Every Detail Counts
Keith Goodman walks through the doors of 3A Collision (Memphis, Tenn.) at around 6:30 a.m. every morning with the goal of getting a spray gun in his hands as quickly as possible. There are two other helpers at the shop, but he’s the sole painter. Goodman doesn’t mind being the only one with his position at 3A Collision, in fact, it’s how it has been for most of his 27-year career in the industry.
Goodman has found success through pure efficiency—made up of strong organization, communication, and talent. Vehicles enter 3A Collision and are quickly pushed through the booth with precision and accuracy—a true showcase of the skills he has been perfecting for the past three decades.
“I feel like painting cars is what I need to be doing,” Goodman explains. “I still enjoy standing back and looking at a car after everything has been repaired and painted.”
The Perfect Arrangement
Organization is vital for Goodman, both with his setup and how his day is structured.
“I’m the type of painter who sets a goal each day of what I need to get done, and when I get that amount finished, that’s when I’ll go home,” he explains.
Goodman makes a set plan for himself and his team each day in order to keep everyone on track to push out a daily average of six to eight cars. This attention to organization also spills over into the rest of the shop. As a way to be as efficient as possible, Goodman makes sure that everything he or his helpers may need throughout the day is in its designated spot and easy to find.
“If you’re walking around looking for a tool or something that you need, you’re not working on the car,” he says.
To ensure this organization, he and his team built carts for each helper to hold all of the sandpaper, tape, tools, and anything else they may need to quickly reach for during a job.
“The guys are able to roll the carts around to each vehicle instead of chasing tape or paper in this cabinet or that cabinet,” he says. “I think organization and cleanliness is key.”
Goodman also keeps a comprehensive and neatly arranged color library in the shop to save time and avoid any future color-matching headaches. This all helps to ensure that each vehicle at 3A Collision is completed correctly, the first time.
“I don’t like doing something twice when we’ll only get paid for it once,” he says. “Doing the same job twice slows the shop down and uses extra materials.”
Although a majority of the day is filled with the sounds of cars being sprayed and whatever tunes are on the radio, Goodman still makes a point to check in and communicate with his team.
“It’s just the three of us, so we have to communicate in order to complete all the work that comes in,” he says.
Goodman tries to meet with his team each morning to discuss what the upcoming day will look like. And then, if any questions pop up throughout the morning they’ll have a quick huddle to discuss, along with another brief meeting around lunch if needed. Mainly, the communication centers around what needs to be done, and when.
Emphasizing the order of priorities eliminates any distraction and potential efficiency bottlenecks. When there is no confusion about what jobs need to be finished first, vehicles can quickly get in and out of the booth.
Tools of the Trade
No amount of organization and communication matters in terms of efficiency if the tools and equipment are not on the same level of precision. And when you have to put trust in the same tools day in and day out, quality matters.
“Depending on the job, I’m spraying up to eight hours a day,” Goodman says. “All I do is spray paint, and these little things count when you’re spraying that much.”
Goodman has a few paint guns by his side but his favorite is the SATAjet X 5500 PHASER™, which he leans on to keep up with the line of vehicles coming in and out of the shop.
“I have a bunch of friends who are painters and they have asked how I invested so much into my gun, I tell them to buy one and put it in their hand, then they’ll see,” he says.
As for PPE, Goodman utilizes the SATA® air vision™ and a SATA® spray suit to stay protected and safe.
“Any protective equipment my team needs is also on hand, if it’s gloves or respirators, it’s there for them,” he says.
With the most up-to-date tools and equipment, Goodman and his team are able to produce quality work that truly mirrors this top painter’s fine-tuned talent, which he has built and perfected over the years.
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