Upgrade Your Shop Floor with Carbeat
In 2017, AkzoNobel introduced a new way to manage productivity and organization in a body shop: Carbeat®.
Carbeat, a patented electronic workflow system, gives those working on the shop floor the ability to visualize all current operations and statuses to stay organized. The cloud-based system comes with a 75-inch touch-screen monitor that can be personalized to portray the repair process on the shop floor.
The product was developed with the inspiration to improve the vehicle repair process, as it allows users to easily identify and monitor the different stages of a vehicle in the repair process. When shops mark how far their department is on a job, typical indications can range from placing a hat on a vehicle if it’s finished, or even marking a window with grease pencil marks.
“We asked ourselves this question: If body shop management systems are so great at tracking production, then why do all of these other manual objects still exist?” says Mike Sillay, Global Services Manager of AkzoNobel Vehicle Refinishes.
Personalize the Process
Shops are more efficient when departments are able to accurately determine where a car is in the process without any confusion.
“Carbeat is a visual tool and people need to be able to look at the dashboard and understand what’s going on,” Sillay says. “That’s another reason we deploy this on a large-format touch screen—you can stand 50 feet away from the board and actually assess where there’s a bottleneck in the process, or whether the vehicle needs certain repair procedures.”
During the repair process, Carbeat provides the whole shop floor with a visual workflow of the repair process. When a technician is finished with a repair, he or she can walk to the board, put his or her finger on the screen and drag the repair over to the next stage in the process, and it takes less than a second—that’s the real key to the accuracy of the data.
Discover Repair Results
More often than not, it can be impossible to time each department’s contribution to a repair. By utilizing the Carbeat board, all staff members can discover the length of the repair process for each department with the touch of a finger.
“When the repair is moved, it date and time stamps the activity and we mine the reports off of the data that gets collected,” Sillay says. “We can set up filters for virtually anything that has data.”
Understanding departmental cycle time can help shops determine where improvements need to be made in order to provide efficient service for the customer.
The Carbeat Goes On
In the last year, AkzoNobel’s premier organization tool has enjoyed unprecedented success.
“We doubled the number of Carbeat customers to over 200 and it’s kept us busy scaling up the product—we’re now in 11 different countries,” Sillay adds. He’s thrilled that the tool has enough flexibility to be able to adapt it to the diverse business practices that exist around the world. Available in 17 different languages, Carbeat can be deployed in many countries.
In August 2019, a Carbeat pilot program was tested in both India and China—another highlight for the versatile tool.
Patent Protection and Data Security
"We also have a US patent on Carbeat, so the IP is protected," Sillay says. "It is extremely difficult to put a patent on software and we've achieved that."
The Carbeat system in the US is covered by U.S. Patent No. 10,289,101.
Furthermore, Sillay says, "We've invested heavily in privacy and security and are prepared for the next wave of new users. Your shop’s data is safe with Carbeat—we went from a single U.S. server deployment to three data center platforms.”
Other new and enhanced features include:
Advanced board search
Realtime Work-In-Production display
Repair Plan Accuracy Report
WalkMe, an interactive embedded help tutorial to speed adoption of Carbeat by your team
The Carbeat platform has been expanded and upgraded to bring several benefits to customers and accommodate growth.
Higher speed and faster response times
Stability and dependability
Compliance with emerging new data privacy legislation
AkzoNobel will feature Carbeat at SEMA in 2019. To learn more, visit carbeat.com.