposal as if it's an hour instead of a few minutes.
Eventually, these techs will need all the work space they can muster to accommodate a major repair — there are components and hardware everywhere.
So, when the tech least expects to or wants to, he has to clear his bench and work station in order to handle this repair. Besides costing the tech time, it often puts him in a foul mood for the upcoming tasks.